Biel: Carlsen wins again

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Three draws in first round BielMagnus Carlsen also won his second game in Biel. On Tuesday he beat Alexei Shirov in a Meran Slav. Vachier-Lagrave had Morozevich on the ropes, but missed the win and then even lost. Caruana and Pelletier drew in a Rubinstein French.

General info

The 44th Biel Chess Festival takes place July 16-29 in Biel, Switzerland. The 'Grandmaster Tournament' is a six-player, double round robin with Caruana, Pelletier, Shirov, Carlsen, Morozevich and Vachier-Lagrave.The rate of play is 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 61. The 'football' scoring system is in effect: three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. Besides, no draw offers are permitted before move 30. More info here.

Round 2 report

He's the top favourite, and in good form he should win this tournament for sure: Magnus Carlsen. In the second round the Norwegian outplayed Alexei Shirov nicely in a Meran Semi-Slav. He thought that after 18.Bd2 Black "might be in serious trouble already" because White can continue 19.b4! even after 19...Qd6. The game was a very nice example of playing on two wings.


After his game with Yannick Pelletier, Fabiano Caruana revealed to his opponent that he had accidentally prepared for Black. Therefore the Italian needed to think from an early stage, and decided to for an ending. It was a good choice, as White kept an edge for the rest of the game. Pelletier propably missed a way to draw the rook ending earlier, and therefore felt lucky that he had saved the half point anyway.


There was a lot of drama in the game Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Alexander Morozevich. Their Grünfeld was reached by the interesting move order 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. cxd5 Nxd5 4. e4 Nxc3 5. bxc3 g6 6. d4 which was probably a more psychological than strategical little warfare. The Frenchman got a very promising position but then missed or underestimated the strong 23. Qh6+! Kf7 24. Nf4. Shortly after, Vachier hallucinated:

Vachier-Lagrave - Morozevich Biel, 2011

Vachier-Lagrave - Morozevich

28. Ng5+?? (28. fxg6+ Rxg6 29. Ng5+ Rxg5 30. Qxg5 Rg8 31. Qh5+ Kf8 32. Qh6+ =) 28... fxg5 29. fxg6+ Ke8 30. Rxa7 (30. g7 Qd4+) 30... hxg6 31. Ra8+ Bc8 and Black won.

Vachier-Lagrave - Morozevich

The tournament organizers are cooperating with Chessbase to provide analysis of the games with the players. This is recorded on video and posted on YouTube, and we got permission to embed these in our reports too. See below the game viewer - this time with comments from Carlsen, Pelletier and Morozevich.

Games round 2

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Videos by Chessbase

Biel 2011 | Schedule & results

Biel 2011 | Round 2 Standings (Classical)

Biel 2011 | Round 2 Standings (Football)
# Name ELO Points
1. Magnus Carlsen NOR 2815 6
2. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 4
3. Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 2
4-6. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 1
4-6. Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 1
4-6. Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 1

Photos © Biel Chess Festival


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