Gata Kamsky Victorious In Biel Triathlon
Left-right: Kirill Alekseenko, Gata Kamsky, Nihal Sarin. Photo: Biel Chess Festival.

Gata Kamsky Victorious In Biel Triathlon

| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Gata Kamsky clinched the Biel Chess Festival Chess Triathlon on Wednesday. The American grandmaster won both the classical and rapid segments while GM Nihal Sarin won the blitz. Sarin came in third in the overall standings. GM Kirill Alekseenko placed second.

Kamsky is a legend of the game as a world championship contender in 1996, the winner of the 2007 FIDE World Cup, and a five-time U.S. Champion. The now 47-year-old American player scored one of his earliest successes in Biel when he came in third in the Interzonal and qualified for the Candidates matches back in 1993, which would eventually lead to the lost match to GM Anatoly Karpov in '96.

The '93 Biel tournament was won by another former world championship challenger, GM Boris Gelfand, who played in the 2021 edition as well. The Israeli shared fourth place with French GM Maxime Lagarde.

This year's Biel tournament had the same, original format as last year with a combination of chess styles. For starters, there was a Chess960 tournament (15|5 games) early on, which served as a tiebreaker for the main event. Alekseenko won that tournament with 4.5/7; you can find the games here.

The full schedule went as follows:

  • 7 rounds of Chess960 rapid on July 24 (tiebreak)
  • 7 rounds of rapid on July 25 (2 points for a win, 1 for a draw)
  • 4 rounds of standard chess during July 27-30 (4 points for a win, 1.5 for a draw)
  • 14 rounds of blitz on July 31 (1 point for a win, 0.5 for a draw)
  • 3 more rounds of standard chess during August 2-4 (4 points for a win, 1.5 for a draw)

The 17-year-old Sarin won the blitz tournament with 9.5/14, half a point more than Alekseenko. Kamsky won the rapid with 5.5/7, just half a point ahead of Sarin, and then also the classical tournament, scoring 5/7 there. This led to the following, combined final standings:

Biel Chess Triathlon 2021 | Final Standings

# Fed Name Classical Rapid Blitz Total
1 Gata Kamsky 18 11 6 35
2 Kirill Alekseenko 14 8 9 31
3 Nihal Sarin 9 10 9.5 28.5
4 Maxime Lagarde 10 9 7 26
5 Boris Gelfand 15 4 7 26
6 Vincent Keymer 12.5 6 7 25.5
7 Alan Pichot 10 5 6.5 21.5
8 Noel Studer 8.5 3 4 15.5

You can find the games of the blitz, classical and rapid tournaments here. Here's one of Kamsky's wins, quite an interesting fight with GM Alan Pichot where White eventually gets punished for not castling:

Kamsky Biel 2021
A nice tournament victory for Gata Kamsky. Photo: Biel Chess Festival.
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