Is it just me, or are there more chess super-tournaments these days? With the ink barely dry on Nakamura's cheque for 9,000 euros for winning in San Sebastian, the action shifts to the Biel Chess Festival in Switzerland.
The 42nd Biel Chess Festival takes place from the 19-30 July and is a huge event, with many competitions running alongside the headline Grandmaster Tournament, including opens, rapids, a chess960 competition, and - I kid you not - chess/tennis and chess/poker challenges!
The serious business of the Grandmaster Tournament sees Evgeny Alekseev return to defend the title he won in 2008, against an intriguing field including 16 year-old Italian-American star Fabiano Caruana (pictured).
The full line-up is:
| Boris Gelfand
| Alexander Morozevich
| Evgeny Alekseev
| Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
| Vassily Ivanchuk
| Fabiano Caruana
Left to right: Vassily Ivanchuk, Evgeny Alekseev, Boris Gelfand, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Morozevich, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (pic from the official site).
Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave will be making their debuts at Biel, but the other competitors are all previous winners! The official site has details of all the competitions taking place, biographies of the players in the GM event, and live games.
The first round of the GM Tournament starts on Sunday 19 July at 2pm local time.
Here is Alekseev's crucial victory over Magnus Carlsen from last year's event.