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Can Karthikeyan Murali win Biel MTO 2021?

by Shahid Ahmed - 04/08/2021

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.

Karthikeyan is on the verge of winning the tournament | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

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.

Kamsky ended Nihal's hopes | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Alekseenko - Gelfand: 1-0

Alekseenko outplayed Gelfand to keep himself in the championship contention.

Alekseenko can win the GMT | Photo: Biel Chess Festival
Biel Chess Festival GMT Round 6 (hosts GM Arturs Neiksans and WGM Dina Belenkaya) | Video: Biel Chess Festival

MTO: Karthikeyan - Banusz: 0.5-0.5

Karthikeyan made a solid draw with Tamas Banusz (HUN). However, his only chance was in the endgame.

Position after 25...Be7

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.

Position after 14.b4

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.

GM R Praggnanandhaa 5.0/8 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

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.

Position after 22.h4

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.

GM D Gukesh 6.0/8 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Tang - Sethuraman: 0-1

Sethuraman made a quick work of GM Andrew Tang (USA) in just 23 moves.

Position after 29.b3

White had already made a few incorrect decisions, 29.b3 was the big one. Find out the best continuation for Black.

GM Sethuraman 5.5/8 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

IM Harshit Raja drew with GM Dennis Wagner (GER) to become India's 69th grandmaster. Read more about his journey here.

India's 69th GM - Harshit Raja | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

GM Arjun Erigaisi 5.5/8 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

GM Raunak Sadhwani 5.5/8 | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Highlights

Here are a few interesting finishes from MTO Round 8

GM Andrew Tang (USA) lost to GM Sethuraman SP

GM Raunak Sadhwani defeated IM Vignesh N R

GM Daniil Yuffa (RUS) won against FM Elliot Papadiamandis (FRA)

IM Laura Unuk (SLO) defeated Cristian Vasquez Toledo (CHI)

Replay GMT Round 6 games

Replay MTO Round 8 games

GMT Round 6 results

Bo.No.RtgNameResultNameRtgNo.
182581GMStuder Noel0 - 1GMKeymer Vincent25917
212658GMKamsky Gata½ - ½GMNihal Sarin26206
322648GMLagarde Maxime½ - ½GMPichot Alan26305
432699GMAlekseenko Kirill1 - 0GMGelfand Boris26754

Details

Round 7 pairings

Bo.No.RtgNameResultNameRtgNo.
142675GMGelfand BorisGMStuder Noel25818
252630GMPichot AlanGMAlekseenko Kirill26993
362620GMNihal SarinGMLagarde Maxime26482
472591GMKeymer VincentGMKamsky Gata26581

Details

MTO Round 8 results

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
112
GMMurali Karthikeyan26066½ - ½5GMBanusz Tamas2631
6
27
GMChigaev Maksim26305½ - ½GMEljanov Pavel2671
2
311
GMR Praggnanandhaa260850 - 15GMSaleh Salem A.R.2682
1
48
GMGanguly Surya Shekhar262550 - 15GMGukesh Dommaraju2578
15
510
GMErdos Viktor26145½ - ½5GMKantor Gergely2527
22
624
GMTang Andrew25250 - 1GMSethuraman S.P.2644
4
713
GMFedorchuk Sergey2598½ - ½IMKalyan Arjun2503
28
817
GMWagner Dennis2572½ - ½IMRaja Harshit2484
29
933
WGMVaishali R23930 - 1GMErigaisi Arjun2567
19
1020
GMSadhwani Raunak25551 - 0IMNR Vignesh2428
30
113
GMDonchenko Alexander26524½ - ½4GMNR Visakh2516
25
1234
IMBänziger Fabian239240 - 14GMNarayanan S.L.2624
9
1314
GMPuranik Abhimanyu25894½ - ½4GMValsecchi Alessio2527
23
1421
GMKorpa Bence253640 - 14GMBudisavljevic Luka2509
27
1516
GMYuffa Daniil25781 - 04FMPapadiamandis Elliot2363
38

Details

Round 9 pairings

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
115
GMGukesh Dommaraju25786GMMurali Karthikeyan2606
12
21
GMSaleh Salem A.R.268266GMEljanov Pavel2671
2
34
GMSethuraman S.P.2644GMErdos Viktor2614
10
46
GMBanusz Tamas2631GMSadhwani Raunak2555
20
519
GMErigaisi Arjun2567GMChigaev Maksim2630
7
622
GMKantor Gergely25275GMR Praggnanandhaa2608
11
728
IMKalyan Arjun250355GMGanguly Surya Shekhar2625
8
89
GMNarayanan S.L.262455GMWagner Dennis2572
17
929
IMRaja Harshit248455GMFedorchuk Sergey2598
13
1027
GMBudisavljevic Luka25095GMDragnev Valentin2569
18
1130
IMNR Vignesh2428GMDonchenko Alexander2652
3
1235
IMHaimovich Tal2388GMPuranik Abhimanyu2589
14
1331
IMGschnitzer Adrian2420GMYuffa Daniil2578
16
1423
GMValsecchi Alessio2527IMUnuk Laura2407
32
1548
WGMEric Jovana2250GMTang Andrew2525
24

Details

Links

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