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Dominguez to the Front in Biel

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You don't get too many consecutive rounds with all games decisive at top-level events these days. Biel isn't quite super, with only one of the top ten, but these guys are hardly wimps. More importantly, they are letting it all hang out in just about every round. Unfortunately, we also have something we don't like to see, which is so many of the decisive games coming from one over-matched and out of form player. Yannick Pelletier is the top-rated native Swiss player, born in Biel itself according to his Wikipedia page. Vadim Milov and Viktor Korchnoi (!) are currently ahead of him on the Swiss rating list, but it's hometown boy Pelletier who has been a fixture at the top Biel event for years. He is to Biel what van Wely is to Corus, what Illescas/Vallejo were to Linares before they cracked down, and what Corporal LeBeau was to Hogan's Heroes. (Naiditsch gets a pass because he actually won Dortmund once.)

Pelletier usually outperforms his rating in Biel, which is always the lowest in the field. He scored +1 last year. But he peaked at 2624 in 2003 and the 32-year-old has had more downs than ups lately. After this event his current 2569 is going to look like √(x - 1) as x → ∞. He just lost his fifth consecutive game and has 0.5/7 with three rounds to play. Keep your spirits up, Yannick! In Monday's round seven his executioner was Cuba's Lenier Dominguez, who took over the lead in the tournament with the victory. He swapped places with Magnus Carlsen, who finally looked mortal in a loss to Alekseev. They played a Four Knights and Carlsen played a pawn grab on move 7 that was supposed to be bad back when Chigorin was still playing these lines. It looked about equal until Alekseev found a way to unbalance the position with 28..b4! Carlsen knowingly took the bait and Black got two connected passers charged with potential energy. During the shuffling it was Carlsen trying to find a win against Alekseev's open king. But Black managed to secure his position and when Carlsen strangely decided to swap queens even opposite-colored bishops weren't enough to hold the pawns back. 45.Rd6 was a good try to improve for White. I thought at first 75.b6 might hold for White, but the computer isn't so sure. Fighting chess! Alekseev and Carlsen are now tied for =2-3 with 4.5/7.

The excitement didn't end there. Bacrot, whose place was apparently taken by Anand in disguise after the 4th round, won his third in a row after starting out with 0.5/4. Today he played the Benoni, usually an invitation to have your head cracked at this level unless your name is Topalov, and beat Onischuk in a nice game. The American couldn't resist a temporary piece sac that didn't pan out. Onischuk went for a R+B vs Q but couldn't find a blockade. A quick flip from +1 to -1 for Onischuk.


When are you going to get this page sorted out Mig? It still goes blank after the first message...

Leinier won again today (round 8) against Alekseev. He's on a roll!

sqrt(x-1) as x -> inf is still inf.

Ha ha ... Mig's quote on sqrt(x-1) is clear from the mathematical point of view, but on the other hand it seems to me like an odd choice of function in order to make his statement understandable.

By the way, I hope Dominguez can hold Carlsen tomorrow and win the tournament... he has been playing very well in this year and this is the kind of breakthrough performance he needs in order to be considered in Supertournaments; hopefully, he can get a second and the resources to improve his chess.

Carlsen's Q-exchange against Alekseev was indeed strange and put him on the back and losing foot immediately. Can't imagine why he did that.

i guess he is used to winning and thought that it was inevitable that Alekseev would just err at some point. it's happened plenty of times already, not that I am taking anything away from his generally great play. hence the harmless opening. oh well it's a lesson about complacency i suppose.

It looked like Carlsen was walking a tightrope against Dominguez.

At 2r2rk1/1p1b1p2/3pp3/p5Pp/4qNn1/1B5Q/PPP1N3/1K4R1 w - - 0 27 , did Dominguez have a winning line. FRITZ10 seems to see this clearly:
27.Nxh5 f5 28.gxf6 Kf7 29.Nhg3 Qg6 30.Nf4 Rh8 31.Qf1 Qh7 32.Qe2 d5 33.Qxg4 Rcg8 34.Qd1 Qh4 35.Nfe2 ...

Re. Mig's formula.

The -1 part of the formula is meaningless. Minus 1 becomes insignificant as x approaches infinity, so it's the same as simply saying the square root of x as x approaches infinity. The answer is infinite, either way.

Sadly, I have no idea what he's trying to say, but I think he's confused.

Aren't you guys overanalyzing? Oh yeah, right it's a chess blog.

All Mig wanted to say with this formula is that Pelletier will lose a lot of rating points. The formula does not work, but that's not the point.

Jeez, looks like Dominguez must've blundered (in time pressure, maybe?!), losing to Bacrot in the last round. Poor guy; maybe the pressure got to him? Or he got complacent? Or...? A learning experience, either way...hope he overcomes it & can continue to bigger & better things, with his obvious talent.

@ Rich Fireman

The way I see it, Bacrot got a very good position after the opening. Bacrot started with a poor performance in this tournament, but he's still a very good player and was in great shape at the end.

Indeed , Bacrot is an excellent player , had been able to cross 2700+ elo mark and regularly been in the top 15 best players in the world .

Even though he doesn't compare with the elite GM of the top 10 , i still have a lot of respect for players lik him , for instance he managed to beat Kramnik in his career which cannot be said by everyone and has always had excellent results when younger , like in 2003 finishing 2nd to Morozevich in the same Biel tournament . he had some health trouble these last few years , so it's good to see him react well by scoring 4 victories in a few days after a bad start .


Well done to Alekseev, but I really feel for Dominguez. To lose in such a manner really sucks.

I.A, any details on Bacrot's health problems? Serious? Not so serious? I know he has been expressing some frustration about lack of energy towards the end of games.

I'm sure Magnus will now be glad that his rating is 'only' 2775 and not 279x. He'd lose fewer points as a 2775 for 'just' a 6/10 against this field..

Yes mate , he has been ill for some time , he looked quite pale recently , but he should be healed now , we suppose it's not so serious as he didn't gave details but it certainly affected his preparation and overall fitness for quite some time .

On another note , congratulations to Alekseev and Dominguez for their very good tournament , like everyone i'd have thought Carlsen would win it with ease before the tourney , but he's human after all and probably got tired after such a fantastic year of him . A bit cruel for Dominguez to lose everything in the last day , but he showed the public that he's capable of great things , i wish him the best ;)

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 28, 2008 11:05 PM.

    Neutrality Ends in Biel was the previous entry in this blog.

    I Said, VESELIN GEORGIEV IS WORLD CHAMPION! is the next entry in this blog.

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