Thursday, 26 July 2012

Biel 2012 - What is going on?

Sometimes there are tournaments where things just seem to go wrong. Normally they are your run of the mill weekenders, or perhaps a larger swiss event, but not an elite round robin. Probably through no fault of their own, the Biel organisers have had some issues to deal with in the 2012 edition of the annual tournament.
Firstly it seemed that had a happy accident, with Magnus Carlsen becoming available after the Kings Tournament was postponed. However this meant Lenier Dominguez was moved aside to let the world No. 1 into the tournament, although he was promised a spot in next years event.
Then after two rounds Alexander Morozevich has had to withdraw due a medical condition. He had lost his first two games, and while unkind souls may make a connection between the two, I would assume in this case ill-health was the likely cause of the losses, rather than the other way around. Victor Bologan was brought in as a replacement, although the tournament rhythm (and scoring) has already been disturbed.
In the meantime there was some chess being played, and the following game probably reflects the turbulence the tournament has already gone through. Nakamura tries the very sharp Polugaevsky variation of the Sicilian, which usually involves lots of 'only' moves, and multiple pieces hanging. While he probably had an equal position in the middlegame, he made one bad choice and Wang Hao cracked his position with a set of sacrifices. When the dust had settled the players reached an ending, but one that was winning for Wang.

Wang Hao (2739) - Nakamura,Hi (2778) [B96]
45th Biel GM Biel SUI (3), 25.07.2012

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