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.

PGN string

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

Mike Magnan's picture

I might also mention..to those who think that computers and endless reams of analysis are ruining the Human game...Mr Carlsen seems to have solved that problem. Give em an equal position and lets take it from there. Very Lasker..very Pragmatic.

Anonymous's picture

Nice and all, but Kramnik was already doing that in 2000 with his Berlin, just to give a controversial example.

Mike Magnan's picture

Opening "cracks" and analised advantages are a thing of the past when someone approaches the game like that. I lot of people got their titles that way..I personally think Mr Carlsens early contribution to chess theory is simply to play mano a mano from an equal postion. No more computer lines going 20 or so moves deep. That stuff is probably over now...well cept for those that like to play their computers lines..but I dooubt They'll ever amount to much. All the best players are learning to avoid main lines now...its a great evolution in chess I think. It's not about beating your software time and time again because it can't learn..it's about playing.

Bobby Fiske's picture

Good observation!

Anonymous's picture

Not really. It's more like a fantasy than an observation.

Morley's picture

Carlsen has made it to the top of the rating charts, won tournament after tournament, and begun to approach Kasparov's record by excelling in the endgame, and taking his opponents out of theory early and playing from an equal position. He very rarely goes into deeply prepared lines. This is absolutely an observation, not a fantasy. Whether or not other players follow that style is up to them, but Carlsen has shown that you do not need extreme preparation to excel at the highest levels, if you are as talented as he is.

Anonymous's picture

Very regulary is an overstatement. Many times, and especially against top players, he plays the throdden paths. Not surprisingly cause main lines are main lines for a reason. It's true that he also plays unfashionable openings now and then, but that is hardly new in the chess world. He studies and knows those "offbeat" openings so it's just a smart way of taking the opponent out of preparation. The same goes for not chosing the most topical lines all the time, and that too is not new. Thanks to those surprise tactics he often gets a big time advantage on the clock and that is often the decisive factor in the endgame.
There is nothing new in this approach, the only thing exceptional are his results.

And for the record: at Biel there were several players who played far more creatively, original and untheoretical in the openings. And it didn't do them much good.

Anonymous's picture

Hmm..let's see.

In his games at Biel he only played a "strange" opening twice; Qd4 in the sicilian game against Nakamura and Bb4 against Bacrot, and both games were drawn. In the rest of the games standard opening lines that you can see in any tournament. And if you think that he doesn't prepare, or that he doesn't want an advantage in the opening, you are naive. In fact, in many games he did get a large advantage in the opening and from the looks of it sometimes by superior preparation.

giovlinn's picture

Wang Hao deservedly won this tournament. That aside, RealityCheck's remark was far from intelligent. But hey, we're used to that!

RealityCheck's picture

Ahhh @giovlinn you are just mad because your idol, GM Carlsen, again has been relegated to playing Second Fiddle.

RG's picture

@RealityCheck - Any grandmaster would love an undefeated +4 performance.

Anonymous's picture

@RG That's true but, we're not talking chess results with GM's at this site. Unfortunately, here we have mostly FanBoys--fanatics who can't count beyond win or lose.

Also, the marketing scheme used by GM Carlsens' managers to inflate his Elo has backfired as of late and it's fun rubbing this fact into their arrogant faces.

Peace/Out

redivivo's picture

"Unfortunately, here we have mostly FanBoys--fanatics who can't count beyond win or lose. Also, the marketing scheme used by GM Carlsens' managers to inflate his Elo has backfired as of late and it's fun rubbing this fact into their arrogant faces."

Carlsen's managers marketing scheme to inflate his Elo has backfired by his gaining six points in Biel?

RealityCheck's picture

@redivivo It backfired because the gaining of Elo points ain't bringing home the Winners Trophies.

Did you see the trophies Anand brought home from Moscow in May? Well, they cost him a loss of 10 or 12 Elo points.

As regards Carlsen playing Second Fiddle-- 2nd place is as good as last place when you're hyped, billed as the undisputed worlds best.

Bottom line: being rated NoOne in the world has been peddled as being the best player in the world since Kasparov lost his Wch title to Kramnik; big mouths last trump card.

And, it's clear to me that Carlsen's managers got on the Elo band wagon intending to boost their prodigy's image.

I do not appreciate the schism all this creates-- comparing the Wch Title to the Elo points leader. It's giving the impression of another un-resolved split title issue. Ugly.
Really, I don't like it because we have a real champion in Wch Anand. There should be no second guessing at who rules chess.

RG's picture

re: "There should be no second guessing at who rules chess."

If there is any confusion then it is caused by any who would want to equate tournament play with match play. They are clearly two different skills. There are several examples of World Champions who did not necessarily dominate top-level tournament play. Anand is the undisputed world champion and is arguably one of the best match players ever. Carlsen clearly scores the best in tournaments right now and his Elo reflects that. Whether or not Carlsen's strength (Kramnik thinks he is the strongest player right now) could translate into victory in a match with Anand is an open question. I think it would be great for chess if the same player held the World Title and the number one rating at the same time (last done by Anand) but I don't know if Carlsen is up to the task. A twelve game match with Aronian (who seems to score well against Anand at classical time controls) would tell us a lot; if Carlsen wins the candidates he would be wise to play a warm-up match with Aronian before playing Anand for the title.

redivivo's picture

"They are clearly two different skills. There are several examples of World Champions who did not necessarily dominate top-level tournament play"

There are several examples of World Champions who weren't the strongest player in the world the whole time they held the title, and that's also why they didn't dominate in any format. To win the World Championship year 2000 Kramnik didn't need to dominate tournament play, and he certainly hadn't dominated match play after losing his matches to Kamsky, Gelfand and Shirov. Euwe didn't dominate tournament or match play, he lost his match to Capa.

The thing is that people often equate winning one match against one opponent with "dominating match play" and being the "best match player", regardless of the results against other opponents. It just makes it easier to think that the World Champion somehow dominates in some way.

RealityCheck's picture

@redivivo "it just makes it easier to think that the World Champion somehow dominates in some way".

Just out of curiosity, What should we call the man who has more than 30 super tournament wins under his belt, who won the 1st Rapid Wch, who now owns 5 Classical Wch titles?

What do achievements at this level have in common with "just makes it easier to think that..." ?? Absolutely nothing.

giovlinn's picture

Wang Hao deservedly won this tournament. That aside, RealityCheck's remark was far from intelligent. But hey, we're used to that!

Anonymous's picture

Very intelligent of giovlinn to post his useless crap twice.

tobacco's picture

Message from China today:
"Ok Norway, now we can forget this Nobel Peace Price blunder"

Jon's picture

LOL!!

Greco's picture

When Carlsen was winning with the football system everybody was critisising it....Congrats to Wang Hao!!!

MJul's picture

Wrong: it was much more criticized than now.

Jon's picture

Waiting for Diaz, cartoon!!!

RealityCheck's picture

=100

Gazelle's picture

This signals the end of Mzungu domination of chess.

MJul's picture

My winner is Giri (If he's back to normal, I recovored a great player)

Now, wait for Moro... again.

MH's picture

With the 3 point system the players need to adjust their openings. Play more aggresive openings, instead of drawish play. I think that Wang Hao understands this very wel, and adjusted accordingly.

Carlsen is the best player in the world, but Wang was the best player this tournament. Everybody knew the rules in advance and agreed to them.

Congratz to all.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen beat Hao twice but Hao wins the tournament.

Who is a better player, Carlsen or Hao?

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen beat Hao twice but Hao wins the tournament.

Who is a better player, Carlsen or Hao?

Thomas's picture

Along with MH above, I would say "Who is a better player" is the wrong question, which has an obvious answer for the time being. We can only ask "who _was_ the better player" in the given event. And here we can still debate who played the better chess, but not who had the better result according to the rules of the tournament.

In Wijk aan Zee this year, Aronian lost against Carlsen and even against tailender Navara but beat many other players to finish in clear first - ahead of Carlsen in shared second place. Who was the better player? In that case, even "who is the better player?" or at least "who will be the better player in the next event where both play?" (Bilbao?) is an open question. Of course I know that Carlsen has a higher rating ... .

tobacco's picture

1. Who won the tournament deservedly according to the rules? Hao
2. Who was the better player in the tournament? Carlsen
3. Who was the best player among contemporaries? Kasparov
4. Who was the most spetacular player of his time? Fischer
5. Who was the best player ever according to engine-evaluations? Carlsen

PircAlert's picture

Who is the greatest ever in the kingdom of chess? Anand!

RG's picture

@ tobacco
re: 3. ... I read that after adjusting for rating inflation Fischer was the most dominant (ratings-wise) among contemporaries; Kasparov was second. At least according to this paper (I am not good at math and don't read German so I am open-minded about this): http://www.schachchronik.de/rangliste/ewig

redivivo's picture

"after adjusting for rating inflation"

There are many strange "adjusted" rating lists out there aiming to prove that Fischer was the eternal #1, and they usually contain all kinds of weird results. This one for example has Morozevich ahead of Aronian in the "adjusted" rating, while Carlsen, after scoring very good tournament results the last three-four years, is ranked less than ten points ahead of Moro, and behind for example Spassky. The latter won few strong events during the years Elo existed, and was beaten severely by Fischer and Karpov in matches. A great player in the 1960s, but ranking his results and Elo from the 1970s clearly ahead of Carlsen's 2009-12 seems strange. Spassky was never within 50 points from first place while Carlsen has dominated the rating list for years.

RG's picture

re: "The latter won few strong events during the years Elo existed". Yes but as you said "a great player in the 1960's". Spassky's Elo can be calculated retroactively by assigning players from the 1960's their own Elo's based upon their results against other playes, etc. This process was used in the book by Nathan Dvinsky (if memory serves) long before Carlsen's time and he did not come up with Fischer but Kasparov as the most dominant. However your point about Spassky may be correct but your same reasoning about Spassky vs. Carlsen can be made about Carlsen vs. Fischer. I have to agree with Kasparov's statement that Carlsen's rating achievement is not on the level of Bobby Fischer's 2775. Let's just look at the distance from the other players in the top ten (in 1972) and how incredibly hard it would be to achieve such a rating against such lower rated players. For a streak of dominance - Fischer's performance during the candidates matches leading up to his 1972 World Championship victory is unparalleled. I don't think Kasparov is a fan of Fischer or is against his protege (Carlsen did not make #1 until after working with Kasparov) but was trying to be objective as a lover of the game. Of course if we ask him about himself and I am sure he will be less objective. So while you may not agree with any particular conclusion and some calculations may have a motivation other than objective truth, I feel that we have to take the passage of time into account when comparing ratings in the same way we do when comparing annual salaries.

redivivo's picture

"re: "The latter won few strong events during the years Elo existed". Yes but as you said "a great player in the 1960's". Spassky's Elo can be calculated retroactively by assigning players from the 1960's their own Elo's based upon their results against other playes, etc"

Maybe, but the linked list doesn't, it ranks Petrosian (World Champion 1963-69) behind players like Moro and Gelfand, and that would be even more strange than it already is if actual results from the 1960s were taken into consideration, so it can't be based on anything else than actual Elo ratings from the 1970s and onwards, when Elo rating was in use.

"your same reasoning about Spassky vs. Carlsen can be made about Carlsen vs. Fischer. I have to agree with Kasparov's statement that Carlsen's rating achievement is not on the level of Bobby Fischer's 2775"

Fischer at his peak, when he was 29 years old, had a more impressive Elo than Carlsen has when he is 21, few would disagree about that and I certainly wouldn't. It is often said that Carlsen isn't as dominant as Fischer was in 1971-72, but how many players have been that?

"I feel that we have to take the passage of time into account when comparing ratings"

Of course, I just think Carlsen is underestimated when his rating today is placed clearly behind Spassky's rating of the 1970s, since the latter never was even 50 points from first place and rarely top three, while only Kasparov, Karpov and Fischer have been first on the rating list for a longer time than Carlsen during the 40+ years it has been in existence.

RG's picture

o.k. I agree with you then.

Anonymous's picture

Hao won more money than Carlsen did at Biel.

That's the only difference.

Anonymous's picture

Carlsen reported that he makes $1.5 million per year (including modeling and endorsement deals and everything) so he probably cares more about first place.

Anonymous's picture

Hao should be invited to participate in the Tata tournament 2013.

Pages

Your comment

By posting a comment you are agreeing to abide our Terms & Conditions