By Jennifer Shahade
July 22, 2008
American GM Alexander Onischuk scored in round three of the Biel Chess Festival (Biel, Switzerland, July 20-Aug 1.) His victim was local player, Yannick Pelletier (2569), the lowest rated player in the event. Onischuk is the second lowest rated player in a field filled with 2700's. Last year that did not stop him from tying for first place with Magnus Carlsen , albeit losing to the Norweigian superGM in the playoff. At plus one, Onischuk is now tied for second. Alexander arrives in Biel after a tough time at the Karpov Poikovsky Cup in Russia (July 8-17) , where he was also the second lowest rated player in the field and shared 7-10th place with 3.5/9.
GM Alexander Onischuk against GM Magnus Carlsen last year in Biel
Although Onischuk was always better in his game today, victory was far from certain until 29...d3. This allowed Alexander to simplify into a winning rook and pawn ending with Rc7+ without having to worry about Rd7, when the d-pawn would simply fall.
Biel Chess Festival 2008
Standings after three rounds
1. Magnus Carlsen 2775- 2.5
2-3. Alexander Onischuk 2670 and Evgeny Alekseev 2708-2
4. Lenier Dominguez 2708-1.5
5-6. Etienne Bacrot 2691 and Yannick Pelletier 2569-0.5
Don't miss the Carlsen-Onischuk match-up on July 24 at 8 AM EST, when Alex will have his chance to exact revenge for last year. Also look out for a midway Biel report on CLO by GM Ian Rogers.