Wang Hao Wins Biel Grandmaster Tournament
Friday, 03 August 2012 16:05
As it was easy to predict, the last round was full of suspense. The most interesting game, that one between Wang Hao and Giri, quite surprisingly was the first to finish and rather quickly.
These two players were only one point behind Carlsen and it was quite clear that their game can hardly end peacefully. The opening was again the Gruenfeld Indian defense and everything was going according to the book until move 21, when White made a bishop move which seems to be rather suspicious.
Black returned the favor immediately by making a wrong intermediate move, which allowed White to meet his action against white central pawn with nice tactics, which otherwise wouldn't work. As a consequence he found himself in a difficult position and resigned six moves after.
Such a result put Carlsen under a lot of pressure, since from that moment on he was obliged to win against Bacrot in order to assure the first place. The opening in that game was a Spanish defense, with an early (on move 5) exchange on c6.
White achieved nothing from the opening, even less from the middle game end they entered the endgame where White's pawn structure was better, but on the other hand Black’s pieces were more active, and in one moment he missed the opportunity to get rid of his double pawn, obtaining better chances. After his inaccurate knight move White was slightly better until the end, but not enough to win the game and the tournament.
The other decided game was White's win in Nakamura-Bologan. The latter tried again his Benko (Volga) gambit, while White used the same line as Carlsen did two days ago against the same player.
Black didn't manage to equalize and in spite of his stubborn resistance he was not able to save the endgame being a pawn down.
So, after 10 days of interesting fights the winner of the 45th edition is the Chinese GM Wang Hao with 19 points, quite deservedly I would say because he used the so called „Sofia rule“ best, 3 points for the win and only 1 point for draw.
It is exactly because of this rule that Carlsen, with one point less, in spite of being the only undefeated player, didn't manage to repeat his win from the last year.
Report by GM Miso Cebalo for the official website
GMT Final Standings (after 10 Rounds):
1. Wang Hao 2739 CHN - 19
2. Magnus Carlsen 2837 NOR - 18
3-4. Anish Giri 2696 NED and Hikaru Nakamura 2778 USA - 16
5. Etienne Bacrot 2713 FRA - 7
6. Victor Bologan 2732 MDA - 4 (8 games)
Replay the games with computer analysis
Bologan started the tournament from Round 3, after Morozevich retired from the tournament due to health reasons. Games are scored 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.