Shankland, Vidit Lead Biel Chess Festival
The participants in this year's Accentus Biel GM Tournament. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

Shankland, Vidit Lead Biel Chess Festival

hellokostya
IM hellokostya
|
8 | Chess Event Coverage

After five days of play Sam Shankland and Vidit Gujrathi lead the Biel Chess Festival at the approximate halfway point of the event.

This year's edition of the annual super-tournament features an eight-player round-robin playing a mix of classical, rapid, and blitz time controls. The scoring system and structure for the tournament are as follows:

  • Classical: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss (7 games)
  • Rapid: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss (7 games)
  • Blitz: 1 point for a win, 1/2 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss (14 games)

Here are the current standings after the rapid segment and four rounds of classical play:

Standings after Round 4

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts
1 Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2703 2734 ½½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 16.0/26
2 Sam Shankland 2713 2723 ½½ ½ ½ 11 ½0 11 ½ 16.0/26
3 Peter Leko 2674 2720 10 ½ 1 ½ ½½ ½1 15.0/26
4 Jorge Cori 2686 2635 10 ½ 0 1 0 12.0/26
5 Parham Maghsoodloo 2656 2610 ½ 0 ½ 10 11 0 10 11.0/26
6 Nodirbek Abdusattorov 2598 2597 0 ½1 0 1 1 10.0/26
7 Nico Georgiadis 2514 2598 0 ½½ 1 1 0 ½½ 9.0/26
8 Sebastian Bogner 2584 2511 0 ½ ½0 1 0 ½½ 8.0/26

First result indicates score in rapid, second in classical; points are represented as total tournament points based on the scoring system.

Rapid Segment

Former world championship challenger Peter Leko dominated the rapid portion of the tournament, scoring 5/7 and collecting 10/14 tournament points. One of his best games was against 14-year-old GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov:

Peter Leko leads the event after the rapid segment. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

Another highlight was GM Jorge Cori's win over GM Sebastian Bogner, thanks to a powerful combination right out of the opening:

GM Jorge Cori of Peru. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

Classical Segment

In the classical portion, Shankland and Vidit managed to catch up to Leko because a win in this segment is worth an additional tournament point. For Shankland, the classical segment started off nicely when he snagged a win in the endgame against GM Nico Georgiadis:

GM Nico Georgiadis of Switzerland. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

Shankland was then upset by the young star Abdusattorov, who played a very nice game:

The fifth youngest grandmaster of all-time, Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan, earned the title at the age of 13 years, one month. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

But Shankland managed to bounce back in the very next round, punishing another prodigy, GM Parham Maghsoodloo, who slipped in an early Sicilian middlegame:

Sam Shankland has previously won Biel's Master Tournament and now has good chances to win the GM Tournament. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

Vidit earned his share of the lead, thanks to two nice wins in the classical segment as well, the first against Cori and the second against Leko, in which he demonstrated model play in a Symmetrical English:

India's number-three Vidit Gujrathi is also tied for first and will battle for the top prize in the coming rounds. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.
Biel Chess Festival

Running alongside the GM tournament is the Masters Tournament, a strong open featuring quite a few strong grandmasters, another large open known as the "Main Tournament," and a number of side events for club players and spectators alike.

The playing hall in Biel with the top players on stage. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

The view from the stage. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.
Gata Kamsky, another former challenger for the world title, is one of the top seeds in the Masters Tournament. | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival.

The blitz segment of the Biel GM Tournament will take place on July 27 and feature a double round-robin (14 games). This will be followed by the final three rounds of the classical on July 28-30. All days start at 2 p.m. local time (GMT+2), 5 a.m. Pacific.

You can find all games here as part of our live portal. More photos from the event can be found here. The official site is here.

More from IM hellokostya
Vidit Charges To Victory in Biel

Vidit Charges To Victory in Biel

Dominguez Wins Dortmund Ahead Of Surging Nepomniachtchi

Dominguez Wins Dortmund Ahead Of Surging Nepomniachtchi