Carlsen wins Biel with round to spare

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Carlsen wins Biel with round to spareWith one round to go Magnus Carlsen on Thursday already secured victory at the Accentus GM tournament in Biel. The Norwegian drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and saw his closest rival Alexander Morozevich losing to Fabiano Caruana. The game between Alexei Shirov and Yannick Pelletier was drawn.

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 9

It's not really his tournament, but in the penultimate round Fabiano Caruana suddenly played an important role. With the black pieces he inflicted the first loss upon runner-up Alexander Morozevich, so that for tournament leader Magnus Carlsen a draw with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was enough to secure first place.

Although he likes to play the topical Grünfeld as well, on Thursday Caruana went for the Anti-Moscow Gambit, which he played more often a few years ago. The young Italian faced a "logical novelty' by Morozevich on move thirteen, which in fact he had already analyses about two years ago. Still, the ending should have been better for White. However, Morozevich was not having his day and played indecisively, and then just blundered.

Morozevich-Caruana Biel, 2011

30. Rc2? White was already having problems but this allows a nice combination. 30... Ne1+ 31. Rc1 Nxg2+ 32. Kxe4 Re7+ 33. Kf3

33... Nxh4+!
That's the problem. 34. Bxh4 Rf5+ 35. Kg2 Rxe2 and Black won.


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave did stick to his Grünfeld and Magnus Carlsen went for the fianchetto variation. After a small inaccuracy by the Frenchman, the tournament leader got a small advantage, but there wasn't any clear way to break through on either side of the board. The final position is more or less balanced and normally Carlsen might have played on, but since half a point was enough, he accepted his opponent's draw offer.


In the game between Alexei Shirov and Yannick Pelletier, for the fifth time the Rubinstein French appeared on the board in Biel. It didn't really matter that the Swiss GM drew twice and lost twice with it before, since his position had been rather solid in those games as well. And this time Shirov couldn't find a good way to get an advantage, and felt that he was even slightly worse in the final position.


Games round 9

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Biel 2011 | Schedule & results
Round 1 18.07.11 14:00 CET Round 6 25.07.11 14:00 CET
Caruana ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Caruana
Pelletier 0-1 Carlsen Carlsen 1-0 Pelletier
Shirov ½-½ Morozevich Morozevich ½-½ Shirov
Round 2 19.07.11 14:00 CET Round 7 26.07.11 14:00 CET
Vachier-Lagrave 0-1 Morozevich Morozevich 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave
Carlsen 1-0 Shirov Shirov 0-1 Carlsen
Caruana ½-½ Pelletier Pelletier 0-1 Caruana
Round 3 20.07.11 14:00 CET Round 8 27.07.11 14:00 CET
Pelletier ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Pelletier
Shirov 1-0 Caruana Caruana 0-1 Shirov
Morozevich ½-½ Carlsen Carlsen ½-½ Morozevich
Round 4 22.07.11 14:00 CET Round 9 28.07.11 14:00 CET
Shirov ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Carlsen ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave
Morozevich ½-½ Pelletier Morozevich 0-1 Caruana
Carlsen 1-0 Caruana Shirov ½-½ Pelletier
Round 5 23.07.11 14:00 CET Round 10 29.07.11 11:00 CET
Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Carlsen Vachier-Lagrave - Shirov
Caruana 0-1 Morozevich Pelletier - Morozevich
Pelletier ½-½ Shirov Caruana - Carlsen

Biel 2011 | Round 9 Standings (Classical)

Biel 2011 | Round 9 Standings (Football)
# Name Elo Points
1. Magnus Carlsen NOR 2821 18
2. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 14
3-4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 11
3-4. Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 11
5. Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 9
6. Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 5

Photos © Biel Chess Festival


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