Caruana and Vachier-Lagrave lead in Biel

PeterDoggers
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Maxim Rodshtein (left) vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (c) Biel International Chess FestivalFabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are sharing the lead in Biel with one round to go. The two are on 5/8. After five more draws in round 7, the 8th round saw much more spectacle.

The Young Grandmaster Tournament is part of the Biel Chess Festival in Switzerland, which takes place July 17-30. Anish Giri, David Howell, Fabiano Caruana, Maxim Rodshtein, Parimarjan Negi, Dmitry Andreikin, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Wesley So and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son play.

Rounds 7 & 8

After our last, and slightly critical report on Biel, in which we noted the many short draws between these ten young and ambitious players, the games of the 7th round were more interesting. Nonetheless, all of them ended peacefully anyway!

From all the players it seems that Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son came closest to victory thanks to the tactical shot 16...Nxe5! but then he spoilt his advantage.

Wesley So-Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son Biel 2010 Diagram 1 16...Nxe5!

Today no less than four games ended in victories. Only Andreikin and Caruana split the point again; the game always looked equal and in the end Black's activity compensated for the pawn he lost.

In another game with Black, Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son now did manage win, against Tomashevsky. And with creative play, we may add. Thanks to a strong pawn phalanx the exchange sac 27...Rxb6! was the obvious way to continue, and soon White had to give back the material, but more power moves (especially 36...d5!) decided the game.

Evgeny Tomashevsky-Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son Biel 2010 Diagram 2 36...d5!

Giri defeated So in a pawn ending, after some interesting tactics had appeared in the middlegame. The Philippine might still have drawn the game with 35...Qf6! because in that version, if White takes on f4, he will have a distant passer. But since the ending is quite complicated, we'll refrain from giving a definite conclusion.

Anish Giri-Wesley So Biel 2010 Diagram 3 35...Qf6! instead of 35...Qxh4?

Negi is having a hard time in Biel and after a bad start the Indian is 'even going for a draw in better positions', as a Dutch grandmaster said today. He hadn't seen today's game yet, but it did look like this. Against Howell's Alapin, Negi was fine after the opening and could have played for an advantage at some point, but instead he allowed a strong exchange sacrifice and then was outplayed in the subsequent ending.

Vachier-Lagrave played a strong game against Rodshtein but then almost let it slip away. Instead of going for mate, he somehow allowed the Israeli to continue the game, but eventually the rook ending was won anyway for the Frenchman, who thus caught Caruana in the standings.

Tomorrow is the last round with Rodshtein-Tomashevsky, Negi-Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana-Howell, So-Andreikin and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son-Giri. There's a possible tiebreak on Thursday morning if two players (or more) finish at the 1st place. In that case two rapid games (10 minutes & 10 seconds increment) will be played and if the result is 1-1, two blitz will be played.

Games rounds 7 & 8



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Young Grandmasters (Biel) | Round 8 standings

Young Grandmasters (Biel) | Round 8 standings



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