Young Anish Giri has had a tough start to the Biel Chess Festival. After being swept off the board in Round 1 against Hou Yifan he played a good game against India’s Pentala Harikrishna. In his opponent's time trouble, however, he committed a big mistake that cost him the game. The other two games were quiet draws that were balanced from the opening onwards.
Biel Round 2 results
chess24 live commentary
GM Jan Gustafsson and IM Lawrence Trent combined their commentary on Biel and Dortmund:
Giri did everything right in order to recover after losing to Hou Yifan. He played solidly but not overly cautiously and dealt with his opponent’s initiative well, but… Elite level clashes are tough for everyone, and his opponent, the experienced Pentala Harikrishna, managed to create problems despite time trouble that meant he was playing on the 30-second increment:
It’s the 37th move. White has just put a knight on e6, and although there are no concrete threats… it’s always an unsettling place to see a knight! The most advisable course of action for Giri would have been to eliminate the knight immediately, or after playing Ba5 first, in order later to be able to play Qg5 and look to simplify. The position would likely have been very balanced.
Instead of that he started a very strange manoeuvre: 37…Rg8? 38. Nf4 Rc8?, looking for activity on the c-file. That was irrelevant, though, and after White played Qh5 and Rg1 Giri had to resign, since there was no stopping the armada of white pieces around the black king.
Let’s take a quick look at the other two games. After getting a worse position with the Trompowsky in the first round Vachier-Lagrave, who again had White, experimented with the Exchange Slav and at no point did he manage to get an edge. I get the feeling that in his next game with White the Frenchman will return to the main lines… we’ll see!
The Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan didn’t need to suffer much with Black against Poland’s no. 1 Radek Wojtaszek. A calm Ragozin developed quietly until a draw was agreed. No doubt we can expect more excitement in the coming rounds!
GM Daniel King also provided a short report on the round:
Biel standings after Round 2
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