Biel: Ding Liren Goes Down in Final Round, Playoff Tomorrow

Biel: Ding Liren Goes Down in Final Round, Playoff Tomorrow

| 6 | Chess Event Coverage

Ding Liren failed to defend his lead in the final round of the Biel Chess Festival. The Chinese grandmaster lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and so the two players tied for first place together with Etienne Bacrot and Alexander Moiseenko, who drew their game in the last round. Tomorrow at 12:00 CET a playoff will be held to break the tie. In the last round Ian Nepomniachtchi and Richard Rapport drew their game.

The only possible tie was a four-way tie, and all of Thursday's results fell right into place to get just that! Etienne Bacrot and Alexander Moiseenko were one point behind Ding Liren, and because they drew their game, they were in shared first place in the virtual standings. From that point, a draw was enough for the Chinese GM to win the tournament outright, but he failed. After six hours of play he had to throw in the towel, and so four players finished shared first.

Perhaps it was his nerves, because already in the opening Ding started to play weak moves and on move 21 he was looking at a horrible position. Vachier-Lagrave had played strongly, and the ending looked "completely winning" to Etienne Bacrot, who commented on the game after he had finished himself.

But, earlier in the tournament Vachier-Lagrave had spoilt good positions, and it almost happened again. Ding Liren managed to reach a rook ending that was probably drawn, but he failed to save it. (71...Rd1 was probably Black's last chance.)

Bacrot obviously wanted to play for a win in this situation, but he faced a very solid Alexander Moiseenko whose Ragozin led to a slightly worse position for Black, but one that was quite easy to defend.  

Here's the post-mortem of the game, hosted by GM Danny King:

Ian Nepomniachtchi and Richard Rapport were out of contention and despite the fact that they both played a disappointing tournament, they had quite a nice fight in the last round. The Russian GM played the 4.a3 sideline against his opponent's Winawer and said about it: "This line is good for blitz. For both colours!" The game quickly saw a very complicated queenless middlegame that might be something for IM Bryan Smith to check out!

Here's the post-mortem:

Here's GM Danny King's round report video:

Biel 2013 | Breisacher Memorial | Pairings & results

Round 1 22.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 6 27.07.12 14:00 CET
Nepomniachtchi 1-1 Bacrot   Bacrot 1-1 Nepomniachtchi
Vachier-Lagrave 1-1 Rapport   Rapport 1-1 Vachier-Lagrave
Moiseenko 1-1 Ding Liren   Ding Liren 3-0 Moiseenko
Round 2 23.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 7 29.07.12 14:00 CET
Bacrot 3-0 Ding Liren   Ding Liren 1-1 Bacrot
Rapport 0-3 Moiseenko   Moiseenko 3-0 Rapport
Nepomniachtchi 0-3 Vachier-Lagrave   Vachier-Lagrave 3-0 Nepomniachtchi
Round 3 24.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 8 30.07.12 14:00 CET
Vachier-Lagrave 1-1 Bacrot   Bacrot 1-1 Vachier-Lagrave
Moiseenko 1-1 Nepomniachtchi   Nepomniachtchi 3-0 Moiseenko
Ding Liren 1-1 Rapport   Rapport 0-3 Ding Liren
Round 4 25.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 9 31.07.12 14:00 CET
Moiseenko 1-1 Bacrot   Rapport 1-1 Bacrot
Ding Liren 3-0 Vachier-Lagrave   Ding Liren 1-1 Nepomniachtchi
Rapport 1-1 Nepomniachtchi   Moiseenko 3-0 Vachier-Lagrave
Round 5 26.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 10 01.08.12 14:00 CET
Bacrot 3-0 Rapport   Bacrot 1-1 Moiseenko
Nepomniachtchi 1-1 Ding Liren   Vachier-Lagrave 3-0 Ding Liren
Vachier-Lagrave 1-1 Moiseenko   Nepomniachtchi 1-1 Rapport

Biel, Breisacher Memorial 2013 | Final standings

# Name Fed Rtg + = - Pts SB
1 Bacrot, Etienne FRA 2714 2 8 0 14 68.00
1 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2719 3 5 2 14 61.00
1 Ding, Liren CHN 2714 3 5 2 14 61.00
1 Moiseenko, Alexander UKR 2699 3 5 2 14 59.00
5 Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2717 1 7 2 10 55.00
6 Rapport, Richard HUN 2693 0 6 4 6 38.00

Tomorrow a playoff at 12:00 CET will decide the winner of the tournament. This is from the official website:

  • If two players finish with the same amount of points after the 10th and last round (Thursday 1st August 2013), there will be a tie-break on Friday 2nd August.
  • The tie-break: two rapid games with 15 minutes, with increase of 10’’/move. If 1-1, two games with 5’+2”. If again 1-1, one Armageddon game with 5’ for white (has to win) and 4’ for black
  • If four players finish with the same amount of points after the last round, there will be semi-finals in blitz (two games with 5’+2’’; if 1-1, one Armageddon game). The semi-finals will be Player 1- Player 4 and Player 2- Player 3 (according to Sonnenborn-Berger), with 1 and 2 having the priority to choose the colour. Then, the winners make the final, according to Point 2 (rapid and if necessary blitz games)

Photos courtesy of the official website, games via TWIC

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