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Nihal Sarin wins Biel GMT Blitz 2021

by Shahid Ahmed - 01/08/2021

Nihal Sarin asserted his dominance in the Blitz as he scored 9.5/14 to win the Biel GMT Blitz 2021. He moved to the third spot with 24 points. Alekseenko also has the same score. The GMT overall leader Gata Kamsky is still in the lead 25.5 points, despite having a difficult Blitz event. Only three rounds left in the GMT Classical event. Since the score for a win is four points, Nihal can still win the entire event. He is yet to win a single game in the Classical segment. His last three opponents are - Keymer, Kamsky and Lagarde. To win the entire tournament, Nihal would need to win at least one game, two wins puts him in a good position for the championship. Today is a rest day for the GMT. MTO Round 6 starts today at 5:30 p.m. IST Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Nihal moves to third place

It is well-known that Blitz is Nihal's forte. The GMT Blitz event was Nihal's opportunity to reduce the gap with the leader Kamsky which is exactly what he did by scoring 9.5/14 in the Blitz and finished a half point ahead of Alekseenko. Lagarde, Keymer and Gelfand shared the third place with a 50% score 7.0/14. Kamsky had a tough blitz as he missed a lot in the time scramble. He only managed to score 6.0/14.

Nihal Sarin expectedly won the Blitz event | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Round 1: Keymer - Nihal: 0-1

Nihal swindled Keymer in the endgame as he completely turned things around in his favor and won the game.

Round 3: Nihal - Gelfand: 0-1

The endgame was heading towards a draw until Nihal blundered and Gelfand won the game with ease.

Position after 38...Kc7

Find out the correct continuation for White to make it a draw.

Round 4: Pichot - Nihal: 0-1

Nihal played the endgame brilliantly as he capitalized on his opponent Pichot's mistake and converted it into a win.

Position after 51...c4

The game continued 51.Ra5+ Kd4 and Black went on to win the game. Find out the better continuation for White.

Pichot-Nihal had an exciting encounter | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Lots of players spectated the Pichot-Nihal battle | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Round 6: Nihal - Lagarde: 1-0

Nihal defeated Lagarde in an interesting back and forth game.

Round 9: Nihal - Kamsky: 1-0

Nihal scored his first win over Kamsky in the Biel GMT as the latter blundered in the final moments of the endgame.

Position after 36...e5

Black needed to play 36...Ra6 and everything would have been fine. 36...a5 turns things in White's favor. Find out the winning continuation.

Round 10: Gelfand - Nihal: 0-1

Nihal avenged his third round loss against Gelfand.

Position after 19.Bd4

Find out the winning continuation for Black in the above position.

Round 11: Nihal - Pichot: 1-0

Pichot went wrong early in the opening and he could not make a comeback for the rest of the game.

Position after 10...b6

This started becoming exponentially difficult for Black after 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.b5 a4 13.Qb2 Be8 14.c6 and White won the game in another nine more moves.

Round 13: Nihal - Studer: 1-0

Nihal's attack proved to be overwhelming for his opponent Studer.

Position after 14.b5

The game continued 14...a4 15.Qb4 Bd7 16.Bd6 Re8 17.Rab1 Ra5 18.c4. White's attack on the queenside was too strong for Black.

Round 14: Alekseenko - Pichot: 0-1

Pichot finished his Blitz event with a beautiful combination.

Position after 41.a6

Find out the winning combination for Black in the above diagram.


Here are a few interesting finishes from the GMT Blitz

Noel Studer (SUI) lost to Alan Pichot (ARG), Round 1

Kirill Alekseenko (RUS) defeated Noel Studer (SUI), Round 2

Noel Studer (SUI) defeated Maxime Lagarde (FRA), Round 4

Boris Gelfand (ISR) defeated Noel Studer (SUI), Round 6

Alan Pichot (ARG) won against Kirill Alekseenko (RUS), Round 6

Noel Studer (SUI) lost to Nihal Sarin (IND), Round 7

Vincent Keymer (GER) defeated Kirill Alekseenko (RUS), Round 11

Replay GMT Blitz games

Photo Gallery

Both Nihal and Alekseenko have scored 2.5 points against each other in the festival | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Gelfand - Pichot score in this event is: 1.5-3.5 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Gelfand got the better of Kamsky 3-2 in this event | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Keymer has 3-1 over Studer with one more Classical game to go | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Studer-Lagarde scored 2.5 points each against each other | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Alekseenko got the better of Keymer 3.5-1.5 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

GMT Blitz Final Standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1 
15GMNihal SarinIND26589,50
21GMAlekseenko KirillRUS25809,00
33GMLagarde MaximeFRA26307,00
4GMKeymer VincentGER24747,00
6GMGelfand BorisISR26917,00
67GMPichot AlanARG26226,50
78GMKamsky GataUSA26446,00
82GMStuder NoelSUI24514,00


GMT Overall standings

GMT Classical Scoring: Win - 4 points, Draw - 1.5 points and Loss - 0.

Replay the livestream

54th International Biel Chess Festival GMT Blitz - Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India


Official site

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