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Three exciting draws in Biel’s third round

46th Biel International Chess FestivalThe same scenario as in the first round was seen at the Biel Grandmaster tournament. Three fighting draws left the standings untouched with Movsesian, Bacrot and Vachier-Lagrave in the lead. With seven more rounds to go, the battle for first place is just beginning.

Today’s games saw the players missing big chances to win. Ding Liren could have defeated Richard Rapport with white, and the French battle could have easily gone in favor of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who was also leading the white pieces. These blunders might stick in the players’ memories when they reach the final line.

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Chinese prodigy Ding Liren has only played the King’s Indian so far in the event. He used it twice with black in the previous round and faced it with white today against Richard Rapport. His expertise in this defense allowed him to get a big advantage against his rival’s original play. After losing against Etienne Bacrot in the second round, Ding was close to go back to an even score today.

The strategy of white was pretty clear, as his early f4 move showed his intentions to go for the initiative on the kingside. Rapport answered with some logical responses, looking for chances in the center of the board. The tactical struggle was fierce until black went astray on move 26. Ding Liren missed the move 28.Re1 which would have given him a big advantage and ended up in an equal position. The draw was signed on move 40.

Ding Liren

Ding Liren

In the past couple of years, the fight to be France’s best rated player became more interesting with the arrival of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to the elite of the game and Laurent Fressinet’s improvements. However, Etienne Bacrot has managed to return to the very top thanks to good results in Open championships. Today, Vachier-Lagrave played with white against the long-standing figure of chess in France.

The players went into an English where white went quickly for the initiative on the queenside. Bacrot started making mistakes in the middlegame and Vachier-Lagrave got a big space advantage. By move 21, the computer showed a big – almost winning – advantage for the younger player. The continuation chosen by Maxime was not the best one, however, and the big edge became too small to get a full point. The players shook hands after 40 moves.

Vachier-Lagrave - Bacrot

Vachier-Lagrave – Bacrot

The first game to finish was the one that saw Alexander Moiseenko drawing with white against Ian Nepomniachtchi. The Russian’s adventurous style was effectively stopped by Moiseenko’s solid actions. This result leaves the Ukrainian on the shared lead after his win yesterday.

Nepomniachtchi tried to go into the main lines of the Gruenfeld, but his opponent chose a safe sideline to avoid a sharp tactical fight. The Ukrainian advanced his forces on the queenside which forced a massive exchange on that side of the board. The players started repeating the position on move 25.

Moiseenko - Nepomniachtchi

Moiseenko – Nepomniachtchi

25.07.2013 14:00: Round 4
Alexander Moiseenko Etienne Bacrot
Ding Liren Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Richard Rapport Ian Nepomniachtchi

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