Missed Chances In Biel Round 5; Navara Leads Halfway

Missed Chances In Biel Round 5; Navara Leads Halfway

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

David Navara continues to lead in Biel after the fifth round saw three draws. Mickey Adams had chances for more against Radek Wojtaszek, whereas Pavel Eljanov missed a clear win against Richard Rapport.

“I'm trying to improve and a strong player should be able to make a quick draw sometimes, so I'm learning!” said a smiling David Navara after splitting the point with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in less than two hours.

The Czech player used the solid Caro-Kann, an opening he's been using regularly in recent years. Navara plays different lines though: after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 he went for 5...Nd7 where he had played 5... c5 against Yuri Kryvoruchko and 5...Ne7 against Robin van Kampen, both in 2014. 

How strong will Navara become when he's even learning
to make quick draws now? | Photo Biel Chess Festival.

After the central tension was over, White had a slight space advantage but Black didn't have any weaknesses, and after 24 moves it was clear that the game would end in a draw. Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed in Biel, so the players started to look for a way to repeat the moves. 

“I'm happy to make a draw because I played four long and tiring complicated games,” said Navara. “I had Black against Maxime, who is quite a strong player, so basically it's a good result for me.”


Vachier-Lagrave trying in vain to get a tangible advantage
in the Advance Caro-Kann. | Photo Biel Chess Festival.

Richard Rapport again played an opening that's slightly offbeat at the top level: the Stonewall Dutch. It wasn't the best opening choice though, because Pavel Eljanov showed that he knows exactly how to press for an advantage as White.

“It's nice for me to play against such a fighting player,” said Eljanov. “Players like Richard are usually trying to create something, not just hold the position. I like to play this kind of player.”

With “power-play typical for the aggressive positional style of Eljanov” (Bojkov) the Ukrainian grandmaster got a big advantage and maintained it well into an exciting endgame where both players had passed pawns. 

A Stonewall Dutch in the making. | Photo Biel Chess Festival.

Just before the time control, Eljanov won a piece, but as analysis showed, it was there when he gave away the win — the only way to stop Black's pawn was to give perpetual check.

Rapport felt that his position out of the opening was very passive: “I guess by some kind of miracle I managed to escape,” he said. 

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov

Not a very successful opening this time for Rapport. | Photo Biel Chess Festival. 

The misfortune continued for Michael Adams, who was seriously better at some point against Radoslaw Wojtaszek, although it took some computer calculation to point that out. 

“I don't know, I wasn't sure I was better actually, I thought it was quite unclear. It can be dangerous for me as well,” said Adams. “I didn't like it at all and then my knights started jumping and I was a bit happier, but I wasn't that convinced I was better actually.”

Wojtaszek was worried, though. “Especially after this move 32...Ne4, I thought that this is crucial.”

Another game with missed opportunities for Adams. | Photo Biel Chess Festival.

GM Danny King is providing daily round reports on his PowerPlayChess YouTube channel. Here's the report on the fifth round:

The rest day is Sunday. Saturday's sixth round will see Pavel Eljanov vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Richard Rapport vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek and David Navara vs Michael Adams. The rounds start at 2 p.m. CET (8 a.m. New York, 5 a.m. Pacific) and can be watched live here or in the live server.

2015 Biel GM Tournament | Round 5 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Navara,David 2724 2866 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 0 1 1 3.5/5  
2 Vachier-Lagrave,Maxime 2731 2788 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½ ½ 3.0/5  
3 Wojtaszek,Radoslaw 2733 2718 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 2.5/5  
4 Adams,Michael 2740 2646 1 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 0 2.0/5 5.75
5 Rapport,Richard 2671 2660 0 ½ ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.0/5 4.75
6 Eljanov,Pavel 2723 2650 0 ½ 0 1 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/5 4.50


The 48th Biel Chess Festival takes place July 18-30 in Biel, Switzerland. The Grandmaster Tournament is a double-round-robin with six players. The rounds start at 2 p.m. CET (8 a.m. New York, 5 a.m. Pacific) and can be watched live here or in the live server. Games via TWIC  phpfCo1l0.png

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