Shirov beats Caruana in third round Biel

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Shirov beats Caruana in third round BielIn the third round of the Biel Chess Festival Alexei Shirov scored his first victory, against Fabiano Caruana in a Bishop's Opening. Alexander Morozevich and Magnus Carlsen drew after a good Grünfeld 4.Bg5 fight while Yannick Pelletier and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave split the point in a King's Indian.

General info

The 44th Biel Chess Festival takes place July 16-29 in Biel, Switzerland. The 'Grandmaster Tournament' is a six-player, double round robin with Caruana, Pelletier, Shirov, Carlsen, Morozevich and Vachier-Lagrave.The rate of play is 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 61. The 'football' scoring system is in effect: three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. Besides, no draw offers are permitted before move 30. More info here.

Round 3 report

The encounter between world's number one Magnus Carlsen and former word's number two Alexander Morozevich was a fascinating fight. The two met each other for the first time behind the chess board in the same tournament: in Biel 2006 Carlsen beat Moro in both encounters. If we take into account all classical, rapid and blitz games, the two played each other 21 times. Carlsen won 7 times, Morozevich 4 times, and 10 games ended in draws.

In the 3rd round in Biel they played a Grünfeld Indian where White chose 4.Bg5 and after 4...Ne4 the rare 5.Nxe4. Morozevich wasn't satisfied with his early play and thought that after 10...f5 Black is already better. Carlsen missed a chance to become active on the queenside one move quicker, but still kept the better chances. Morozevich defended quite well and found counterplay on the kingside just in time to force the draw.

Morozevich and Carlsen draw in third round Biel

Against Fabiano Caruana, Alexei Shirov played the Bishop's Opening for the second time, after he had reached a promising position with it against Anish Giri recently in Malmö. He liked Caruana's concept of keeping the d-pawn on its initial square, to hope for ...d5 immediately. In general Black was doing fine for a long time, and seemed to get the upper hand around move 30. However, suddenly the Italian lost an important pawn.

Shirov-Caruana Biel, 2011


31... d3!? 32. Re4 Nd7 Here 32... d2 33. Rg4 d1Q+ 34. Bxd1 Qxd1+ 35. Kf2 Qc2+ 36. Kg3 Qxb2 37. f6 g6 38. Rh4 wins for White. 33. Qe7


33... Qc6? Black can still save himself with 33... Qb6! e.g. 34. Qxd7 Qxb3 35. Re8+ Rxe8 36. Qxe8+ Kh7 37. Qe4 Qd1+ 38. Kg2 f6. 34. Re3! d2 35. Rd3 The pawn drops, and Shirov won on move 63.

Shirov beats Caruana in third round Biel

After his unfortunate loss in the second round, Vachier-Lagrave played a King's Indian with ...Nbd7 against Yannick Pelletier. If this game was saying one thing about the game of chess it was that it's so incredibly difficult. The video below with both players shows crazy lines, and then the computer finds even more amazing stuff:

Pelletier - Vachier-Lagrave Biel, 2011

Pelletier - Vachier-Lagrave

16... Ng4!? 17. Bb5! Nxe3 18. Bxe8

Pelletier - Vachier-Lagrave

Here the French grandmaster, who was having trouble calculating yesterday as well, suddenly realized that 18... Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Nxc2 20. Rxe7 Nxd4 fails to 21. Bxf7+ Kf8 22. Rd7 and Black is lost. Perhaps because of this he went for 18... Rxe8? where the brilliant 18... Be5!! is still OK for Black: 19. Bxf7+ (19. Rxe3 Bxd4 is the pointe) 19... Kxf7 20. Qd3 Nxd1 21. Rxd1 Qh4 22. f4 Bxd4+ 23. Qxd4 Re8=. 19. Qd2! Pelletier saw that 19. Qa4 fails to, again, 19... Be5!!. 19... Bh6 20. Nc2 f5 21. Qd3 f4 22. Nxe3 fxe3 23. Re2 Rf8 24. Qb3 Qe5 25. Rc1 Bf4

Pelletier - Vachier-Lagrave

With his last move Black went 'all-in', as Vachier-Lagrave said. His bluff worked: 26. g3?! 26. Rxc7! just wins: 26... Qh5 (26... Bxh2+ 27. Kf1 Bf4 28. Qc3!) 27. h3 Qh4 28. Rxe3! Bxe3+ 29. Qxe3 +-. 26... Bxg3! 27. hxg3 Rxf3 28. Rg2 Rxg3 29. Qc3 Qf4

Pelletier - Vachier-Lagrave

30. Rxg3 Missing 30. Qe1! and now after 30... Rxg2+ (30... Rh3 31. Rxc7 Qf5 32. Qc3) 31. Kxg2 Qe4+ 32. Kg3 Qe5+ 33. Kf3! Qxd5+ 34. Kxe3 Black can still give a lot of checks, but whether it will save the game remains the question. 30... Qxg3+ 31. Kh1 Qh3+ 32. Kg1 Qg3+ 33. Kh1 Qh4+ 34. Kg1 Qg3+ 1/2-1/2

Pelletier and Vachier draw in third round Biel

Games round 3

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Videos by Chessbase

Biel 2011 | Schedule & results

Biel 2011 | Round 3 Standings (Classical)

Biel 2011 | Round 3 Standings (Football)
# Name Elo Points
1. Magnus Carlsen NOR 2815 7
2. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 5
3. Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 4
3-6. Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 2
3-6. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 2
3-6. Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 2

Photos © Biel Chess Festival


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