Volokitin, Gelfand win Biel GM Tournament

by ChessBase
7/28/2005 – After leading for seven rounds in Biel US champion Hikaru Nakamura crashed, losing the last three games to end fourth. Boris Gelfand and 19-year-old GM Andrej Volokitin ended on top. In the ladies' section it was Almira Skripchenko and Indian talent Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman. Final report.

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The traditional International Chess Festival is taking place from 17th-29th July 2005 in Biel/Bienne, in the Canton of Bern in Switzerland. The main event features six strong GMs in a double round robin with a category of 16 (average Elo 2637).

After seven rounds the US champion Hikaru Nakamura was in the lead, with 4.5 points, half a point more than Volokitin, Gelfand and Pelletier. Then disaster struck for this very talented and very determined young player. Hikaru lost his last three games, to Bauer, Pelletier and Gelfand, to drop to place four on the final tables.

Bad luck at the end: US Champion Hikaru Nakamura

Nakamura,H (2660) - Gelfand,B (2724) [B96]
GM Biel SUI (10), 27.07.2005
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 b5 10.Bd3 Bb7 11.Rhe1 Qb6

This is still theory, but highly enjoyable nevertheless. 12.Nd5 Qxd4 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Bxb5 Qc5 15.Nxf6+ Kd8 16.Nxd7. This appears to be a new attempt by White; in Kurylo,R-Rauduve,A, Lithuania 2000 Black won after 16.Bxd7 Be7 17.Qb3 Bxf6 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Qxb7 Ra7 20.Qb3 Ke7 21.g4 h6 22.c3 Rc7 23.h3 Rhc8 24.Re2 Rc6 25.f5 Kf8 26.Rd3 d5 27.e5 Bg5+ 28.Kd1 d4 29.fxe6 dxc3 30.bxc3 Rb6 0-1.

16...Qxb5 17.Nxf8 Rxf8 18.Qa3 Rc8 19.Qxd6+ Ke8 20.c3 Qc6 21.Qb4 a5.

22.Qxa5. White now has four pawns for the piece, but Black can mobilize all his heavy artillery on the a-file. 22...Ra8 23.Qg5 f6 24.Qd5 Qxc3+ (24...exd5 25.exd5+ wins back the queen) 25.bxc3 exd5 26.exd5+ Kd7 27.Kb1 Ra4 28.g3 Rfa8 29.Rd2 R8a5 30.d6 Be4+ 31.Ka1 h5 32.h3 Bd5 33.g4 Rxa2+ 34.Rxa2 Rxa2+ 35.Kb1 Rh2 36.Re3 h4 37.Kc1 Kxd6 38.f5 Rf2 39.Kd1 Rf3 0-1.

Winner Boris Gelfand, Israel

With this victory veteran Israeli GM Boris Gelfand caught 19-year-old GM Andrej Volokitin of Ukrainian, who was leading by half a point and drew 15-year-old Magnus Carlsen in the last round. The final cross table for the Grandmaster Tournament, as generated by ChessBase, is as follows. With the Sonneborn-Berger the same for both winners, the official web site gives Volokitin on top, but this is probably just a chance placement by both cross table functions.


The statistics of the men's section shows 63% (19 of 30 games) draws, with White winning 27% and Black 10% (eight and three games respectively). If we compare these numbers to the Ladies Tournament we get the following picture:

We have to praise the fighting spirit of the women in Biel. The drawing average for them was 43% – just 13 out of 30 games were undecided. White won 11 games = 37%, and Black 6 games = 20%. The shortest draws were in 15, twice 19, 21 and 22 moves. The longest games were 63, 69 and 70 moves.

At the Accentus Ladies Tournament Almira Skripchenko was leading by a full point before the final round, ahead of Inna Gaponenko and 25-year-old Indian WGM Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi. Almira had to play against the latter in the final round, and experienced the following trauma:

Skripchenko,A - Vijayalakshmi,S
ACCENTUS Tournament Biel (10), 27.07.2005
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bb4+ 5.c3 Bc5 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 Ne7 8.0-0 Ng6 9.Kh1 Ne5 10.f4 Nxd3 11.Qxd3 Be7 12.c4 0-0 13.Nc3 f5 14.Nd5 Rb8 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.e5 c5 17.b3 Bb7 18.Ba3 Be4 19.Qe3 d6 20.Rad1 Rb6 21.Rd2 Ra6 22.Bc1 dxe5 23.fxe5 Rg6 24.Ba3 Rd8 25.Rff2 Rxd2 26.Rxd2 h6 27.Bxc5 Qxe5 28.Bd4 Qe6 29.Kg1 Qc6 30.g3 a6 31.Bc3 Kh7 32.Rf2 Qd7 33.Rd2 Qf7 34.Rf2 Re6 35.Qd4 Qg6 36.c5 Bc6 37.Qf4 Be4 38.Qxc7 Qg5 39.Qf4 Qe7 40.b4 a5 41.a3 axb4 42.axb4 Qa7 43.Qe3 Rg6 44.Qd4

The last white move provided the opponent with a good attacking chance, starting with an interesting move which the Indian WGM found: 44...Ba8! Threatening 45...Qb7 and 46...Qh1. Now watch how the white king embarrasses itself.

45.Kf1 Qa6+ 46.Ke1 Re6+ 47.Kd2 Re7 (Qxg7 mate was threatened, in case you didn't notice) 48.Kc1? 48.Qd3 Qa2+ 49.Qc2 Rd7+ 50.Kc1 was certainly a better option. 48...Be4 49.Qd6.

49...Qa3+. Naturally Black does not exchange queens, as that would hand over the initiative to the opponent. Instead the hapless white king is hunted down. 50.Kd2 Qa7 51.Ke1 (the threat is always ...Rd7, pinning the queen) 51...Bd3+ 52.Kd2 Bb5 53.Kc1 Qa3+ 54.Bb2 Re1+ 55.Kc2 Ba4+ with mate to follow on the next move. 0-1.

The winner of the Accentus Ladies Tournament Almira Skripchenko

In spite of this last-round loss Almira won the tournament on Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak points. Here are the final standings of the Accentus Ladies Tournament:

Picture gallery

In spite of his last place 15-year-old boy wonder from Norway
Magnus Carlsen played 61 points above his current Elo rating of 2528

Veteran Super-GM vs chess prodigy: Carlsen-Gelfand (8) ended in a draw

Inna Gaponenko and Ekaterina Korbut

WGM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman of India with her husband Jha Sriram

Vitaly Tseshkovsky, playing for place one in the Master Tournament

Alexandra ("Angelic Allie") Wilson, a British player who lives
in Switzerland and whom we see at Biel every year

The Master and the GM tournaments in the same hall

The general tournaments in the big hall of the Biel Congress Center

Photos by André Schulz and from the official web site. There you can find many more, with captions, plus specific round-by-round information on the individual tournaments.

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