Reports | July 31, 2012 18:57

Carlsen, Giri and Wang Hao win in 8th round Biel

The playing hall in Biel

Magnus Carlsen and Wang Hao are still tied for first place in Biel as both won their games in round 8. The Norwegian defeated Victor Bologan with White, while the Chinese won with Black against Hikaru Nakamura. With two rounds to go, Anish Giri is still one point behind the leaders as he won against Etienne Bacrot. Carlsen's live rating is now 2846.4 – he needs to win his last two games in Biel as well to break Garry Kasparov's all-time record of 2851.

The playing hall in Biel | 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.

One remarkable thing of the 8th round in Biel was that the results were exactly mirrored from the same pairings in round 3, which meant that Wang Hao, Carlsen and Giri defeated their opponents Nakamura, Bologan and Bacrot 2-0. After this hattrick of wins the standings actually didn't change that much. Nobody moved to a different place; only the difference between the top three players and the rest was increased with three points.

Nakamura-Wang Hao was a fascinating fight. The Chinese decided to just copy Veselin Topalov's moves of Wijk aan Zee 2012, where the Bulgarian had reached an excellent position against Nakamura's English Opening. Naturally the American deviated at an early stage, and got some advantage. However, with 28...Nc7! Wang Hao was hanging on, and then Nakamura suddenly missed a tactic that threatened to trap his queen. Afterwards he would tweet:

Very disappointing day. Hao defended quite well and like too many times all too recently, I completely lost my head and my nerves.

PGN string

Video produced by Pascal Simon (Chessbase)

For the second time in this tournament Victor Bologan played the Benkö/Volga Gambit, and Magnus Carlsen went for the main line. Well, until move 11 because then the Nowegian played 12.Qe2 where 12.Re1 and 12.h3 have always been the main options. The pawn sac 15...h6 is critical for the theory in this line, but Bologan retreated his queen quickly (which was new). With some nice prophylactic moves Carlsen kept an advantage and after reacting well to Bologan's double-edged plan with his f-pawn, the Norwegian never let go.

PGN string

Anish Giri admitted that he had been lucky to win his game against Etienne Bacrot. Starting his analysis with commentator GM Klaus Bischoff he said

I'll never play Sicilian again, ever, in my life. I played terribly.

and afterwards the Dutchman tweeted:

My najdorf play (mainly 19...bxa3??) was asking for trouble, but luckily Bacrot got confused :) So far so lucky, tomorrow Carlsen :P

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 - Nakamura
Giri 0-1 Wang Hao   Giri - Carlsen
Bacrot ½-½ Carlsen   Bologan - Wang Hao
Round 5 27.07.12 14:00 CET   Round 10 02.08.12 11:00 CET
Nakamura 1-0 Bacrot   Nakamura - Bologan
Carlsen ½-½ Giri   Wang Hao - Giri
Wang Hao 1-0 Bologan   Carlsen - Bacrot

Biel 2012 | Round 8 standings

# Name Fed Rtg + = - Pts
1-2 Wang Hao CHN 2739 5 1 2 16
1-2 Carlsen,M NOR 2837 4 4 0 16
3 Giri,A NED 2696 4 3 1 15
4 Nakamura,H USA 2778 2 4 2 10
5 Bacrot,E FRA 2713 1 3 4 6
6 Bologan,V MDA 2732 0 1 5 1
7 Morozevich,A RUS 2770 0 0 2 0

Biel 2012 | Round 8 standings (classical)


Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, 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.


Anonymous's picture

There is certainly a sizable gap in playing strength between the Top 3 competitors and the rest of the field.

gelagela's picture

what is going on this chess forum?

If Anand Gelfand play safe they get brick bats and abuses.

If Naka takes risk and loses, he gets the same..

MJul's picture

Because he's Naka. If we were talking about Morozevich or Shirov there would be much positives comments.

AWT's picture

Carlsen this, Carlsen that. All you worshippers should not forget that he is only level with Wang Hao.

Anthony Migchels's picture

Not really, classically he's half a point up.

In fact; the current standing shows the weakness of the 3 for wins: Carlsen beat Wang (who's doing great!) twice and really deserves first place.

The last two years or so it seems top level chess has become far more double edged (perhaps not counting wc-matches....) more wins, more disbalancing by the players. Really great and entertaining stuff!

RG's picture

I've argued for a slight adjustment to the football rating system. Keep the loss at 0 and the draw at 1 but make the win 2.5 points. I think it's better.

tobacco's picture

On the other hand, all players will play with that score-system in mind, and obviously produce more decisive games.

dev anand's picture

He has beaten Wang in both games and is also ahead on tie breaks besides being ahead on classical scoring.

Eric's picture

Peter, the schedule of rounds shows a date of 01.08.12 for both Round 9 and Round 10.

Peter Doggers's picture

Right, thanks, corrected.


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