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An explosive day at Biel Chess Festival with major upsets in the Open tournament

The first round of classical chess at the Biel Grandmaster Tournament GMT had it all: the players with the black pieces were victorious in three of the four games. Of the top 3 in the standings, only Esipenko was able to score and thus takes the top spot in the intermediate ranking due to his draw against Keymer. In the open tournaments MTO and ATO there were also quite a few surprising results and it shows that the favourites have to be very careful of their challengers. In the Ladies’s Quadriathlon, Cornileau prevailed over Ciarletta in the top battle of the day.

Read more: Vincent Keymer wins ACCENTUS Chess960 tournament in Biel / GM Maxime Lagarde wins Biel Rapid 2022 / Full house at the Biel Congress Center

In the first round of classic games at the Grandmaster Triathlon GMT, the black piece holders ruled! Out of four games, only Vincent Keymer got a draw against Andrey Esipenko playing with White. The other three games were all won by Black, something unusual at this level! Abdusattorov, Lê Quang Liêm, and Salem Saleh were all knocked down by Gukesh, Kamsky, and Naiditsch! Gukesh led a superb attack with Black, not hesitating to refuse a draw when with a pawn down and no direct win: he had correctly judged that the white king was too weak in the long run. Biel GMT 2021 winner, legend Gata Kamsky, is back in the game, after beating the tournament number one, while Naiditsch simply outclassed Salem today. The top places in the ranking are now very close: Esipenko at 11.5, Lê Quang Liêm and Gukesh at 11, Naiditsch at 10 and Abdusattorov at 9. With a victory worth 4 points in the classic games, it is needless to say though that nothing is decided, including for the players further down the ranking…

GMT: Interim Ranking

1GM Andrey ESIPENKORUS810 11½
2GM LÊ Quang LiêmVIE8 11 11
3GM Dommaraju GUKESHIND847 11
4GM Arkadij NAIDITSCHAZE846 10
6GM Salem SalehUAE8 7 7
7GM Vincent KEYMERGER85 

DAQ: Cornileau pulls away

In Ladie’s ACCENTUS Quadriathlon DAQ, the top game between the two leaders, French Juliette Cornileau and Iris Ciarletta, ended in favour of the first, who thus takes off with 19.5 points in the interim ranking. The second place now belongs to the Swiss player Zhuang Yongzhe, at 15 points, who is half a point ahead of Iris Ciarletta, previously mentioned. The leader Cornileau seems to be in great shape and one of her competitors will probably have to come out with a big game to knock her down!

Open tournaments: a series of surprises!

In the Master Tournament MTO, the Indians ruled! At table 2, 15(!) year-old Master Candidate Vuppala Prraneeth, ranked 2457, defeats Kirill Alekseenko (2708)! At table 4, IM Raja Panjwani (2450 and author of an excellent book on the “Hyper Accelerated Dragon” chess opening) beats Haik M. Martirosyan (2672). And these are only some of the surprises of the day, with notably also a draw of Milos Pavlovic (2461) with Black at table 1 against Yu Yangyi (2720), and a draw of young Marco Materia (2409, 13 years old!) against Eduardo Iturrizaga (2619). The list of other “semi-surprises” is too long to mention, but expectable results were rather rare in this second round of the MTO!

In the Amateur Tournament ATO, two big surprises were to find at the first ten tables with Fabrice Aegerter (1797) winning against Achim Schneuwly (2002) and Ireneusz Lada (1787) beating Kobe Smeets (1963)! There are still 26 players at 2/2, 11 more than in the MTO!

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