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Biel MTO 2021 R2: Vaishali stuns Gukesh

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/07/2021

13 players are at 100% score of 2.0/2 at the conclusion of the second round at 54th Biel International Chess Festival 2021 MTO. Aravindh Chithambaram, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Narayanan S L, Abhimanyu Puranik and Vaishali are in the lead among the Indians. Vaishali defeated Gukesh in the second round as the latter made a tactical error. Aravindh outplayed Raunak positionally, Arjun Kalyan drew with Praggnanandhaa and Karthikeyan escaped from the jaws of defeat against IM Harshit Raja. Nihal suffered his first loss against Alekseenko in this event after a seven-hour-long grueling battle. GMT Classical Round 2 and MTO Round 3 starts at 5:30 p.m. IST today. Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nihal fights for seven hours against Alekseenko

Nihal Sarin fought valiantly for seven hours against Alekseenko but the Russian got the better of the Indian wunderkind. Alekseenko's knights proved to be mightier than Nihal's bishop pair, although the dark-square bishop remained stuck at the kingside for the better part of the endgame. 

Vaishali made a good start | Photo: Amruta Mokal

GMT: Alekseenko - Nihal: 1-0

Nihal lost a grueling battle against Alekseenko. The majority of the game was an endgame between Alekseenko's rook and two knights versus Nihal's rook and two bishops. It was the Russian's passed a-pawn which became the deciding factor of the game.

Position after 61...Ra6

Perhaps keeping the rooks a little longer on the board would have made things difficult for White to make progress.

Position after 82...Bb6

Black's final mistake in the game was 82...Bb6 as it cost him a valuable tempo. Maybe 82...Bc7 would have kept Black in the game a bit longer.

After suffering two losses, Alekseenko finally got his first win against Nihal | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Gelfand - Pichot: 0-1

Argentina no.1 GM Alan Pichot scored a big victory over the legend GM Boris Gelfand.

Position after 25...Bd4

The position is quite complex. 26.Qa3 cost White the game due to 26...Nc5 27.e3

Position after 27.e3

Find the winning continuation for Black in the above position. Also find out what White should have played instead of 26.Qa3.

Pichot made a perfect start | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

MTO: Shchekachev - Narayanan: 0-1

GM Andrei Shchekachev (FRA) got himself a great position against GM Narayanan S L. What is remarkable about this game is how Narayanan makes a comeback.

Position after 26.g4

Generally, if someone gets a position like White has achieved, it is safe to assume that they will convert it. However, Narayanan decided to fight back 26...e5 because Black has to do something, otherwise White will simply crush him. 27.fxe5 Nd7 28.exf6 Nxf6 29.Bh3 Re8 30.Ne5 and we get the following position

Position after 30.Ne5

There is only option for Black to strike here, 30...Rxe5 31.dxe5 Qxe5. This exchange sacrifice makes sense because White's king is exposed and Black gets a rapid activity. With a bit of inaccurate play, it allowed Black to push further and score a win.

Resourceful scored an excellent victory

Karthikeyan - Harshit: 0.5-0.5

GM Karthikeyan Murali was completely lost against IM Harshit Raja.

Position after 25.Rcd1

Black has more than one way to win here. The text 25...Rxe2 is correct, however better was 25...d2 as it's more definitive way for Black. Both were probably under time pressure, thus Black decided to go for a perpetual instead of pushing for a win as it was still completely winning for him.

A win against Karthikeyan would have been a fantastic start for Harshit | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Vaishali - Gukesh: 1-0

WGM Vaishali R scored a big victory over GM D Gukesh.

Position after 28...Rde8

A rare tactical error by Gukesh 28...Rde8. Find out the winning continuation for White.


Here are a few interesting finishes from Round 2:

GM Raunak Sadhwani lost to GM Aravindh Chithambaram

GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly defeated GM Luka Budisavljevic (SRB)

IM Georg Seul (GER) defeated GM Alexander Donchenko (GER)

IM Noaman Omar (UAE) lost to WIM Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (UKR)

Replay GMT Classical Round 1 games

Replay MTO Round 2 games

Photo Gallery

Gata Kamsky beat Noel Studer for the third time in this event | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Maxime Lagarde and Vincent Keymer now has three different results in all three of their encounters | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Nihal Sarin getting checked randomly | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Alan Pichot has scored 2.5/3 against Gelfand so far | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

The GMT participants | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

The entire playing arena for both GMT and MTO | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

GMT Classical Round 1 results

112658GMKamsky Gata1 - 0GMStuder Noel25818
222648GMLagarde Maxime½ - ½GMKeymer Vincent25917
332699GMAlekseenko Kirill1 - 0GMNihal Sarin26206
442675GMGelfand Boris0 - 1GMPichot Alan26305


Round 2 pairings

182581GMStuder NoelGMPichot Alan26305
262620GMNihal SarinGMGelfand Boris26754
372591GMKeymer VincentGMAlekseenko Kirill26993
412658GMKamsky GataGMLagarde Maxime26482


GMT Overall standings

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

MTO Round 2 results

119GMErigaisi Arjun256710 - 11GMSaleh Salem A.R.26821
22GMEljanov Pavel267111 - 01GMKorpa Bence253621
34GMSethuraman S.P.264410 - 11GMValsecchi Alessio252723
420GMSadhwani Raunak255510 - 11GMChithambaram Aravindh26415
56GMBanusz Tamas263111 - 01GMNR Visakh251625
624GMTang Andrew25251½ - ½1GMChigaev Maksim26307
78GMGanguly Surya Shekhar262511 - 01GMBudisavljevic Luka250927
826GMShchekachev Andrei251510 - 11GMNarayanan S.L.26249
928IMKalyan Arjun25031½ - ½1GMR Praggnanandhaa260811
1012GMMurali Karthikeyan26061½ - ½1IMRaja Harshit248429
1130IMNR Vignesh242810 - 11GMFedorchuk Sergey259813
1214GMPuranik Abhimanyu258911 - 01IMGschnitzer Adrian242031
1333WGMVaishali R239311 - 01GMGukesh Dommaraju257815
1416GMYuffa Daniil257811 - 01IMHaimovich Tal238835
1558Schweizer Simon214210 - 11GMWagner Dennis257217


Round 3 pairings

11GMSaleh Salem A.R.268222GMPuranik Abhimanyu258914
213GMFedorchuk Sergey259822GMEljanov Pavel26712
35GMChithambaram Aravindh264122GMYuffa Daniil257816
417GMWagner Dennis257222GMBanusz Tamas26316
523GMValsecchi Alessio252722GMGanguly Surya Shekhar26258
69GMNarayanan S.L.262422GMDragnev Valentin256918
77GMChigaev Maksim26302WGMVaishali R239333
828IMKalyan Arjun2503GMErdos Viktor261410
911GMR Praggnanandhaa2608IMBänziger Fabian239234
1036IMSeul Georg2372GMMurali Karthikeyan260612
1129IMRaja Harshit2484GMTang Andrew252524
124GMSethuraman S.P.26441FMTahay Alexis234939
1315GMGukesh Dommaraju257811FMStelmaszyk Nico229643
1450Pahud Cédric220011GMErigaisi Arjun256719
1555WIMRakhmangulova Anastasiya216711GMSadhwani Raunak255520


Replay the livestream

54th International Biel Chess Festival GMT Classic Tournament Round 1 - Live Commentary by GM Artur Neikšāns | Video: Biel Chess Festival


Official site

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