Vachier-Lagrave and Shirov win in 8th round Biel - UPDATE 2

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Vachier-Lagrave and Shirov win in 8th round BielMagnus Carlsen retained his three-point lead in Biel after his game with Alexander Morozevich was drawn relatively quickly today. In the 8th round of the Accentus GM tournament Maxime Vachier-Lagrave defeated Yannick Pelletier and after many hours, Alexei Shirov beat Fabiano Caruana. Video interviews with Vachier-Lagrave and Shirov added.

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 8

Despite a slightly disappointing start, Wednesday saw another exciting and very long round in the Congress Centre in Biel. The top fight was of course the one between tournament leader and world's number one Magnus Carlsen against runner up and former world's number two Alexander Morozevich. Alas, their Vienna variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined could have led to very interesting complications, but instead the players soon reached a drawn rook ending.

Carlsen vs Morozevich

Afterwards GM Miso Cebalo noted that "Everybody expected a big fight." - Carlsen: "Sometimes it just doesn't happen." - Morozevich: "This variation gives lots of play but a concrete variation like this probably gives White nothing." - Carlsen: "In general if White isn't very well prepared it's not easy and I was not well prepared."

Luckily, big fights took place on both other boards. Especially the encounter between Vachier-Lagrave and Pelletier was exciting. Here's what Vachier-Lagrave said after the game:



Vachier-Lagrave - Pelletier Biel, 2011

Vachier-Lagrave - Pelletier

23. Rxe6! fxe6 23... c5 was relatively best. 24. Qg6+ Kh8 25. Qxh6+ Kg8 26. Qg6+ Kh8 27. Re4 f5 28. Qh6+ Kg8 29. Rxe6 Rd7 30. Rg6+ Kf7

Vachier-Lagrave - Pelletier

31. Rxc6 31. Qh5! wins in all variations, as any engine will show. Both players had missed that 31... Ke7 32. Qe2+ is actually mate in two... 31... Ke8 32. d5 Re7 33. c4 and the position still proved very tough for Pelletier, who eventually lost anyway.

Vachier-Lagrave vs Pelletier

Alexei Shirov beat Fabiano Caruana after 6.5 hours of play. Earlier in the game the Latvian had been worse, but eventually he reached an ending with an extra pawn. This pawn, however, was an IQP nicely blocked by a white knight on d4, against a light-squared bishop. Therefore the ending might have been a draw, but in the end Shirov tried to Zugzwang his opponent and Caruana erred.

Caruana-Shirov Biel, 2011

Caruana-Shirov

74... Bg2!? 75. Nf5 75. Nb5 might be easier. 75... Bf3 76. Nd4 Be4 Now it's the same position with White to move. 77. Ne6 Kg4 78. Kf2 Bf5 79. h3+ Kxh3 80. Nf4+ Kg4 81. Nxd5 Be4

Caruana-Shirov

82. Nc3? Can White win after 82. Nf6+ Kf5 83. Ne8 Kf4 84. Nd6 Bc6 85. Kg1 Kg3 86. Nf5+ we wonder. 82... Bf3 0-1

Here's an interview with Alexei Shirov after this round:



Caruana vs Shirov

Games round 8



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Videos by Chessbase



Biel 2011 | Schedule & results
Round 1 18.07.11 14:00 CET Round 6 25.07.11 14:00 CET
Caruana ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Vachier-Lagrave ½-½ Caruana
Pelletier 0-1 Carlsen Carlsen 1-0 Pelletier
Shirov ½-½ Morozevich Morozevich ½-½ Shirov
Round 2 19.07.11 14:00 CET Round 7 26.07.11 14:00 CET
Vachier-Lagrave 0-1 Morozevich Morozevich 1-0 Vachier-Lagrave
Carlsen 1-0 Shirov Shirov 0-1 Carlsen
Caruana ½-½ Pelletier Pelletier 0-1 Caruana
Round 3 20.07.11 14:00 CET Round 8 27.07.11 14:00 CET
Pelletier ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Pelletier
Shirov 1-0 Caruana Caruana 0-1 Shirov
Morozevich ½-½ Carlsen Carlsen ½-½ Morozevich
Round 4 22.07.11 14:00 CET Round 9 28.07.11 14:00 CET
Shirov ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Carlsen - Vachier-Lagrave
Morozevich ½-½ Pelletier Morozevich - Caruana
Carlsen 1-0 Caruana Shirov - Pelletier
Round 5 23.07.11 14:00 CET Round 10 29.07.11 11:00 CET
Vachier-Lagrave 1-0 Carlsen Vachier-Lagrave - Shirov
Caruana 0-1 Morozevich Pelletier - Morozevich
Pelletier ½-½ Shirov Caruana - Carlsen



Biel 2011 | Round 8 Standings (Classical)

Biel 2011 | Round 8 Standings (Football)
# Name Elo Points
1. Magnus Carlsen NOR 2821 17
2. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 14
3-4. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 10
3-4. Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 10
5. Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 6
6. Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 4



Photos © Biel Chess Festival



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