A bright start at Biel

A bright start at Biel

| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

Carlsen and Alekseev earn first round wins

The first round of the premier event at the International Chess Festival in Biel produced some fascinating games and two decisive results.

Rank outsider Yannick Pelletier tried a Queen's Indian against the favourite Magnus Carlsen (pictured), and in a topical line Carlsen countered with a spectacular exchange sacrifice 19.Re7!?  Pelletier turned down the offer, but Carlsen retained a small advantage due his better coordinated pieces.

When later Pelletier sacrificed a pawn to reach an endgame of opposite colour bishops, it looked like a draw would be the inevitable result.  However, as we have often seen in recent tournaments, Carlsen is adept at keeping the pressure on his opponents and taking full advantage of any slips.

Ultimately, a weak Black pawn at h5 proved indefensible and with Pelletier's bishop out of action at a5 on defensive duties, the game was over.

The other winner on day 1 was the talented Russian Evgeny Alekseev, who overcame Etienne Bacrot's Slav defense with a monster passed c-pawn which didn't ultimately make it all the way, but forced enough concessions to win the game.

Carlsen and Alekseev will clash in round 2 tomorrow.

A group photo of the competitors is below - say cheese, everyone!

Left to right: Dominguez, Bacrot, Onischuk, Pelletier, Alekseev, Carlsen.

Left to right ; Dominguez, Bacrot, Onischuk, Pelletier, Alekseev, Carlsen










The full results in round 1:

Alekseev, Evgeny - Bacrot, Etienne 1-0 43 D15 Slav Defence
Carlsen, Magnus - Pelletier, Yannick 1-0 64 E15 Queens Indian
Dominguez Perez, Leinier - Onischuk, Alex ½-½ 36 C78 Ruy Lopez Moeller Defence














The official website can be found here.





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