August 01, 2012 19:58

Biel R9: Wang Hao loses to Bologan, Carlsen in sole lead

Bologan beats Wang Hao in a very nice game

Magnus Carlsen is the sole leader in Biel with one round to go. On Wednesday the Norwegian drew with Anish Giri, but co-leader Wang Hao lost against Victor Bologan. Hikaru Nakamura defeated Etienne Bacrot, who made a terrible blunder.

Bologan beats Wang Hao in a very nice game | Photo 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.

Anything is possible in Biel, and everything will be decided on the very last day. Drawing with Anish Giri, Magnus Carlsen added a point to his score and this was enough to grab sole lead because Wang Hao lost. Victor Bologan thus won his first game of the tournament, and a great game it was. The third game was also decisive: in a better position poor Etienne Bacrot had a complete blackout against Hikaru Nakamura and blundered heavily.

Giri-Carlsen saw some fireworks, but it all led to a dead equal position.

PGN string

Video produced by Pascal Simon (Chessbase)

There's not much more to say about Bacrot-Nakamura than what the American tweeted afterwards:

Chess is a very strange game sometimes...

PGN string

Video produced by Pascal Simon (Chessbase)

The game of the day was the following. Bologan could repeat many moves and ideas from a game he had played only two weeks earlier. Wang Hao again defended very well but at move 40 the Chinese erred.

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 - Bologan
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Wang Hao - Giri
Wang Hao 1-0 Bologan   Carlsen - Bacrot

Biel 2012 | Round 9 standings

# Name Fed Rtg + = - Pts
1 Carlsen,M NOR 2837 4 5 0 17
2-3 Wang Hao CHN 2739 5 1 3 16
2-3 Giri,A NED 2696 4 4 1 16
4 Nakamura,H USA 2778 3 4 2 13
5 Bacrot,E FRA 2713 1 3 5 6
6 Bologan,V MDA 2732 1 1 5 4
7 Morozevich,A RUS 2770 0 0 2 0

Biel 2012 | Round 9 standings (classical)


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Carolina's picture

The difference going into the last round between the football scoring and classical scoring is very interesting. If this were classically scored, Carlsen would need only a draw to be guaranteed at least tied first place. Also, Wang Hao would need to win, and both Carlsen and Giri would have to lose, for him to even tie for first. As it stands, all three players are in more or less an equal position to shoot for first.

Crazy round today; Nakamura was gifted a victory after Bacrot had an edge and then hung a piece, and Bologan scored his first 3 points after Wang Hao horribly misplayed his defense around the 40 move mark.

Carlsen has outclassed the opposition here, in my opinion. He has has played very consistently and hasn't been in a losing position all tournament. He was under some pressure in round 5 against Giri, but was never really in danger of losing.

And speaking of Giri, with the exception of his grinding loss to Hao, he has played very well. It is great to see him back over 2700, and rising rapidly in the ranks, no doubt. He will probably be the next young player to bump an oldie out of the top-ten.

Carolina's picture

I didn't realize that Giri and Wang Hao were playing in the last round! Makes Carlsen's job a tiny bit easier ...

Anonymous's picture

@Carolina, Nice!

If Carlsen draws and Wang wins, Carlsen would finish with 7.0 points, and Wang would only have 6.5 points.

And Wang would win the tournament.

Has it ever happened that a tournament finishes with such an odd discrepancy between the two systems?

Carolina's picture

I can't think of one off the top of my head. Wang Hao is having a pretty unique tournament, since he has 8 decisive games and only 1 draw. That is pretty unusual!

Thomas's picture

Wijk aan Zee doesn't have football scoring, but this year Karjakin had a score comparable to Wang Hao's but perfectly balanced: +5=3-5 (he "ruined" his tournament with draws in rounds 8, 12 and 13). With football scoring, he would have been tied with Nakamura and Ivanchuk (both 7.5/13, +3=9-1). Theoretically he could have won the tournament with a 50% score - if noone else had done better than +2=11.

juan's picture

3-1-0 is used, if Wang wins, Magnus would be forced to win to finish 1st.

RealityCheck's picture

Your assessment, Carolina (North or South?), is very un-en-light-en-ing. Did you think GM Carlsen thought, going into the last round, that he was playing in a tournament employing classical scoring and drew with GM Bac-row to secure the treasured 1st Place? Its confusing isn't it?

jimknopf's picture

I don't think the last round will be easy for anyone.

Carlsen has to win to be sure. His only advantage is that no one can catch him if he wins.
If he draws and either Giri or Hao wins (which is very likely, because both will strive for tournament win, and none of them will play for a draw), he can't win the tournament.

So there's three possible winners, and whoever wins in the end, will deserve it, after a very tough and entertaining tournament.

n1uknow's picture

I think Giri will win tomorrow and Carlsen draws.

Chess Fan's picture

It looks to me that with 95 percent certainty Magnus would win tomorrow (5 percent discount because Barcot is a great player himself who can suddenly beat anyone in the world). Draw between them tomorrow is most unlikely.
***Just predicting for fun*** But with Magnus, in the last rounds, it is very easy.

Anthony Migchels's picture

Carlsen will undoubtedly press for all he's worth and Etienne will not have an easy life, especially with shaken confidence. Although all these guys are incredibly tough and Carlsen shouldn't underestimate him.

All in all I must say that the current standing shows a certain weakness in the football scoring system. Carlsen clearly did better than Wang (who did absolutely great). The fact that he must win tomorrow to be sure of victory is a little unfair.

Perhaps 2,5 points for a win should be enough?

Thomas's picture

Hmmm, when Carlsen won London 2010 his fans were quite happy with football scoring: +4=1-2 beat Anand's and McShane's +2=5, Carlsen's losses were against ... Anand and McShane. The argument was that football scoring rewards a player like Carlsen who takes risks - though he didn't take excessive risks but was simply outplayed in the games he lost (and, I have to mention it, in a third one against Kramnik where he escaped with a draw).

This time, Wang Hao (and others) played the type of risky chess which football scoring encourages. Carlsen didn't take similar risks - one reason why he was never in danger of losing.

Football scoring is fine if it favors Carlsen, but bad if it favors someone else over Carlsen? Tiebreaks are fine if they favor Carlsen - has it yet happened that Carlsen finished shared first, and someone else had the better tiebreak?

Anthony Migchels's picture

no, awestruck as I am by Carlsen's domination of tournament chess in the last two years, I didn't like his 'win' in London. Or better: I appreciated his performance and catch up, but he shouldn't have been given the gold.

This just reinforces the plea for 2,5.

slonik's picture

Since it has been said many times before that it was wrong that Carlsen was considered winner of London it might also be worth mentioning that he won the event also with traditional scoring since he had +2 as Anand and McShane but more wins, and number of wins was first tiebreak.

Thomas's picture

"number of wins was first tiebreak" - which makes no sense with football scoring: number of wins then is first a tie-creater, then a tiebreaker.

For example, if Wang Hao had drawn today against Bologan he would still be tied with Carlsen. If they then have the same result tomorrow (win or draw - if both lose Giri wins game and tournament) Wang Hao would still be behind on classical score but tied on football score and ahead on tiebreak.

There are pros and cons for football scoring - I am generally skeptical because I agree with Aditya below, however players knew the rules before the event. But "double football scoring" is just ridiculous.

redivivo's picture

Yes, having both football scoring and number of wins as tiebreak is quite excessive, and no other event uses both. However, if London hadn't used football scoring Carlsen would still have won since the tiebreak was number of wins, and with traditional scoring that is a common tiebreak form.

An example of football scoring actually making a difference for the final result is the Grand Slam final, where Carlsen alone scored +2 and Ivanchuk +1. Because of the football scoring system they had an equal number of points and shared first. Tiebreak of the competition was a blitz minimatch, which Carlsen eventually won.

If Carlsen draws his final game in Biel and Wang wins Carlsen will end up with +4 while Wang scores +3 but wins the event. Wang will naturally be the winner since he scored more points according to the rules of the event. The difference compared to London would be that there will be another winner with football scoring than with traditional scoring, but the rules are known before the event starts so not much to discuss. I'd still think Carlsen scored a good result and played well though.

Thomas's picture

"Carlsen would still have won ..." - that's hypothetical: if London used traditional scoring they might also use another tiebreaker, and while number of wins favored Carlsen, Sonneborn-Berger and direct result between players (both also commonly used) favored the other ones.

"I'd still think Carlsen scored a good result and played well though." - so did Wang Hao and Giri, whatever happens today in the final round!? Maybe they didn't always find and play the best moves, some of their positions were more complicated than Carlsen's.

One general point about football scoring: I wouldn't want it to become standard for _all_ events, but it's OK for "selected" events. Is Biel 2012 the first time where it - at least that's my impression - regularly affects how players approach their games?

redivivo's picture

""Carlsen would still have won ..." - that's hypothetical: if London used traditional scoring they might also use another tiebreaker"

Yes, if London had used neither football scoring nor number of wins as tiebreaker, as they did, it is possible that some other tiebreaker might have meant that Carlsen had not been first on tiebreak. But then there are many past events where hypothetical changes of several rules would lead to other winners. Both Anand and McShane had four whites in London while Carlsen had three, by the way, so that tiebreaker (used in Tal Memorial) would have favoured Carlsen. An extra white is a big advantage in such a short event.

rogge's picture

>the rules are known before the event starts so not much to discuss

Absolutely. 18 decisive games so far, and only 9 draws, no complaints.

Btw, only two draws not involving Carlsen or Giri, but that's because Carlsen/Giri draw (or win) when the other guys lose (1 vs 17 losses)

rogge's picture

Cheer up and focus on important things in life. Your repetitive rants are boring.

Go Kramnik, the best player ever!!

Anonymous's picture

talking about repetitive, are you stalking him rogge?

S3's picture


Csaba's picture

Could we please stop it with these blanket statements? The 2 or 3 people on the internet who regularly contradict themselves on these forums and chessbomb do not represent "his fans" in general. (And a copout answer from me: I think both scoring methods are fine.)

Anonymous's picture

Thomas. Find other hobby. Your arguments sucks!!

Anonymous's picture

Thomas. Find other hobby. Your arguments sucks!!

S3's picture

So Anthony, why wouldn't Giri deserve 1rst prize today if he wins tomorrow and Carlsen draws? Giri would have collected just as many points but would have won an extra game.
By the way, quite telling how slonik and sockpuppet rogge say nothing about this but a lot about irrelevant stuff.

rogge's picture

Relax, Sitzkrieg, Carlsen might lose tomorrow. Always a pleasure annoying you and your Master Thomas [insert smiley].

RG's picture

2.5 for a win is a commonsense 'tweaking' of the football scoring system and will minimize results where a person who has had a better tournament does not win.

katar's picture

Bologan's knight from g1 was the chess equivalent of Chuck Norris.

bioniclime's picture

Double round robins with 3-1-0 scoring are a bad idea. Too much opportunity for collusion...

It is not hard to imagine two players having an agreement to lose to each other in their two games, thus both getting 3 points from their two encounters.

I am NOT saying any players here did it at all. I am saying that the opportunity is easy to see.

Septimus's picture

That is ridiculous. There is more opportunity for match-fixing with the traditional system, i.e the disgusting situation of players drawing in 10 moves.

Bartleby's picture

By arranging games in traditional scoring one player has to give up the same amount of points that the other gets. By swapping wins in football scoring both get an advantage over the rest of the field. A win-win-situation, literally. That's very tempting.

Anonymous's picture

Nonsense! It's not tempting at all. Doing so would risk destroying the system and going back to traditional scoring and boring drawish players. Since fighting players are the ones invited to tournaments that invoke the system, they would never involve themselves in any action that would jeopardize future revenues.

MW's picture

I'm trying to decide whether this comment is better classified as a non sequitur or just naive hogwash.

Anonymous's picture

As your position would rather entertain hogwashed, paranoid fantasies about players breaching ethics in 3-point system-derived, double-round robins - even though no such evidence exists - as a criticism against the 3-point system itself, I can only conclude that your position be classified either as a completely idiotic or totally schizophrenic.

Aditya's picture

The mixed feelings about the football scoring system come from the fact that there is no good objective way to differentiate between an insipid or pre arranged draw from a fighting draw. We want the pre arranged draws to be punished so we would like to see a win and a loss score better than 2 of Kosintseva sister draws. But, like in Biel, where everyone fought sincerely in their games (even when drawn),it feels unfair when a win and a loss is better than 2 draws. Unless there is a way to differentiate between the two scenarios, the football scoring system cannot be declared better or worse than the classical system.

Septimus's picture

Carlsen is poised to win this. Barcot's play in the latter stages has been really shaky.

unknown's picture

Is last round earlier, cause official tells otherwise?

GM Varnsen's picture

That's just rude!

tobacco's picture

Carlsen is of course a clear favourite into the last round, considering Bacrot being rather shaky and Carlsen's previous record for finishing tournaments.
But both Hao and Giri have performed great, Hao a little more unstable than Giri though.

valg321's picture

Bacrot literally handed Naka the victory in a platter

Carol's picture

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