When We Speak About Biel, We Mean Vachier-Lagrave

Время публикации: 30.07.2015 22:16 | Последнее обновление: 31.07.2015 12:56

It is his fourth victory overall

The 48th Biel Chess Festival has ended, the main event of which had six GMs. Before the last round, the table was topped by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Radoslaw Wojtaszek, both of whom had White today. 

As expected, the French GM won fairly easily against Richard Rapport, who had a nightmare tournament. After losing his last five games in a row, Rapport has dropped out of the world top 100 on the rating list. Vachier-Lagrave, on the other hand, had to await the outcome of his rival's game. Under the rules, if the two tied for first, there would be a playoff, although a separate day had been set aside for this. 

Those watching live might with good reason have thought the tie-break would indeed occur...


White is completely winning. The simplest line is 30.Rdxb2, the most precise 30.d7. 
30.Rf1? The first step towards the precipice.This move does not throw away the win, but as becomes clear, there is a reason why the first alarm bell rings. It appears the Polish GM simply ran out of energy at the finish.   
30...Rxc5 31.d7 Bf6 32.Rxb2?! It is hard to explain why Radek did not promote the pawn: 32.d8Q+ Bxd8 33.Rxd8+, and this is still a winning position. Black cannot hold an exchange down, with such a knight. 
32...Rg5 33.Qb8+ Kg7 34.g3? (Correct is 34.Qb7) 34...Qd4 35.Rb4?! There is no reason to give up the pawn. Better is 35.Rb7!, after which the game could have continued 35...h5! (Possibly Radek did not see that his queen covers g3) 36.Rc1!? h4 37.Rb4 Qd2 38.Qf4 Qxd7 39.Qxh4 Rc5 40.Rxc5 Bxh4 41.Rxh4. It is not easy to win, but this would certainly have been better than what happens in the game.
35...Qxd7 (A sad end for the strongest pawn) 36.h4 Rf5 37.Rbb1 Qd2 38.Rbd1 Qxa2 39.Qxa7 Qc4 40.Qe3 a5 41.Qd3 This move also deserves a question mark, but Wojtaszek was clearly in no state to continue fighting for the win. 
41...Qxd3 42.Rxd3 1/2

Vachier-Lagrave's remarkable finishing run (consecutive wins over Adams, Navara and Rapport) allowed him to win the event for the third year running. Counting his win in 2009, it is his fourth victory overall, which is a record in the history of the tournament! Karpov and Morozevich have both won the Biel tournament three times, although it should be noted that the event has had different formats at different times. 

But there is no doubt that the modern history of the Biel tournament is associated with the name of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, just as, say, Dortmund is associated with Vladimir Kramnik. 

All material on the event

[Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.30"] [Round "10.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Rapport, Richard"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C41"] [Opening "Philidor"] [Variation "exchange variation"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 Re8 8. O-O Bf8 9. Bf4 Nbd7 10. Qd2 Ne5 11. Rad1 c6 12. h3 b5 13. b3 b4 14. Na4 c5 15. Nb5 d5 16. exd5 Bxh3 17. Bxe5 Rxe5 18. Bxh3 a6 19. Nbc3 bxc3 20. Nxc3 Bd6 21. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 22. Rxe1 Qc7 23. Ne4 Nxe4 24. Rxe4 Qb6 25. Qe3 g6 26. Bd7 Rd8 27. Be8 Qc7 28. Kg2 Rb8 29. Rh4 h5 30. Re4 Rb4 31. c4 Rb8 32. Qf3 Bf8 33. Qf6 a5 34. d6 Qb7 35. f3 Bg7 36. Qe7 Qxe7 37. Rxe7 Bf8 38. Bxf7+ Kg7 39. Ra7 Bxd6 40. Bd5+ Kf6 41. Rxa5 Rb6 42. f4 g5 43. Kf3 h4 44. fxg5+ Kxg5 45. gxh4+ Kxh4 46. Ke4 Kg5 47. Rb5 Rb8 48. Rxb8 1-0 [Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.30"] [Round "10.2"] [White "Wojtaszek, Radoslaw"] [Black "Navara, David"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D98"] [Opening "Gruenfeld"] [Variation "Russian, Smyslov variation"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. e4 Bg4 8. Be3 Nfd7 9. Nd2 Na6 10. h3 Nb6 11. Qb3 Be6 12. d5 Bd7 13. Bxa6 bxa6 14. O-O c6 15. dxc6 Bxc6 16. Rfd1 Qc7 17. Rac1 Qb7 18. Qb4 Rab8 19. Nb3 Qa8 20. Qxe7 Rfe8 21. Qg5 h6 22. Qg3 Na4 23. Nd5 Nxb2 24. Rd2 Bxd5 25. exd5 Rbc8 26. Nc5 Re4 27. d6 Rc4 28. Rb1 R8xc5 29. Bxc5 Qe4 30. Rf1 Rxc5 31. d7 Bf6 32. Rxb2 Rg5 33. Qb8+ Kg7 34. g3 Qd4 35. Rb4 Qxd7 36. h4 Rf5 37. Rbb1 Qd2 38. Rbd1 Qxa2 39. Qxa7 Qc4 40. Qe3 a5 41. Qd3 Qxd3 42. Rxd3 1/2-1/2 [Event "48th Biel GM 2015"] [Site "Biel SUI"] [Date "2015.07.30"] [Round "10.3"] [White "Eljanov, Pavel"] [Black "Adams, Michael"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E06"] [Opening "Catalan"] [Variation "closed, 5.Nf3"] [EventDate "2015.07.20"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 a6 8. a4 Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nc3 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 c6 14. e3 a5 15. h4 Na6 16. Rfd1 Qb6 17. Qe2 Rad8 18. Ne4 Be7 19. Nd2 Nb4 20. Nc4 Qa6 21. b3 Bf6 22. Rac1 Rd7 23. Be4 Rfd8 24. Qh5 Na2 25. Rc2 Nb4 26. Rcd2 Nd5 27. Rc1 Qa7 28. Bb1 Ne7 29. Rdd1 Rd5 30. Qf3 R5d7 31. Nd2 Kf8 32. Ne4 Ng8 33. Nc5 Rd6 34. Bd3 Be7 35. Bc4 Nf6 36. g4 b6 37. Nd3 Nd7 38. Nf4 Kg8 39. Qg3 Qb8 40. g5 hxg5 41. hxg5 b5 42. Bd3 e5 43. Ne2 g6 44. Kg2 exd4 45. e4 Kf8 46. Rh1 Ke8 47. Rh8+ Bf8 48. axb5 cxb5 49. e5 Rd5 50. Qf4 Qxe5 51. Re1 Qxh8 52. Nxd4+ Re5 53. Rh1 Qg7 54. Bxb5 Be7 55. Ba4 Rxg5+ 56. Kf1 Qe5 57. Qxe5 Rxe5 58. Rh8+ Bf8 59. Nc6 Rh5 0-1 


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