Navara Loses To Adams; Three Leaders In Biel

Navara Loses To Adams; Three Leaders In Biel

| 2 | Chess Event Coverage

David Navara only lost to Michael Adams in the first half in Bieland it happened again in round six. The Czech GM still leads but was caught by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Radek Wojtaszek; the latter beat Richard Rapport.

It's very hard to predict the winner of the 48th Biel Chess Festival's Grandmaster Tournament. After six rounds three players are leading with a modest plus one score, and the tail-ender could be at the top of the standings in just two rounds from now.

David Navara lost in the first round to Michael Adams, but then scored 3.5 points against his other four opponents. He probably won't mind repeating that scenario for the second half, and so he started with a loss to Adams again!

From a quiet, Queen's Gambit middlegame Navara got himself into big trouble remarkably quickly. Earlier this week he said that he likes complicated positions where a lot of calculation is needed, but in this innocuous-looking Carlsbad he missed a tactical finesse (24.Kg1 Rd6!).

Maybe he should have gone for the other standard plan, f2-f3, but after the game Navara said that he never really considered it.

Annotations by GM Alex Yermolinsky


Navara missed some tactics vs Adams. | Screenshot from
video below courtesy of  the Biel Chess Festival.

In the sixth round we saw the downside of playing many off-beat openings: it's hard to simultaneously put a lot of work into mainstream theory as well. For a change, Richard Rapport went for normal opening moves like 1.d4, 2.c4 and 3.Nf3, then avoided the Ragozin, faced a novelty and soon he was looking for compensation. He was simply outprepared by Radek Wojtaszek.

OK, no harm done yet; the position was still close to equality around move twenty, but then Rapport made the same mistake as Adams did against Eljanov in round four: he allowed a black a-pawn to run up the board. Sentenced to passivity, and with little time on the clock, Rapport didn't stand a chance.

Annotations by GM Dejan Bojkov


 A normal opening that didn't go well for Rapport. | Screenshot
from video below courtesy of the Biel Chess Festival.

Rustam Kasimdzhanov has taken over Danny King's job to provide commentary and daily videos in Biel. The former colleague (in Vishy Anand's team of seconds) asked Wojtaszek whether he would become 100 rating points stronger or weaker after his marriage.

Of course Wojtaszek said stronger. “But honestly I only heard about kids: if you have one you lose about fifty Elo. Probably it's also early to start with ideas like that!”

Will Wojtaszek's marriage affect his play? | Screenshot
from video below courtesy of the Biel Chess Festival.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave really should have been the sole leader. He completely outplayed Pavel Eljanov in an English game and reached a winning endgame (rook + two minor pieces vs two rooks), but then slacked. Eljanov took his chance and held the draw.



 That was a narrow escape for Pavel Eljanov there. | Screenshot
from video below courtesy of the Biel Chess Festival.

Ignoring what just happened, Kasimdzanov asked three-time winner Vachier-Lagrave why he tends to play well in Biel. MVL: “It's close to France, people speak French and generally the atmosphere is nice. Maybe that helps a bit. I know the organizers quite well and I've had a few friends playing most years.

“In general it's very refreshing to be in a place where you feel comfortable, and not in Siberia or Russian speaking countries in which you feel less at home, let's say.”

MVL is going for his fourth title in the city where he feels at home.
Screenshot from video below courtesy of the Biel Chess Festival.

The weather had been very hot for a few days, but on Saturday there was heavy rain. Eljanov didn't mind: “The last tournament I played was in Havana; it was more or less the same. I'm a professional, I need to cope with everything!”

GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov took over from Danny King to provide daily round reports on the PowerPlayChess YouTube channel. Here's the report on the sixth round:

Sunday is a rest day, on which the organizers planned a boat trip but also a blitz tournament. Monday's seventh round will see David Navara vs Pavel Eljanov, Michael Adams vs Richard Rapport and Radoslaw Wojtaszek vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. 

2015 Biel GM Tournament | Round 6 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Vachier-Lagrave,M 2731 2777 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1 ½½ ½ 3.5/6 10.00
2 Navara,D 2724 2781 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 00 1 1 3.5/6 9.75
3 Wojtaszek,R 2733 2768 ½ 0 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 ½1 3.5/6 8.75
4 Adams,M 2740 2718 0 11 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0 ½ 3.0/6  
5 Eljanov,P 2723 2664 ½½ 0 0 1 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 2.5/6  
6 Rapport,R 2671 2611 ½ 0 ½0 ½ ½ phpfCo1l0.png 2.0/6  


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

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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