Can Karthikeyan Murali win Biel MTO 2021?
Karthikeyan Murali 6.5/8 is on the verge of winning the 54th Biel International Chess Festival MTO 2021. He just needs a draw in the final round as he has a better tie-breaks than his pursuers. A win would guarantee his championship. Although Gukesh could spoil his chances since he will face Karthikeyan in the final round. Gukesh, Salem and Eljanov are the only three players at 6.0/8. Nihal drew his game against Kamsky in the penultimate round. Thus his chances of winning the event got dashed. Alekseenko outplayed Gelfand to bring himself in the championship picture. The final round of GMT and MTO will start at 2:30 p.m. IST today. Photo: Biel Chess Festival
Harshit Raja becomes India's 69th GM
Karthikeyan is playing steady as he drew with GM Tamas Banusz (HUN) in the penultimate round. Although he had a slight opportunity in the endgame, he decided against it. Harshit Raja drew his game against GM Denis Wagner (GER) to score his final GM-norm and become the latest grandmaster of India.
GMT R6: Kamsky - Nihal: 0.5-0.5
Kamsky opted for the Exchange variation in the Ruy Lopez. Pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and the game liquidated into an equal queen endgame after 30 moves. Draw became the obvious result and Nihal's hopes of winning the event got shattered.
Alekseenko - Gelfand: 1-0
Alekseenko outplayed Gelfand to keep himself in the championship contention.
MTO: Karthikeyan - Banusz: 0.5-0.5
Karthikeyan made a solid draw with Tamas Banusz (HUN). However, his only chance was in the endgame.
White could have tried 26.Rb1 instead of 26.Rd4. The rook, c-pawn and the bishop got exchanged consecutively. The game reached to a drawn knight endgame.
Praggnanandhaa - Salem: 0-1
Praggnanandhaa went wrong early in the game when he sacrificed a pawn which his opponent used it against him.
14.b4 was uncalled for. A simple 14.Qc3 or Bd2 would have sufficed. Black took the pawn 14...Qxb4+ 15.Bd2 Qa4 16.Qb2 cxd4 17.Nxd4. White needed to play 17.Nd6+ which was also possible in the previous move. Pragg went wrong in the opening twice in this event and he lost on both occasions.
Ganguly - Gukesh: 0-1
Ganguly made a questionable pawn sacrifice in the endgame, followed by an exchange of queens which gave his opponent, Gukesh, a decisive advantage.
White should have exchanged the rooks 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8 24.c3 but 23.h4 allowed Black to take the pawn 23...Bxh4 then 24.Qc7 Qxc7 25.Rxc7 b5 and White can do very little to save the game.
Tang - Sethuraman: 0-1
Sethuraman made a quick work of GM Andrew Tang (USA) in just 23 moves.
White had already made a few incorrect decisions, 29.b3 was the big one. Find out the best continuation for Black.
IM Harshit Raja drew with GM Dennis Wagner (GER) to become India's 69th grandmaster. Read more about his journey here.
Here are a few interesting finishes from MTO Round 8
Replay GMT Round 6 games
Replay MTO Round 8 games
GMT Round 6 results
|1||8||2581||GM||Studer Noel||0 - 1||GM||Keymer Vincent||2591||7|
|2||1||2658||GM||Kamsky Gata||½ - ½||GM||Nihal Sarin||2620||6|
|3||2||2648||GM||Lagarde Maxime||½ - ½||GM||Pichot Alan||2630||5|
|4||3||2699||GM||Alekseenko Kirill||1 - 0||GM||Gelfand Boris||2675||4|
Round 7 pairings
|1||4||2675||GM||Gelfand Boris||GM||Studer Noel||2581||8|
|2||5||2630||GM||Pichot Alan||GM||Alekseenko Kirill||2699||3|
|3||6||2620||GM||Nihal Sarin||GM||Lagarde Maxime||2648||2|
|4||7||2591||GM||Keymer Vincent||GM||Kamsky Gata||2658||1|
MTO Round 8 results
|1||12||GM||Murali Karthikeyan||2606||6||½ - ½||5||GM||Banusz Tamas||2631||6|
|2||7||GM||Chigaev Maksim||2630||5||½ - ½||5½||GM||Eljanov Pavel||2671||2|
|3||11||GM||R Praggnanandhaa||2608||5||0 - 1||5||GM||Saleh Salem A.R.||2682||1|
|4||8||GM||Ganguly Surya Shekhar||2625||5||0 - 1||5||GM||Gukesh Dommaraju||2578||15|
|5||10||GM||Erdos Viktor||2614||5||½ - ½||5||GM||Kantor Gergely||2527||22|
|6||24||GM||Tang Andrew||2525||4½||0 - 1||4½||GM||Sethuraman S.P.||2644||4|
|7||13||GM||Fedorchuk Sergey||2598||4½||½ - ½||4½||IM||Kalyan Arjun||2503||28|
|8||17||GM||Wagner Dennis||2572||4½||½ - ½||4½||IM||Raja Harshit||2484||29|
|9||33||WGM||Vaishali R||2393||4½||0 - 1||4½||GM||Erigaisi Arjun||2567||19|
|10||20||GM||Sadhwani Raunak||2555||4½||1 - 0||4½||IM||NR Vignesh||2428||30|
|11||3||GM||Donchenko Alexander||2652||4||½ - ½||4||GM||NR Visakh||2516||25|
|12||34||IM||Bänziger Fabian||2392||4||0 - 1||4||GM||Narayanan S.L.||2624||9|
|13||14||GM||Puranik Abhimanyu||2589||4||½ - ½||4||GM||Valsecchi Alessio||2527||23|
|14||21||GM||Korpa Bence||2536||4||0 - 1||4||GM||Budisavljevic Luka||2509||27|
|15||16||GM||Yuffa Daniil||2578||3½||1 - 0||4||FM||Papadiamandis Elliot||2363||38|
Round 9 pairings
|1||15||GM||Gukesh Dommaraju||2578||6||6½||GM||Murali Karthikeyan||2606||12|
|2||1||GM||Saleh Salem A.R.||2682||6||6||GM||Eljanov Pavel||2671||2|
|3||4||GM||Sethuraman S.P.||2644||5½||5½||GM||Erdos Viktor||2614||10|
|4||6||GM||Banusz Tamas||2631||5½||5½||GM||Sadhwani Raunak||2555||20|
|5||19||GM||Erigaisi Arjun||2567||5½||5½||GM||Chigaev Maksim||2630||7|
|6||22||GM||Kantor Gergely||2527||5½||5||GM||R Praggnanandhaa||2608||11|
|7||28||IM||Kalyan Arjun||2503||5||5||GM||Ganguly Surya Shekhar||2625||8|
|8||9||GM||Narayanan S.L.||2624||5||5||GM||Wagner Dennis||2572||17|
|9||29||IM||Raja Harshit||2484||5||5||GM||Fedorchuk Sergey||2598||13|
|10||27||GM||Budisavljevic Luka||2509||5||4½||GM||Dragnev Valentin||2569||18|
|11||30||IM||NR Vignesh||2428||4½||4½||GM||Donchenko Alexander||2652||3|
|12||35||IM||Haimovich Tal||2388||4½||4½||GM||Puranik Abhimanyu||2589||14|
|13||31||IM||Gschnitzer Adrian||2420||4½||4½||GM||Yuffa Daniil||2578||16|
|14||23||GM||Valsecchi Alessio||2527||4½||4½||IM||Unuk Laura||2407||32|
|15||48||WGM||Eric Jovana||2250||4½||4½||GM||Tang Andrew||2525||24|