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Biel Tournament

Yifan Hou6.5/9(+5 -1 =3)[games]
Etienne Bacrot6/9(+4 -1 =4)[games]
Pentala Harikrishna5.5/9(+3 -1 =5)[games]
Ruslan Ponomariov5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Peter Leko5/9(+3 -2 =4)[games]
Nico Georgiadis5/9(+2 -1 =6)[games]
Alexander Morozevich5/9(+4 -3 =2)[games]
David Navara4/9(+2 -3 =4)[games]
Rafael Vaganian2/9(+1 -6 =2)[games]
Noel Studer1/9(+0 -7 =2)[games]
* Chess Event Description
Biel (2017)

The GM tournament of the 50th Biel International Chess Festival took place in Switzerland July 24 - Aug 2. Top seeds included Harikrishna, Navara, Ponomariov, Leko, and Bacrot. Yifan Hou placed first with 6.5/9. Crosstable: and

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Yifan Hou * 1 0 1 1 1 1 6 2 Bacrot 0 * 1 1 1 1 6 3 Harikrishna 1 0 * 1 1 5 4 Ponomariov 0 * 1 0 1 1 5 5 Leko 0 * 1 0 1 1 5 6 Georgiadis 0 * 1 1 5 7 Morozevich 0 0 1 0 * 1 1 1 5 8 Navara 0 0 1 0 * 1 4 9 Vaganian 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 2 10 Studer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 1

Chief arbiter: IA Matthias Gallus. Time control: 100'/40, 50'/20, 15'/Rest + 30'' incr.

Official site:

Previous edition: Biel (Svidler - MVL) (2016). Next: Biel (2018)

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Vaganian vs Harikrishna ½-½212017BielD39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation
2. Bacrot vs Ponomariov  ½-½442017BielB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
3. N Georgiadis vs Navara  ½-½592017BielB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
4. Morozevich vs Yifan Hou 0-1372017BielA07 King's Indian Attack
5. N Studer vs Leko 0-1662017BielA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
6. Yifan Hou vs N Studer ½-½572017BielC11 French
7. Harikrishna vs N Georgiadis  ½-½552017BielA04 Reti Opening
8. Ponomariov vs Leko 1-0462017BielC53 Giuoco Piano
9. Navara vs Morozevich 0-1412017BielA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
10. Bacrot vs Vaganian 1-0332017BielC18 French, Winawer
11. N Studer vs Navara ½-½832017BielA62 Benoni, Fianchetto Variation
12. Morozevich vs Harikrishna ½-½412017BielE37 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
13. Leko vs Yifan Hou  ½-½302017BielC42 Petrov Defense
14. Vaganian vs Ponomariov ½-½402017BielD73 Neo-Grunfeld, 5.Nf3
15. N Georgiadis vs Bacrot  ½-½372017BielC67 Ruy Lopez
16. Harikrishna vs N Studer 1-0242017BielC11 French
17. Navara vs Leko 1-0392017BielD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
18. Bacrot vs Morozevich 1-0402017BielB52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
19. Vaganian vs N Georgiadis 0-1392017BielA48 King's Indian
20. Ponomariov vs Yifan Hou  ½-½492017BielC28 Vienna Game
21. Leko vs Harikrishna  ½-½572017BielC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
22. N Studer vs Bacrot 0-1462017BielE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
23. Yifan Hou vs Navara 1-0402017BielB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
24. Morozevich vs Vaganian 1-0432017BielC16 French, Winawer
25. N Georgiadis vs Ponomariov  ½-½292017BielB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 45  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-31-17  Marmot PFL: She has a very good shot, judging from the pairings her remaining matches are the easiest of the top four.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: Yes, on paper, Hou Yifan's chances look good for next 2 round pairings. But as we have seen in this tournament, it's whoever grabs the opportunity when arises. NICO has really impressed, and has got 25 ELOs already, hope he does not lose them and get a GM norm soon.

Nico and Hari are the only undefeated players here, and Yifan could have a tough last round against Nico, while trophy might be dependent on that result among others. Bacrot must feel that he missed his chances by losing a full point lead in last two rounds, what more, he has the toughest schedule for last 3 rounds - Hou, Navara and Hari. It does look like whoever wins in Round 8 have brighter chances and others in last round might end up with draws if someone could shot into a sole lead today!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: Hou's on first
Aug-01-17  SirRuthless: Hou will probably have a half point lead going into the final day with strong tiebreakers. She has been mainly great this event.
Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Fun game for Hou today. I wonder if her Bxg2! shot will end up as a puzzle of the day. If you know there's a combination it's findable. The previous move b4 was regarded as a blunder -- but it's a blunder only because White didn't see what was coming.
Aug-01-17  Beholder: In a classical control tourney that includes Morozevich, Ponomariov, Leko, Bacrot, Navara, all accomplished Super-GMs with a long list of accolades behind each, Hou Yifan is now in solo lead after 8 rounds played.

Exciting times we live now in, ladies and gentlemen!

I distinctly remember some 'experts' (Bareev, for one, also many others) arguing that women can't play chess as well as men, and that they will never ever do so.

Always thought time will prove the idiocy of these so-called experts sooner or later -- and turns out it's sooner!

A momentous occasion.

Aug-01-17  fisayo123: The average rating of the tournament is 2646 (roughly about Hou Yifan's rating) and some of those names you mentioned are not the players they once were. <beholder>

If anything, Hou Yifan was one of the top 4 or 5 favourites to win this so let's not go overboard. She has been a pretty strong player for a long time now.

Now if she managed to win one of the Grand Prix events she was gifted an opportunity to participate in, that would have been something truly special.

Aug-01-17  ex0duz: @Beholder: what fisayo123 said, as well as Hou also being the exception to the rule, just like Polgar was.

In other words, Bareev and others are still right. Women are far weaker than men in general, and this also includes Hou Yifan(the best woman in the world by far) vs the actual best men in the world(ie, Carlsen and the rest of the top 10). Blind study was also done which showed that women played worse vs random opponents when they knew the gender/sex of their opponent was men vs if they didn't know at all.. so there must be some psychological differences there. Maybe if they play vs men more often, that difference will go away, but if women only play vs other women in 'women only' tournaments, then that won't happen, and it will only reinforce the feeling(even to themselves) that women are weaker and that they cannot compete vs men. They can go compete vs men in 'open' tournaments anytime they wish, but most of them choose not to. Why? Because they know they are weaker, and their ELO reflects this.

Anyway, even before Hou, there was already Judit, and she was stronger than Hou like others have said, so dunno why you are going on this rant now when Hou hasn't even broken any of Judits accomplishments yet, and Judit was around when Bareev was still active so yeah. In other words, Hou hasn't done anything new which would make Bareev and co change his position if he was saying those things when Judit was around..

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <Beholder> Correction: Hou is tied for first place with Harikrishna, both with 5.5/8 points. And 3 other players (Georgiadis, Bacrot, and Morozevich) are tied for second with 5.0/8 points, so first place in the tournament is not at all certain.

Harikrishna (White) plays Bacrot (Black) and Georgiadis (White) plays Hou (Black) in the last round so all of them cannot finish in first place. Harikrishna, playing White and rated 22 points higher than Bacrot should be considered favored to win or at least draw while Hou rated 170 points higher than Georgiadis should be considered favored to win in spite of playing Black. But Georgiadis is having a good tournament (rating 2496, TPR 2753) will likely give Hou a tough time, even though she has the highest TPR in the tournament so far, 2801.

Aug-01-17  dream31: Just my 2 cents of observations, but Hou Yifan beat Judit in 2012 Tradewise Gibraltar (only game between them). Her previous high is 2686, and she has gained this month more points..In my opinion Hou's potential is 2750+, if she gets best training and puts enough effort in training and study..Maybe a chance to play Carlsen or his successor one day in the World Championship..? Hou had to study at university the last few years, somshe was not concentrating 100% on chess, from interviews she gave at Tradewise Gibraltar.
Aug-01-17  SirRuthless: <AylerKupp>

Hou will have white in round 9. Huge difference to be facing, with white, the weakest player in the field, even though he is performing well above expectations.

Hari has the tougher task.

Premium Chessgames Member
  beenthere240: Can't find tiebreak info on tournament site Is there a playoff or will they use tiebreaks?
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <SirRuthless> You're right, I stand corrected. Must have had another brain fart.

And I agree with you, Harikrishna has the tougher task regardless of whether Hou has Black or White. I'm just saying that Georgiadis is on fire, and when you're facing an opponent that's playing like that, all rating-based bets go out the window. He may be the 2nd lowest rated player in the tournament (Studer at 2493 is rated 6 points below him and, in last place, his play has reflected his relative rating), but at this level it's recent play quality that really counts since "on any given day ..." etc. Hopefully Hou will not subconsciously take her rating advantage too seriously.

Aug-01-17  botvinnik64: Nico G - one point ahead of Leko and Pono, wow! I thought Harikrishna would win this, I guess he still can, but my goodness, it's wide open with one round left. What's the consensus on the game of the tourney so far?
Aug-01-17  SirRuthless: Isn't Hou playing even more on fire though? She is leading the event and has an even better performance than him, knows more theory than him and probably has better support than him. I see no reason to think she isn't licking her chops.
Aug-01-17  JPi: Yes Hou Yifan is very impressive. Good news indeed she will surely go back to Biel next year instead to jeopardize her chance at Gibraltar. The new comer Georgiadis is showing also a brillant performance. After few years without playing under a classical time control and as consequences few up and down its a pleasure to see Morozevich back and doing pretty well too.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <SirRuthless> Possibly, and she does have the highest TPR so far. But, if someone had asked you prior to the start of the tournament who they thought had a better chance to be within 1/2 point of the lead with only one round to go I doubt that anyone would have said Georgiadis rather than Hou.

At any rate, I think what's most important is that she not be overconfident and just play her best. Unless I had another brain fart, if she and Harikrishna both win or draw, they would have the same tiebreak score, I think; see my next post in response to <beenthere240>. Whereas if they both lose, then Bacrot and Georgiadis would tie for first and with the same tiebreak score.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <beenthere240> Tiebreak rules for this tournament are hard to find and even harder to understand, but see under Master Tournament. In short, "The final standings will be created according to point number, Buchholz and progressive score. The worst score in each case will be deleted"

Point Number I assume is just each player's total score; i.e. number of points scored. This one is easy to understand and (hopefully!) there will be a clear first place winner. But the Progressive Score seems to be the same as the Point Number, so I don't see what it adds to the tiebreak capabilities.

And they apparently use a modified Buchholz system for tiebreaks (see, which involves summing up the scores of each player's opponents and (in this case) subtracting the lowest opponent's score. This in contrast to the much more commonly used Sonneborg-Berger system.

So, if each game in the last round ends in a draw, the Buchholtz tiebreak scores (in brackets) with, for comparison, the Sonneborg-Berger tiebreak scores are as follows (I think, but someone please check and correct me, this is the first time I've calculated either).

Bacrot <38.0> 21.5

Georgiadis <38.0> 21.8

Harikrishna <37.5> 25.5

Hou <37.5> 25.0

Leko <39.0> 18.3

Morozevich <38.0> 20.0

Navara <40.0> 15.0

Ponomariov <39.0> 18.5

Studer <41.0> 7.0

Vaganian <41.0> 8.5

As you can see, the Sonneborg-Berger scores result in a lesser number of duplicate values. And it has the more logical benefit (I think) that a player with a higher score receives a higher Sonneborg-Berger tiebreak score. The Buchholz tiebreak score is the reverse; the player with the lower score receives a higher Buchholtz tiebreak score since their opponents' scores are higher.

I hope that they have a backup plan besides a possible coin flip.

However, I did find out that in addition to the Master tournament they also have Swiss Chess960, Swiss Rapid, Swiss Blitz, Main, Youth, and Doctors tournaments, in addition to a Simultaneous exhibition by a to-be-named GM. So, if there are any doctors reading this page, if you wanted to participate in an international tournament, this is your chance since the only criteria for admission is that you are a doctor.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jith1207: <Women are far weaker than men in general> and to men such as <Bareev>:

Generations after generations, women were discriminated and they did not have equal opportunity to get to a competitive level for so long and they were generally assigned to be involved in some profession, forget about sports at highest level. Now, 21st century men see them through a lens without considering any of these inconveniences that have been afflicted on them. What do they say? Yes, women are not at the level where men are.

Of course, they won't be, captain obvious. they will not be, at least in chess. However, there will be a time when a woman would play like Carlsen and no man would be able to beat her consistently. But it has been only 100 years or so when at least some individual women have been able to choose and shine in the respects they desire. They will get there.

Until then, yes, men would continue to ridicule and act as know-it-all geniuses. Men will be men.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sokrates: Well said, <jith1207>, I fully agree with you.

And the discrimination goes right to the so-called leaders of FIDE of today, who force the women elite to play in a woman-hostile country, where they, moreover, are forced to wear clothes which are symbols of centuries of oppression. In some western countries, like mine, the liberation of women has come far, but this only covers the minority of women in the world.

In other sports it is even worse. How many Arabic women have you seen in the Olympics?

Aug-02-17  Nf8: According to the live broadcast - as well as the information tab at chess24, which is reliable as a rule - the tiebreak in case of equal points is Sonneborn-Berger (the regulations quoted by <AylerKupp> are for the open Swiss tournament that takes place in parallel, not this one). Harikrishna entered the final round with a slightly better SB than Hou Yifan's (20-19.5).
Aug-02-17  Nf8: Well, Harikrishna goes down quickly against Bacrot after a horrible blunder (21.Bc5??), so his tiebreak isn't going to matter... Now even a draw vs. Georgiadis should probably be enough for Yifan, because her SB has to be better than Bacrot's (both have beaten Vaganian & Morozevich, but Yifan also has wins vs. Navara & Bacrot himself, compared to wins vs. Studer & Harikrishna by Bacrot).
Aug-02-17  rogl: Congrats to Hou who wins outright!
Aug-02-17  botvinnik64: Hou is first - alone. Is this her "biggest" victory to date?
Aug-02-17  JPi: Both by her result and her games really a Wonderful performance from Hou Yifan. She is still very young. I hope it will be a start of a new career and she will be invited again to top tournaments.
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