Mamedyarov Wins Again, Grabs Sole Lead In Biel
Mamedyarov discussing his game with Georgiadis. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust / Biel International Chess Festival.

Mamedyarov Wins Again, Grabs Sole Lead In Biel

12 | Chess Event Coverage

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is the sole leader at the Biel Chess Festival during the rest day. In round six, he beat Nico Georgiadis as Black whereas co-leader Magnus Carlsen drew with David Navara. Saturday is a rest day.

It was a good Friday for the black pieces, with a draw and two wins. Normally speaking, Carlsen wouldn't automatically consider a draw as good, but this time he didn't mind. His choice of the Semi-Tarrasch against Navara already suggested that.

"I was just exhausted after the many long games in a row so I just wanted to play something simpler. I feel like I did suffer a bit today. I was hoping to avoid that, so in that sense it wasn’t a success," Carlsen said.

Magnus Carlsen Biel 2018

An exhausted Carlsen played it simple. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Biel International Chess Festival.

Not booked up by theory after 12...Ba6!? Navara played logical moves and went into the endgame with a slight plus. 10 moves and another surprise later, the Czech GM even thought of playing for a win, but then Carlsen calculated deeply and held the draw with a forced line in which Navara also had to be careful.

"Now… just try to regroup and get back to business after the free day," said Carlsen.

David Navara  Biel 2018

Navara, sporting a chess-themed tie. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Biel International Chess Festival.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is spending his rest day as the only player on 4.5/6. He also won his second game against Nico Georgiadis, who slowly got out played in a 6.Be2 Najdorf. It must be said that he would still have been OK, if he had spotted a useful tactic on move 30.

Afterward, Mamedyarov shared Carlsen's feelings and noted a lack of energy, but with some smiles: "We have to play 40 moves each time, and complicated games every day. It’s a strong tournament. And also, I’m old, I’m 33!"

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Biel 2018

Mamedyarov leads with four rounds to go. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Biel International Chess Festival.

Peter Svidler vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave continued a theoretical battle in the English, which started in last year's FIDE World Cup in Tbilisi. Back then, it was MVL who knocked out Svidler in the quarterfinals, using this line.

When the dust had settled at move 19, a draw would have been a logical outcome. However, Svidler unnecessarily complicated matters there. "My downfall was that I saw this idea of playing 20.e5," he said. "If I just don’t notice this exists, I will never lose this position. I have no weaknesses."

MVL: "I didn’t expect it to happen, considering the position, but then suddenly everything came together for me."


Vachier-Lagrave Biel 2018

An unexpected second win for MVL. | Photo: Lennart Ootes/Biel International Chess Festival.

Biel 2018 | Round 6 Standings

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar 2801 2885 ½ ½ ½ 1 11 4.5/6
2 Carlsen,Magnus 2842 2843 ½ ½ 1 ½ 4.0/6
3 Svidler,Peter 2753 2745 ½ ½ ½ ½0 1 3.0/6 7.75
4 Navara,David 2741 2757 ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/6 7.75
5 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2779 2736 0 0 ½1 ½ 1 3.0/6 6.5
6 Georgiadis,Nico 2526 2370 00 ½ 0 0 0 0.5/6


Games via TWIC.

Round-seven pairings (Sunday): Georgiadis vs Svidler, Mamedyarov vs Navara, Carlsen vs Vachier-Lagrave.

The games start every day at 2 p.m. central European time (5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern). You can follow them in Live Chess. The Chessbrahs are providing daily commentary with GMs Yasser Seirawan, Eric Hansen and Aman Hambleton, which you can follow on and

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