SIMPLECHESS

Carlsen wins Biel

Carlsen seeking revenge! (official site)
A draw today was sufficient for Magnus Carlsen, as his closest rival Alexander Morozevich lost to Fabiano Caruana. So Carlsen has another tournament victory to his name, and this time with a round to spare.

From Magnus Carlsen's point of view, the only blemish on an otherwise immaculate tournament was his earlier loss to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. So he was no doubt keen to make amends!

Quite early in the opening, Carlsen obtained the potential advantage of the bishop pair. However the centre remained closed and so it was on the h and b-files that he probed. Vachier-Lagrave reacted actively on both wings and had no problems to draw.

'MVL' won their match 1½-½, but Carlsen is tournament champion as compensation!

Yannick Pelletier repeated the Rubinstein variation, a solid but passive way of handling the French Defence. The exchange of all the minor pieces eased his defence and Alexei Shirov's initiative with queen and rook was of a nominal kind. This time there were no bad surprises for the home player, and a draw was agreed at move 30.

The sharpest game resulted from Alexander Morozevich's choice of a gambit against the Moscow variation. Messy play led to an unbalanced structure, with Caruana maintaining an extra pawn, but the Russian having lively play for his bishop pair.

However, despite Caruana having broken pawns, these enabled him to anchor his pieces and he diffused White's play before seizing the initiative and eventually a winning advantage.

The Round 9 summary:

White Rating Results Black Rating Moves Opening
Alexei Shirov 2714 ½-½ Yannick Pelletier  2590 30 French Rubinstein
Magnus Carlsen 2821 ½-½  Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  2722 48 Neo-Grünfeld, Symmetric
Alexander Morozevich  2694 0-1 Fabiano Caruana  2711 47 Semi-Slav, Anti-Moscow Gambit

The standings after round 9:

Rank Name Country Rating 1w 1b 2w 2b 3w 3b 4w 4b 5w 5b 6w 6b Points
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2821 * * ½ ½  1 1 ½ 0 1 . 1 1 6.5
2 Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 ½ ½  * * ½  ½  1 1 1 ½  . 5.5
3-4 Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 0 0 ½ ½ * * ½ . 1 1 ½ ½  4.5
3-4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 1 ½  0 0 . ½ *   ½ ½  1 ½ 4.5
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 . 0 0 1 0 0 ½  ½  *   ½ 1 3.5
5 Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 0 0 . ½ ½ ½ ½  0 ½    2.5

The classification according to the Biel points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw) is as follows:

Position Name Country Rating Biel Points
1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2815 18
2 Alexander Morozevich RUS 2694 14
3-4 Alexei Shirov ESP 2714 11
3-4 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 2722 11
5 Fabiano Caruana ITA 2711 9
6 Yannick Pelletier SUI 2590 5

 The rate of play:


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