Reports | August 02, 2012 20:11

Wang Hao beats Giri in last round Biel, finishes clear first

Wang Hao

Wang Hao became the sole winner of the 2012 Biel Chess Festival's Grandmaster group. The Chinese grandmaster, who will turn 23 in two days, defeated Anish Giri in the last round to finish on 19 points. Carlsen, who had to settle for a draw against Etienne Bacrot, finished on 18 points. Hikaru Nakamura finished shared third with Giri (both 16 points) thanks to a last-round win against Victor Bologan.

Wang Hao's 19 out of a possible 30 points is enough for clear first in Biel | Photos Biel Chess Festival

Event Biel Chess Festival | PGN
Dates July 23-August 2, 2012
Location Biel, Switzerland
System 6-player round robin
Players Carlsen, Nakamura, Morozevich, Wang Hao, Bacrot, Giri
Rate of play 40 moves in 100 minutes, then 20 moves in 50 minutes followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds increment per move
Extra Three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. No draw offers before move 30.

He kept on trying for a long time in a slightly better ending, but eventually Magnus Carlsen couldn't break Etienne Bacrot's defence. After 62 moves Carlsen stopped his attempts to win yet another tournament in his career, a tournament he really likes to play. Carlsen feels at home in Biel so much, that he decided to enter at the last minute, thereby replacing Cuban grandmaster Leinier Dominguez, who agreed to participate next year. But strong play by a highly talented grandmaster from China, as well as the football score, resulted in a second place for the world's number one.

For Wang Hao, a student at Beijing University who claims to spend only 3-4 hours a week on chess, winning in Biel was his career's best performance. Like Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand, he "skipped" the IM title and became a GM immediately in 2005, at the age of 16. Thus far, his biggest achievements were winning the Bosna 2010 tournament in Sarajevo and the Chinese Championship in the same year. On the day that a table tennis player with the same name won the silver medal in London, Wang Hao-the-chess-player won gold in Biel.

It must be noted that Wang Hao also finished first "because" of the football score. A classical final standings table, with half a point for a draw and one point for a win, would have had Carlsen as clear first, with 7/10, half a point more than the Chinese. In other words, this year Wang Hao's +3 was worth more than Carlsen's (undefeated) +4. But that's probably exactly what the organizers had in mind: they wanted to stimulate the fighters and the risk takers, and so they won't be disappointed with a winner who drew only one game, won six and lost three!

The winner of the tournament was also the first to finish in the last round. Anish Giri got a bit confused about his preparation, missed an important tactic at an early stage and was already lost at move 25.

PGN string

Video produced by Pascal Simon (Chessbase)

Hikaru Nakamura finished his tournament with a decent score. The American defeated Victor Bologan, who sticked to his Benko/Volga Gambit. Nakamura didn't think he played a great game, and started the post-mortem press conference saying

[Until 34...Nb8] I was just marginally better throughout the game.

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Video produced by Pascal Simon (Chessbase)

Nakamura looked back at his tournament as follows:

It seems like the games I played well I managed to lose and the games where I played OK I found a way to win. It's weird, because the two best games I played were against Wang Hao and I managed to lose both.

Carsen-Bacrot was the last tournament game to finish. The Norwegian summarized it as follows:

I thought I had a good position, then in the middlegame I was definitely worse. Then, before the time control it turned around and I had a better endgame, but I'm not sure if it was possible to win it. 

PGN string

Video produced by Pascal Simon (Chessbase)

Biel 2012 | Schedule & results

Round 1 23.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 6 28.07.12 14:00 CET
Carlsen ½-½ Nakamura   Nakamura ½-½ Carlsen
Wang Hao 1-0 Bacrot   Bacrot ½-½ Wang Hao
Morozevich 0-1 Giri   Giri 1-0 Bologan
Round 2 24.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 7 30.07.12 14:00 CET
Nakamura ½-½ Giri   Giri ½-½ Nakamura
Bacrot 1-0 Morozevich   Bologan ½-½ Bacrot
Carlsen 1-0 Wang Hao   Wang Hao 0-1 Carlsen
Round 3 25.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 8 31.07.12 14:00 CET
Wang Hao 1-0 Nakamura   Nakamura 0-1 Wang Hao
Bologan 0-1 Carlsen   Carlsen 1-0 Bologan
Giri 1-0 Bacrot   Bacrot 0-1 Giri
Round 4 26.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 9 01.08.12 14:00 CET
Bologan 0-1 Nakamura   Bacrot 0-1 Nakamura
Giri 0-1 Wang Hao   Giri ½-½ Carlsen
Bacrot ½-½ Carlsen   Bologan 1-0 Wang Hao
Round 5 27.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 10 02.08.12 14:00 CET
Nakamura 1-0 Bacrot   Nakamura 1-0 Bologan
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Wang Hao 1-0 Giri
Wang Hao 1-0 Bologan   Carlsen ½-½ Bacrot
 

Biel 2012 | Final standings

# Name Fed Rtg + = - Pts
1 Wang Hao CHN 2739 6 1 3 19
2 Carlsen,M NOR 2837 4 6 0 18
3-4 Giri,A NED 2696 4 4 2 16
3-4 Nakamura,H USA 2778 4 4 2 16
5 Bacrot,E FRA 2713 1 4 5 7
6 Bologan,V MDA 2732 1 1 6 4
7 Morozevich,A RUS 2770 0 0 2 0

Biel 2012 | Final standings (classical)

 

 

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Let the Giri bashing begin and bring in the excuses!

Anonymous's picture

He was a good sport to attend the post mortem analysis in his loss to Wang Hao.

Alfonso's picture

Finally it happened! A player with +3 wins a tournament above a +4 player. I do not know if I can get used to this.

Morley's picture

Is this actually the first time this has happened?

Alfonso's picture

Not sure, but in Elite Tournaments (Bilbao, London, Biel...) I think it is the first time.

Ed Dean's picture

I can't think of any elite instances either. The closest thing to Biel 2012 that comes to mind is the London Classic 2010, where Anand, McShane and Carlsen all finished on 4.5/7 (classically). Anand and McShane each had no losses; Carlsen had 2 (unsurprisingly, to Anand and McShane), which he made up for with extra wins to finish with 13 in football scoring against 11 for the other two.

Anonymous's picture

@Ed Dean Correct me if I am wrong; Anand beat Carlsen in their encounter at London 2010 as well. Never-the-less, there wasn't any serious debate about the football score card afterward because it pushed Carlsen over the top.

redivivo's picture

"there wasn't any serious debate about the football score card afterward because it pushed Carlsen over the top"

There was very much critical discussion, especially at Chessvibes, and many said it was wrong to call Carlsen winner of the tournament since he scored +2 while Anand and McShane also scored +2 (with four wins for Carlsen vs two for the others, so Carlsen both scored more points and had the better tiebreak).

Just a few of the comments from one day at Chessvibes:

"This is not a deserved win for Carlsen"

"We do not know the wisdom why the football system was embraced here. Will someone enlighten me. Congratulations to all players, especially Anand"

"To sum up the discussion: If the rules had been different and some players had made other moves than they did, then Carlsen might not have won the tournament"

"Mangus wins technically not in substance"

"The main point is that under the traditional sytem Carlsen would be no. 3, which makes good sense"

"Hem, under traditional scoring system, MCSHANE would have won"

"The ranking system of this tournament is a joke"

"not a deserving win for mangus"

"It is a fact, though, that with the normal score he would have finished third"

"It's most embarrassing that Carlsen is tied with the two players he lost to and yet takes first prize."

"come what may, the soccer scoring system is junk. It has no place in chess"

"Magnus' "victory" is a load of tosh"

"Carlsen comes in third according to traditional rules"

"the 3-1-0 scoring system is utter garbage and has no place in professional chess"

http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/carlsen-wins-again-in-london

So the idea that no one criticised the scoring system in London 2010 because Carlsen won is wrong.

noyb's picture

This scoring system is utterly and completely ridiculous. It's time to call on all organizers and chess organization to rid us of such a terrible system.

DMiA's picture

Absolutely disagree with you. With the classical system, today's Carlsen-Bacrot game would have been something like 1.Nf3,Nf6 2.d4,e6 3.c4, d5 draw.
Instead you've had a nice fighting game which you can enjoy analysing.
The +3 scoring system can sometimes be unfair, I agree with that, but it brings a higher fighting spirit throughout all the tournament, not only in the last round.

redivivo's picture

Seriously?! You think Carlsen would have played a three move draw with white against Bacrot?

Morley's picture

That is a pretty ridiculous assumption. Even if it were true, it wouldn't justify an entirely new scoring system.

Anonymous's picture

Let the organizers who paid for the tournament's existence give more money to the guy with more wins. It makes no difference in overall FIDE records going into the books.

Morley's picture

Congrats to Wang Hao on the tournament win, and congrats to Carlsen for reaching a new rating milestone. He narrowly missed winning yet another super tournament, and is now +6 =12 -0 in his last two outings, against players with an average rating of 2756. Impressive! Bacrot defended very well today, and even had some slight pressure near the time control. Hopefully we will see more of Wang Hao and Giri soon, despite the latter's disappointing last rounds.

Morley's picture

Meant to say "round" not "rounds". ;-p

KingTal's picture

Congrats, Wang Hao, well deserved win! He risked everything and won.

RealityCheck's picture

How can Wang Hao, a cool guy who does not spend much time on chess, rated 100 rating points less than the tournament favorite, Magnus Carlsen, walk away with the winnersTrophy?

Radagast's picture

By playing Bacrot and Nakamura on days they were feeling like throwing away pieces.

KingTal's picture

By winning the most games, killing Nakamura and Giri 2-0. Carlsen wins because his opponents make mistakes, same does Wang Hao and every other chess player who wins a game....
The 3-P-scoring favors the player who wins more and this time it is Wang Hao, bad luck Carlsen, but in the past he used to have lots of luck too... so no reason for whining.

Michael Lubin's picture

Carlsen was actually clear first by classical scoring, which is what determines ratings.

point5's picture

says he spends 3-4 hours a week, i call bs, he even wastes his time playing 2400-2600 players in chinese a league

redivivo's picture

If they just hadn't invited Wang Hao, Naka would have been in a class of his own here.

Anonymous's picture

And giri twice !

Chess Fan's picture

I smell clever sarcasm here!

NN's picture

I am far from being a Carlsen fanboy, but he still played the best chess in this tournament.

Jambow's picture

Finally it happened! A player with +3 wins a tournament above a +4 player. I do not know if I can get used to this.

No final score was 19 to 18 and they all played by the same rules that reward playing for a win over securing a draw. Carlsen played impressive and now closes in on Kasparov all time elo he never lost a game but under these circiumstances he finished second best because he played safer chess. Wang Hoa deserves his victory using the rules to the fullest effect and not giving us another draw fest that has stagnated the game. Sophia rules are one of the first innovations to improve the spectacle in a long time I look forward to more such tournaments and those who feel the rules are somehow flawed aren't forced to play.

Radagast's picture

Carlsen didn't play safer chess. Wang Hao was gifted many games, and both Nakamura and Giri played HORRIBLY in their losses to him. Wang Hao should be credited for making the most of those mistakes, but he did NOT win the tournament because Carlsen played safer chess.

Jeffrey's picture

And Carlsen wasn't gifted games? Such as one of his games against Hao? That game is the only reason we're having this discussion.

Radagast's picture

Carlsen was gifted one game (arguably), Wang Hao was gifted many. Nakamura was completely winning in their round three game, and then blundered a piece. Then he blundered into a mate-in-9 in their second game. This last game from Giri was horrific. There is no comparison between Carlsen's wins and Wang Hao's; for whatever reason, players hung game after game to him. He just had to show up today to get the win, it seemed.

flysq's picture

This is nonsense. Carlsen one several games because his opponents made blunders in the endgame.

Anthony Migchels's picture

But strangely this has been happening for years now, getting Carlsen a 2845 rating.......

Thomas's picture

I am far from being a Carlsen fanboy, but I would agree that he played the best chess IF best chess means lowest number of mistakes - which, however, IMO is because he played safe chess. When did he take risks? Maybe in the first game against Wang Hao, when the opponent invited him to do so. Not in his four drawn games against Nakamura and Giri. Some people claim that Carlsen could have won the first game against Nakamura giving variations with the breakthrough e4-e5 - hard to calculate over the board so it would involve some risks which Carlsen didn't take.
@ ... : please don't call me a hater but try to refute what I wrote.

Morley's picture

Carlsen took plenty of risks (no fewer than Wang Hao, anyways). He pressed and was slightly worse for part of his second game against Giri, and he pressed in an even position and fell under some pressure this last game against Bacrot, just to give two examples from the latter half of the tournament. Wang Hao made the most of his opponent's mistakes, but he was also pretty lucky. The fact is, Nakamura and Giri both played much better against Carlsen than they did against Wang Hao. So did Bacrot, who played his two best games of the tournament against Carlsen. No one hung pieces when playing Carlsen; the same surely can't be said for when they played Hao! Nothing wrong with that, it is just the way things happened. Wang Hao deserves his victory according to the rules of the tournament and for doing a great job of finishing off his weakened opponents, and Carlsen played the best chess.

Thomas's picture

If that was risk-taking comparable to what Wang Hao did - well you're entitled to your opinion, and I am free to disagree.

Maybe Bacrot played his two best games against Carlsen, but he also played one good game (as good as it got for him in this event) against Wang Hao. And Bologan played his single good game against Wang Hao. So the net result against the tailenders was 8 points for Carlsen vs. 7 points for Wang Hao.

But that's all futile, the result is what it is. Carlsen's style was good for +3=6 (I neglect his game against Wang Hao where he himself said that he was lucky), Wang Hao's style was good for +6-3 (I neglect his single "boring" game against Bacrot) - same traditional score but better football score for the Chinese. Yes everything had to go well for him, yes he may have been lucky (but there are always allergic reactions when people call Carlsen lucky). At another occasion, Nakamura could obtain Wang Hao's result, or even Bologan - maybe not against such opposition, but at the European championship he scored +5-2 against 2600ish opponents (to finish with a short Berlin draw against Malakhov - World Cup qualification for both players).

Niima's picture

This discussion will likely get nowhere Thomas. Those who wish to defend Carlsen at all fronts will not be persuaded. It is like saying Karpov's style was as risky as Keres's. It is not true good luck convincing people.

slonik's picture

As long as the talk about rewarding risk taking isn't applied to London 2010 it is all good :)

Alfonso's picture

I do not discuss the benefits (or lack thereof) of the 3-point rule. I stated a fact, or what I think it is a fact.

NN's picture

And it looks like Bologan will regret accepting to play on such short notice and unprepared for these opponents, because he lost 22 rating points in eight games.

RealityCheck's picture

Ouch!

RealityCheck's picture

Ouch!

RealityCheck's picture

Ouch!

Zeblakob's picture

In fact, there are two winners depending on the scoring system.

Anonymous's picture

In fact, there is one winner because only one scoring system was used.

Anonymous's picture

In fact, there is one winner because only one scoring system was used.

MJul's picture

Zeb! Nobody can't complain about football scoring if Carlsen lose!

Zeblakob's picture

it may happen ...

MJul's picture

I know. But opposite to some "Carlsen fanboys", who act childish and, IMO, look cute; haters are, from time to time, pretty aggressive.

It's quite funny when I think about S3: I can't even read his comments here, but I love his attitude in ChessBomb :)

Of course, looking how the world is going, it's not so strange.

Zeblakob's picture

hahaha funny :))

Anonymous's picture

Jose Diaz must be happy, he now has a new character to draw!

Anonymous's picture

No there is only one winner ! Deal with IT

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