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55th Biel GMT R5: Gukesh beats Keymer five times in-a-row in ten days

by Shahid Ahmed - 21/07/2022

D Gukesh has won all five games against Vincent Keymer at 55th Biel Chess Festival. First he defeated the Germany no.1 in Chess960 then Rapid, next twice in Blitz and now in their Classical encounter too. All of these happened within a span of ten days. Gukesh is now at 28/48, just two points behind the tournament leader, Liem Quang Le 30/48. The youngest Indian to reach 2700, is closely followed by Andrey Esipenko 27/48 and Nodirbek Abdusattorov 26.5/48. Aryan Chopra lost the game and lead to Kirill Alekseenko. GMT Round 6 and MTO Round 8 starts today at 2 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. IST). Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival

Gukesh has Keymer's number

Until 55th Biel Chess Festival, D Gukesh and Vincent Keymer did not face each other in any over-the-board tournament. They had three decisive games online, two were in favor of the German. That statistics changed a lot when Gukesh beat the Germany no.1 for five times in three different formats and also in the most-popular chess variant, Chess960/Fischer Random chess.

Vincent Keymer did not manage to score even a half point against D Gukesh at 55th Biel Chess Festival | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival

GMT Round 5: Keymer - Gukesh: 0-1

Vincent Keymer (GER, 2686) opted for QGD Exchange variation against Gukesh (2684). He opted not to castle and expand on the kingside. The attack did not pan out the way he wanted and his queenside became vulnerable.

Position after 28.Rb2

White played 28.Rb2 directly which allowed Bxe5 29.fxe5 b4 30.axb4 Reb8 31.Rhb1 a3 32.Rb3 a2 33.Ra1 Rxb4 and Black managed to gain an entry via b-file. The difference between playing 28.Rb2 directly and going for 28.Rb4 first is now Black needs to play Ba5 which means Reb8 is no longer possible as it is controller by the bishop at e5. Thus, the invasion on the queenside is no longer successful for Black. 34.Rxb4 Rxb4 35.Rxa2 Rxd4 Black soon gained another pawn and arrived at winning rook ending which was a comfortable endgame for Gukesh to win.

The next-gen rivalry Keymer vs. Gukesh | Video: ChessBase India

Gukesh has defeated Vincent Keymer five times at 55th Biel Chess Festival GMT | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival

MTO: Aryan - Alekseenko: 0-1

GM Aryan Chopra (2610) was on the verge of scoring another victory. He made a tiny miscalculation in the endgame against GM Kirill Alekseenko (2708) which turned things into the latter's favor.

Position after 21...Reb8

21...Reb8 makes a deadly threat of Rb1+ and force the g2-bishop to become a temporary vegetable at f1. However, that is not forced as 22.Bd5 can avoid the predicament. 22...Rb1+ 23.Kg2 Rxa1 24.Bxa1 and White's bishops are free to push for a win. Of course it is not easy, still better than the game continuation 22.Rxa5 which ran into Rxd3! It works because 23.exd3 is a blunder Rb1+ 24.Bf1 e2 and now the pawn promotion is unstoppable. 23.Ba7 Rd1+ 24.Bf1 Rbb1 now White cannot avoid the loss of the bishop which means it is over for White.

Replay 55th Biel Chess Festival GMT Round 5 Live commentary by GM Arturs Neiksans and Angelika Valkova | Video: Biel Chess Festival

A total of 114 players including 26 GMs, 23 IMs and 3 WIMs are taking part from 31 countries across the world. The nine-round Swiss League tournament is organized by Biel-Bienne Chess at Biel Congress House, Biel, Switzerland from 13th to 22nd July. The sole rest day is Sunday 17th July. The time control is 90 minutes/40 moves with 30 seconds increment + 30 minutes.

Replay GMT Round 5 games

Round 5 results

132686GMKeymer Vincent0 - 1GMGukesh D26848
242684GMSalem A.R. Saleh0 - 1GMLe Quang Liem27222
352664GMNaiditsch Arkadij0 - 1GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek26881
462682GMEsipenko Andrey½ - ½GMKamsky Gata26557

Round 6 pairings

182684GMGukesh DGMKamsky Gata26557
212688GMAbdusattorov NodirbekGMEsipenko Andrey26826
322722GMLe Quang LiemGMNaiditsch Arkadij26645
432686GMKeymer VincentGMSalem A.R. Saleh26844


Gukesh can overtake Liem in the last two rounds | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Replay MTO Round 7 games

Round 7 results

113GMAryan Chopra261050 - 15GMAlekseenko Kirill27082
27GMMotylev Alexander26325½ - ½5GMVisakh N R250323
315GMGanguly Surya Shekhar2608½ - ½GMFedoseev Vladimir26863
427IMPranav Anand2463½ - ½GMSargsyan Shant26615
520GMIniyan P2533½ - ½GMSethuraman S.P.26239
610GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo2619½ - ½GMMendonca Leon Luke256717
714GMHuschenbeth Niclas261040 - 1GMMuradli Mahammad252321
84GMMartirosyan Haik M.26724½ - ½4IMLicznerski Lukasz245130
98GMLagarde Maxime26314½ - ½4IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh244532
1034IMKrishna C R G24304½ - ½4GMPuranik Abhimanyu261211


Round 8 pairings

123GMVisakh N R25036GMAlekseenko Kirill27082
221GMMuradli Mahammad2523GMMotylev Alexander26327
33GMFedoseev Vladimir268655GMErdos Viktor258616
45GMSargsyan Shant266155GMBharath Subramaniyam H247924
59GMSethuraman S.P.262355GMAryan Chopra261013
610GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo261955IMPranav Anand246327
717GMMendonca Leon Luke256755GMGanguly Surya Shekhar260815
811GMPuranik Abhimanyu26125GMIniyan P253320
91GMYu Yangyi2720CMPrraneeth Vuppala245729
1032IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh2445GMMartirosyan Haik M.26724



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