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Alekseenko wins Accentus Chess960 in Biel

by Shahid Ahmed - 25/07/2021

Kirill Alekseenko scored 4.5/7 to win the Accentus Chess960, opening event of the 54th edition of Biel International Chess Festival. The standings of this event is used to determine the seeding of the Classical segment and if required, as a tie-break too after the conclusion of the Grandmaster Triathlon (GMT). The Rapid event will take place on Sunday 25th July. Monday 26th July and Sunday 1st August will be two rest days. The Classical part will start from 27th July and conclude on 4th August. Blitz will take place on Sunday 31st July. Rapid, Classical and Blitz all are part of the Grandmaster Triathlon. Who do you think will win the GMT? Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Nihal gets the better of Alekseenko

Nihal Sarin took a no-draw approach in the Chess960. He scored three wins and suffered four losses in a very strong field. The next best thing to winning an event is beating the champion, and Nihal managed to accomplish that. He beat the eventual champion, Kirill Alekseenko in the fifth round.

Top three (L to R): 2nd - Maxim Lagarde, 1st - Kirill Alekseenko and 3rd - Boris Gelfand | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Round 1: Keymer - Nihal: 0-1

Nihal started his tournament with a victory over GM Vincent Keymer (GER).

Position after 18.Nf4

Nihal is always alert tactically. He played 18...Nd3 to gain an exchange as 19.Bxh8 Nxe1 20.Bc3 Nxf3 and Black gains the upper hand.

Position after 39...exf4

White got an opportunity to make a comeback in the above position. 40.Qxb5 would have been a better continuation than the text 40.cxb5 Qxd5+ 41.Ka4 Rxc5 42.bxc5 Qc4+ 43.Qb4 axb5+ 44.Ka5 Ra7+ and now Black is winning either by taking the queen or the rook.

Nihal started with a win | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Round 4: Pichot - Nihal: 0-1

After suffering two consecutive losses against the legends Kamsky and Gelfand, Nihal scored a victory against Argentina no.1 Alan Pichot.

Position after 25.Be4

Find out the best continuation for Black in the above diagram. Nihal found it and won the game in another five moves.

Argentina no.1 GM Alan Pichot | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Round 5: Nihal - Alekseenko: 1-0

Nihal scored his biggest victory of the day against GM Kirill Alekseenko in the fifth round. The Russian's preference of not castling in the game backfired.

Position after 19.exf6

19...Nxf6 would have probably allowed Black to fight a bit longer but the end result would not have changed much. 19...gxf6 accelerated Black's demise.

Alekseenko drew the next two games and went on to win the event | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

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Photo Gallery

All participants of the GMT at 54th Biel International Chess Festival | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Front from the left: Peter Bohnenblust (OK-Preident), Nihal Sarin, Alan Pichot, Maxima Lagarde and Noël Studer

Behind from the left: Paul Kohler, Boris Gelfand, Kirill Alekseenko and Gata Kamsky

The playing arena | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Players meeting in progress | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Inauguration Ceremony | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Boris Gelfand at the inauguration ceremony | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Nihal Sarin at the inauguration ceremony | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

GM Karthikeyan Murali playing a simultaneous exhibition against 18 players | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

GM Karthikeyan Murali who will be playing the Master Tournament (MTO) for the fifth time, played a simultaneous exhibition match against 18 players, and he won against all of them in exactly 90 minutes. Central President Vögtlin and the former president of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court Ulrich Meyer were the participants among them.

From the Press Release

At the opening ceremony, Peter Bohnenblust, President of the Organising Committee, emphasised the pride of the organisers in hosting the Biel International Chess Festival for the 54th time in uninterrupted succession. He thanked the supporters and partners for their valuable commitment. The new Central President of the Swiss Chess Federation, André Vögtlin, also welcomed those present and emphasised the importance of the Biel tournament for chess in Switzerland.

Final Standings in Chess960

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
11GMAlekseenko KirillRUS26614,50,015,003
23GMLagarde MaximeFRA26844,01,513,253
36GMGelfand BorisISR27024,01,014,253
48GMKamsky GataUSA27014,00,511,753
54GMKeymer VincentGER25433,50,011,003
65GMNihal SarinIND24183,01,011,003
77GMPichot AlanARG25333,00,010,252
82GMStuder NoelSUI24312,00,07,002

Details

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Nihal Sarin plays at the Biel Chess Festival GMT Chess960 | Video: ChessBase India

Links

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