International Grandmaster Tournament Biel Albo d' Oro

1977 Anthony Miles (ENG)
 No GM tournament
1979 Viktor Korchnoi (SUI)
1980 Yehuda Grünfeld (ISR)
1981 Eric Lobron (GER-FRG);
Vlastimil Hort (CZS)
1982 John Nunn (ENG);
Florin Gheorghiu (ROM)
1983 Anthony Miles (ENG);
John Nunn (ENG)
1984 Vlastimil Hort (CZS); Robert Hübner (GER-FRG) jointly **
1986 Lev Polugaevsky (USSR);
Eric Lobron (GER-FRG)
1987 Boris Gulko (USA)
1988 Ivan Sokolov (YUG);
Boris Gulko (USA)
1989 Vassily Ivanchuk (USSR);
Lev Polugaevsky (USSR)
1990 Anatoly Karpov (USSR)
1991 Alexej Shirov (LAT)
(played for that tournament still under the soviet flag after turbulent negotiations between Fide, the involved Federations and the Organizers of Biel. Shirov later then played for Spain; today, he plays for Latvia again)
1992 Anatoly Karpov (RUS)
1994 Viktor Gavrikov (SUI)
1995 Alexej Dreev (RUS)
1996 Anatoly Karpov (RUS);
Vadim Milov (SUI)
1997 Viswanathan Anand (IND)
1998 Mladen Palac (CRO)
1999 Jeroen Piket (NED)
2000 Peter Svidler (RUS)
2001 Viktor Korchnoi (SUI)
2002 Ilya Smirin (ISR)
2003 Alexander Morozevich (RUS)
2004 Alexander Morozevich (RUS)
2005 Boris Gelfand (ISR); Andrei Volokitin (UKR) jointly **
2006 Alexander Morozevich (RUS)
2007 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) *
(after two rapids and two blitz, Armageddon vs. Alexander Onischuk)
2008 Evgeny Alekseev (RUS) *

(after two rapids, second blitz vs. Leinier Dominguez Perez)
2009 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)
2010 Fabiano Caruana (ITA) *
(three-way-tie between Ngoc Truongson Nguyen, Fabiano Caruana, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Semifinal Caruana beats Vachier after two blitz in Armageddon game. Final: Caruana beats Ngoc, seeded directly to the final as best player according to Sonneborn-Berger points, in rapid 1.5:0.5)
2011 Magnus Carlsen (NOR)
2012 Wang Hao (CHN)
(Oliver Breisacher Memorial) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) *
(four-way-tie: Etienne Bacrot, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Moiseenko, and Ding Liren. Semifinal Vachier vs. Ding Liren 2-0 blitz, Moiseenko vs. Bacrot 2-0 blitz. Final: Vachier-Lagrave wins play-off vs. Moiseenko 1.5-0.5)
(Hans Suri Memorial) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)
2015 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)
No GM tournament

* winner after play-off games (rapid, blitz and / or Armageddon)
: since the edition of 2007, there will be always a play-off held, if two or more players finishes equal

** equal tie-break Sonneborn-Berger scoring, both players declared as ex aequo winners by the organizers
(if two winners in the other cases, the player first written in bold is winner on tie-break-scoring)



1976, 1985, 1993: Interzonal Tournament at Biel
(see separate section), no Grandmaster Event in 1978, the Open (Masters Tournament) takes place annually since 1968, always with additional chess events such as an (Amateur) Main Tournament, sometimes a "B" - Group, World Mixed or Ladies Tournament, Rapid and Blitz, Chess & Tennis, etc.

Note: Yehuda Grünfeld, Florin Gheorghiu, Viktor Gavrikov, and Vadim Milov (twice), did also win the Open (Master Tournament) at Biel as sole or shared first; with Grünfeld and Gavrikov finishing clear first or first on tie-break in both categories.

Source: http://www.bielchessfestival.ch/en/home/ and DIE SCHACHWOCHE
The author, living in Berne, visited about twenty-five Festival editions at Biel since the 1970s

Jeroen Piket, winner at Biel in 1997, retiring from classical chess in 2002 at age of 33 years. He was a regular participant in top international events during the turn-of-the-century. His results from these events distinguish him as one of a handful of chess players to defeat Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand in tournament play


Igor Kurnosov, winner of the Open at Biel in 2012 and winner of the Zurich Weihnachtsopen in 2011 where this picture is taken from. R.I.P. Igor

International Open Biel Albo d' Oro

Just to give you an impression, how strong it is: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave participated in the Open at Biel in 2012 (the year before his second win in the elite Invitation Tournament), coming in then as 8th (shared 3rd-12th) behind clear first winner Igor Kurnosov (Russia) who was a year later tragically hit and killed aged 28 in a road accident as pedestrian by a car, piloted by a drunken young driver on 8 August 2013, in his home town Chelyabinsk.

The Master Tournament Open (MTO) at Biel is running annually since the very first Festival in 1968, the inauguration year. In some years (eg. during the Interzonal in 1976 and in 1985), there have been played even two Open with fairly equal fields, one after the other, partly even by the same participants! - or the number of rounds in the Open was enlarged (eg. during the Interzonal in 1993).

In Open tournaments (swiss system), quite often several players shares first place, but only the winner on tie-break is considered as winner at Biel Open in retrospective:

1968 Edwin Bhend (SUI); Jan Timman (NED)
1969 Jan Timman (NED)
1970 Predrag Ostojić (YUG)
1971 Stanimir Nikolic (YUG)
1972 Milan Vukic (YUG)
1973 Milan Vukic (YUG); Janos Flesch (HUN)
1974 Bela Soos (ROM/GER-FRG)
1975 Miso Cebalo (YUG); John Pigott (ENG); David Parr (AUS)
1976 (9th International Open) Dragutin Sahovic (YUG)
(10th International Open) Radovan Govedarica (YUG); Sejer Holm Petersen (DEN) 
1977 Miguel Quinteros (ARG)
1978 Charles Partos (SUI)
1979 (I) Yehuda Grünfeld (ISR); Michael Basman (ENG)
1979 (II) Jéan Hébert (CAN); Berthold Engel (GER-FRG)
1980 Israel Zilber (USA); Josip Rukavina (YUG); Beat Züger (SUI); Peter Scheeren (NED)
1981 (I) Nathan Birnboim (ISR); Laszlo Karsa (HUN)
1981 (II) Ron Henley (USA); Eduard Meduna (CZE)
1982 Ivan Nemet (YUG)
1983 Jaan Eslon (SWE)
1984 Carlos Garcia-Palermo (ARG)
1985 (I) Ian Rogers (AUS); Anthony Miles (ENG); Florin Gheorghiu (ROM)
1985 (II) Alon Greenfeld (ISR)
1986 Daniel Campora (ARG)
1987 Lev Gutman (ISR)
1988 Gennadi Kuzmin (USSR); Josef Klinger (AUT)
1989 Matthias Wahls (GER-FRG); Lev Gutman (ISR)
1990 Viktor Gavrikov (USSR)
1991 Zurab Sturua (USSR)
1992 Alexander Shabalov (LAT)
1993 Vadim Milov (ISR)
1994 Utut Adianto (INA)
1995 Igor Glek (RUS)
1996 Zurab Sturua (GEO); Milos Pavlovic (YUG)
1997 Ildar Ibragimov (RUS)
1998 Milos Pavlovic (YUG)
1999 Vadim Milov (SUI) (Vadim Milov vs. Yehuda Grünfeld (ISR) 1-0 in the k.o.-final game, normal time, modus according to System Swiss Chess Tour by Robert Spörri)
2000 Boris Avrukh (ISR) (after final blitz game vs. Alexander Huzman (ISR))
2001 Boris Avrukh (ISR) (after final rapid game vs. Mikhail Kobalia (RUS))
2002 Milos Pavlovic (YUG); Boris Avrukh (ISR); Christian Bauer (FRA); Dan Zoler (ISR); Julen Luis Arizmendi Martinez (ESP)
2003 Mikhail Ulybin (RUS)
2004 Christian Bauer (FRA); Boris Avrukh (ISR); Andrey Shariyazdanov (RUS); Alexander Rustemov (RUS); Pavel Eljanov (UKR)
2005 Mikhail Kobalia (RUS)
2006 Bartosz Socko (POL); Leonid Kritz (GER); Laurent Fressinet (FRA); Boris Avrukh (ISR)
2007 Mikhail Ulybin (RUS) 
2008 Vladimir Belov (RUS)
2009 Boris Grachev (RUS)
2010 Alexander Riazantsev (RUS); Nadezhda Kosintseva (shared first and runner-up on tie-break, also achieving a male GM norm); Leonid Kritz (GER); Sebastian Feller (FRA); Christian Bauer (FRA), Vitali Golod (ISR); Sebastian Maze (FRA); seven players with 8/11 points
2011 Ni Hua (CHN)
2012 Igor Kurnosov (RUS); Sergei Movsesian (ARM); Romain Edouard (FRA)
2013 Pentala Harikrishna (IND)
2014 Baskaran Adhiban (IND)
2015 Emil Sutovsky (ISR); Baskaran Adhiban (IND)
2016 Samuel Shankland (USA)

Footnote: Feller is accused by his own France Chess Federation to have used electronic help, systematically computer cheating during the Chess Olympiad 2010, most probably also at the Open Tournament in Biel 2010, however his results are not disqualified because there was no formal investigation at Biel. Feller denies all accusations.

Source: http://www.bielchessfestival.ch/en/home/ and DIE SCHACHWOCHE

Please note, that the Winner list of the Master Tournament Open at Biel on the official homepage contains at the moment some errors; the figures here are based on original bulletins, revisions / corrections of course remain possible.


Matches ("Masters Challenge") Biel Albo d' Oro

2016 (Masters Challenge) Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Peter Svidler 8.5 - 3.5
2016 (Juniors Challenge) Benjamin Bok vs. IM Nico Georgiadis 10.5 - 5.5
2016 (Juniors Challenge) Franco Rambaldi vs. IM Noël Studer 9.0 - 7.0

The 49th International Chess Festival Biel had unfortunately to be postponed by a week. The dates planned previously overlap with the Tour de France (cycling) passing through Bern, thus occupying most of the hotels in the region for several days.

Due to finacial reasons, the Festival faced a format change: There was no GM Tournament (GMT) in 2016. Instead, three matches (classical chess and rapid chess combined) have been held.

For some spectators a little confusing, the points in the classical chess games count double for the outcome, meaning actually a result of 2-0 is indicating that White has won a single game in classical chess, a result of 1-1 shows a draw in a rapid game.

The headliner match was called Masters Challenge, a combined rapid (four games) and classical (four games) match between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, at the moment the second-highest ranked player in Live Rating (no. 4 of FIDE list in July 2016), and Peter Svidler, then Live World number 13 (no. 14 of FIDE list in July 2016). Including rapid and classical games (overall score after eight games), the Frenchman won the match of the Masters Challenge with distinction at 8.5 to 3.5 points. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave who also won in the same month at Dortmund, thus becoming new number 2 ranked player of the world in the official FIDE ELO rating list of August 2016.

Parallel to that Masters Challenge was the Juniors Challenge, following a similar format. Four talented juniors play in two matches as well in a rapid (four games) and classical (six games, meaning two games more than in the Masters Challenge) chess event. GM Benjamin Bok (The Netherlands) plays the Swiss IM Nico Georgiadis, and GM Francesco Rambaldi (Italy) plays Swiss IM Noël Studer. With the classical games worth twice a rapid, the final score after ten rounds was 10.5 - 5.5 for Bok, and 9.0 - 7.0 for Rambaldi, respectively.


Blitz Special Exhibition Biel Albo d' Oro

Apart from the GM Invitation (GMT) and the Masters Open (MTO), the Festival offers regularly a daily Rapid, Blitz, and chess960 open torunament, too.

Sometimes, there has been an additional elite GM Blitz tournament, in 2016 (as compensation of the cancelled GMT tournament), in 2012 (as a cherry on top) or for instance during the legendary Interzonal in 1976 (as a side event for the participants of the Open tournaments and the assistants of the Interzonal players. Blitz side events of minor strength are not listed.

> Blitz Challenge (Tournament, round robin with a final) in 2016:

A special side event of the 2016 Biel Chess Festival. The six players from the matches in 2016, Bok, Georgiadis, Studer, Rambaldi, and of course the stars Peter Svidler and Maxime Vachier- Lagrave, would face off in a round-robin (all-play-all) of blitz, according to the rules at Biel, followed then by a final of the two best placed players (even if there would be a clear first).

The two elite players won the round robin and faced each other in a mini-match in the final (thus not a play-off).

Standings Blitz Exhibition Tournament:

1. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2798 3.5 (8.0)
2. Svidler, Peter 2759 3.5 (7.25) 
3. Rambaldi, Francesco 2544 2.5 (6.5)
4. Bok, Benjamin 2613 2.5 (4.75)
5. Studer, Noel 2462 2.0
6. Georgiadis, Nico 2470 1.0

Final Blitz: Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime vs. Svidler, Peter 2:0.

In total, Vachier-Lagrave and Svidler played each other eleven times at Biel in 2016, MVL winning six games (two in blitz, two in rapid, and two in classical chess), losing only one rapid game. Imressive!

> Blitz Exhibition (KO system) in 2012:

A special knock-out side event to celebrate the 45th years of the Festival with eight top players.

Table of participants

Magnus Carlsen


(Seeded Nr 1)

Hikaru Nakamaura


(Seeded Nr 2)

Alexander Morozevich


(Seeded Nr 3)

Wang Hao


(Seeded Nr 4)

Etienne Bacrot


(Nr 5)

Pentala Harikrishna


(Nr 6)

Yannick Pelletier


(Nr 7)

Alexandra Kosteniuk


(Nr 8)

Hikaru Nakamura
eliminated Harikrishna in the quarter-final, then Morozevich in the semi-final, and beat Etienne Bacrot (who had eliminated Carlsen) in the final 1.5-0.5


> International Blitz Tournament (played in preliminary groups and a final group, 169 players) during the Interzonal in 1976:

Oscar Panno from Argentina took the trophy after play-off against Mišo Cebalo from Yugoslavia (Croatia), a regular player and popular commentator at Biel Chess Festival and in many chess events in Italy. Oscar Panno, the winner, acted at Biel as second (assistant) of IM, later GM Hon. Raúl Sanguineti who played in the Interzonal. Players from the Interzonal did not participate, but other assisting GMs, eg. Benkő (USA, second of R. Byrne) or Vasiukov (USSR, second of Geller).


Pia Cramling, born in Stockholm, 23 April 1963, the same year as Garry Kasparov, and still active.

Since the early 1980s, she has been one of the strongest female players in the world, ranked clear No. 1 woman in the FIDE Elo list of January 1984. In 1984, too, Pia Cramling beat Viktor Korchnoi at Biel. Well into her forties, she still hold the third highest rating among all females.

In 1992, she became the third female to earn the FIDE GM title through conventional tournament play (fifth woman overall). Photo: Gerhard Hund, taken at Thessaloniki, Chess Olympiads in 1984

International Women GM Tournament Biel Albo d' Oro

ACCENTUS Ladies Tournament
, held three times additionally at Biel as a special women invitation event:

2004 Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS)
2005 Almira Skripchenko (FRA)
2006 Pia Cramling (SWE)


Nona Gaprindashvili, Maia Chiburdanidze, Pia Cramling, Tatiana Lematschko, Jana Bellin / Miles, Helene Mira, Ildiko Madl, Alisa Maric, Nana Ioseliani, Nana Alexandria, Barbara Hund, Corina Peptan, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Elisabeth Pähtz, Kateryna Lahno, Almira Skripchenko, Yelena Dembo, Monika Socko, Monika Seps, as well as Zsuzsa and Judit Polgar, and Hou Yifan - among many more women - played on various occasions at Biel Chess Festival.

Note: In earlier years during the 1980s, there has been an independent women's tournament, too.


B-group Invitation ("World Mixed") Biel Albo d' Oro

Sometimes the Chess Festival at Biel offered also a strong B-group, called World Mixed Group, combining rising and female stars with some Swiss players - or an equivalent team match.

Maybe best remembered is the B-edition of 1988 for Colombian Alsonso Zapata's quick win against Vishy Anand, see pictorial report in the main section of the Biel Festival.

Additional closed B-group or team match (always apart from the Open sections):

1983 IM (later GM) Ian Rogers (AUS)
1984 IM Dan Cramling (SWE)
; IM Jan Ambroz (CZS),
meanwhile Dan's sister Pia Cramling playing in the A event
1986 IM
(later GM) Stefan Kindermann (GER-FRG)
1987 IM Beat Züger (SUI)
as individual best in a Scheveninger system match
Swiss Boys vs. World Ladies 44:28. Team line-up:
Ivan Nemet, Beat Züger, Andreas Huss, Claude Landenbergue, Jean-Luc Costa, Fernand Gobet
Pia Cramling, Tatjana Lematchko, Barbara Hund, Jana Miles, Margareta Muresan, Judit Polgar
Note: Judit Polgar was titleless, celebrating her 11th birthday during the tournament
1988 GM Alonso Zapata (COL), joint 5th/6th Vishy Anand (IND) and Pia Cramling (SWE)
1989 GM Daniel Campora (ARG) in an international round robin swiss championship
1990 GM Kevin Spraggett (CAN)
1991 GM Daniel Campora
1992 No B-group or team event
1995 IM Henryk Dobosz (POL)
as individual best in a Scheveninger system match
Switzerland plus vs. Europe 54:90. Twelve players each, youngster Etienne Bacrot (born in 1983) played for the Swiss team, legendary Alexey Suetin played for Europe
1996 GM Ian Rogers (AUS)
1997 GM Alexander Onischuk (UKR) 
at 8.5/10, incredible 3.5 points ahead of GM Gallagher, GM Kobalia and GM Hertneck, all with 5/10, followed by the Swiss players Jenni and Forster


World Senior Chess Championship at Biel Albo d' Oro

FIDE World Senior Chess Championship
, 4th edition, played during the Biel Chess Festival:

1994 Mark Taimanov (RUS), overall winner of the tournament (swiss system) and men's winner, his second title as Senior WC after already winning the year before in 1993

1994 Éva Karakas (HUN), women's winner (three times married, also known as Kertész Béláné, Karakas Gyuláné und dr. Ladányiné Karakas Éva), and three times winning the title as Female Senior WC, in 1991 (the inaugural edition), 1992, and 1994 at Biel 


Obituary GM Gavrikov, winner Biel Open 1990 & Biel GM 1994

The Winner of the traditional GM invitation tournament at Biel in 1994, Viktor Gavrikov has passed away 27 April 2016 in a hospital in Burgas (Bulgaria) at the age of 59.

Viktor Gavrikov was a Grandmaster born 29 July 1957 in Criuleni (Moldava, at that time Soviet Union). He was winner of the 52nd Soviet Chess Championship (alongside with Mikhail Gurevich and Alexander Chernin) at Riga 1985.

Between 1990 and 1998 Gavrikov was living, playing and coaching in Switzerland, where he won Biel GM 1994 (ahead of Rafael Vagnian) as well as the Swiss Chess Championship at Arosa 1996.

In the year 1978, Gavrikov was already Lithuanian Champion (joint), 2000 he was joint winner of the Lithuanian championship (but missed the title because of lesser tie-break score).

In 2010, he moved to Bulgaria where he was coaching a range of local Grandmasters.

Viktor Gavrikov
born 1957-07-29, died 2016-04-27
USSR, Lithuania, Switzerland, Bulgaria
Learned to play chess: 1969
International Grandmaster since: 1984

Best ELO rating: 2605 in 1995 and 1996
Best ELO ranking: =19th of the World in July-December 1985 at ELO 2570
From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Gavrikov was a solid top hundred player

National Champion of USSR in 1985 (1-3 place shared titles, Soviet Championship)
National Champion of Switzerland in 1996
Lithuanian champion in 1978 (shared with Gintautos Piešina) and joint winner of Lithuanian National championship in 2000 (title awarded on tie-break to Viktorija Čmilytė)

Finest international achievements:
Tbilisi (Goglidze Memorial) 1983
, Leningrad (Kotov Memorial) 1984, Budapest (Noviki-A) GM 1991 (joint with Michal Krasenkow), Berliner Sommer (Open) 1989, Biel (Open) 1990, Geneva (Open) 1991, Oviedo Rapid 1992, Biel GM 1994 (ahead of Raf Vaganian), Katrineholm (Sweden) GM 1999 (joint with Jon Speelman, ahead of Ulf Andersson), Upplands Vasby (Schacknytt GM) 2000, Göteborg Cup (GM) 2001. Viktor Gavrikov also played regularly in the Tallinn Rapid (Keres Memorial) and won it a couple of times.

Finishing on 4-5 place at the Interzonal in Tunis 1985, and inofficial World Vice-Champion in Active (Rapid) Chess behind Anatoly Karpov, in Mazatlan, Mexico 1988.

In 1984, he won the strong Kotov Memorial: http://al20102007.narod.ru/it/1984/lenin_84.html.

He won the 52nd Soviet Chess Championship (with Mikhail Gurevich and Alexander Chernin) at Riga 1985: http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1985/ch_urs85.html, and finished joint 2nd in the 1986 event (Vitaly Tseshkovsky won): http://al20102007.narod.ru/ch_urs/1986/ch_urs86.html.

In 1985 at Interzonal in Tunis, Gavrikov missed the Candidates narrowly, losing the play-off against Chernin: http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/85873iix.htm (then there was a following triangular reserve play-off at London for Montpellier, won by Speelman ahead of Gavrikov).

In December 1988, Gavrikov battled Karpov again and again (achieving a 4-4 in the final, followed by a 1-1, Karpov then declared winner on better prior tie-break, the prize money was shared) in a Rapid (that time called Actice chess) contest at Mazatlan, Mexico, sometimes referred as inofficial World Rapid Championships (61 players, incl. veteran Larsen and the young three Polgar sisters):

This event crossed with the more prominent USSR (led by Kasparov) vs. Rest of the World (led by Korchnoi) Rapid (Active Chess) match and charity event for UNICEF at Madrid in December 1988:
http://www.365chess.com/tournaments/Madrid_rapid_1988/21050 and

In 1990, Viktor Gavrikov won the strong Open at the traditional Biel Chess Festival.
In 1994, he won the closed international invitation GM tournament at Biel outright.

Honoured Trainer of Georgia, Trainer of Canadian U16 World Youth Olympiad team 2015.

His lessons also helped to obtain an IM/GM-title for Yannick Pelletier and a WGM/IM-title for Viktorija Cmilyte (later also GM).

With thankful feelings from Switzerland. Rest in peace, Viktor Gavrikov!


(GM Yannick Pelletier honouring GM Gavrikov)
http://www.chessdom.com/gm-grigorov-a-farewell-to-viktor-gavrikov-a-fantastic-coach-and-great-person/ (Obituary by GM Grigor Grigorov, close friend of GM Gavrikov)
http://www.chessdom.com/gm-viktor-gavrikov-passes-away/ (Chessdom)
http://en.chessbase.com/post/gm-viktor-gavrikov-died-in-burgas (Chessbase)
(Obituary by Riccardo Del Dotto, published in SoloScacchi)
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=16880 (Chessgames)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Gavrikov (Wikipedia)

Picture, Chess Notes (C.N. 9590) by Edward Winter:
(scroll down, a portrait photo of Chernin is followed then by a portrait photo of Gavrikov)

Players at Biel, the absolute elite of the last 40 years

Survey of important players at the International Chess Festival of Biel - the near complete elite of the last forty years, a record only matched by Wijk aan Zee:

Seven undisputed World Chess Champions played at Biel Chess Festival (Interzonals included):
, Tal, Petrosian, Karpov, Kramnik, Anand, and Carlsen (six times, Carlsen is also the youngest winner ever of the GM Invitation tournament at age of 16).

Plus Viktor Korchnoi (the oldest winner of the GM Invitation tournament ever at age of 70), and Larsen, Andersson, Miles, Nunn, Short, Speelman, Adams, Timman, Sosonko, Piket, Giri, Lautier, Bacrot, Vachier-Lagrave, Topalov, Georgiev, Kurajica, Ljubojevic, Portisch, Sax, Adorjan, Rapport, Gheorghiu, Navara, Pachman, Hort, Unzicker, Hübner, Lobron, Geller, Vaganian, Polugaevsky, Beliavsky, Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Gelfand, Grischuk, Svidler, Shirov, Salov, Bareev, Khalifman, Ponomariov, Radjabov, Karjakin, Nakamura, So, Caruana, Christiansen, Seirawan, Gulko, R. Byrne, De Firmian, Kamsky, Vallejo Pons, Panno, Quinteros, Zapata, Torre, Spraggett, Rogers, Harikrishna, Sasikiran, Wang Hao (winner above Carlsen in 2012), and Mark Taimanov - to illuminate another bunch of prominent names, who played on various occasions at the Chess Festival.

Spassky and Kasparov were guest of honour and gave a simul at Biel, Kasimdzahnov acted as one of the commentators (as Danny King, Miso Cebalo or Klaus Bischoff, to mention only a few more).

Judit and Zsuzsa (Susan) Polgar, Nona Gaprindashvili, Maia Chiburdanidze, Pia Cramling, Tatiana Lematschko, Jana Bellin / Miles, Helene Mira, Ildiko Madl, Alisa Maric, Nana Ioseliani, Nana Alexandria, Barbara Hund, Corina Peptan, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tatiana Kosintseva, Nadezhda Kosintseva, Elisabeth Päthz, Kateryna Lahno, Almira Skripchenko, Yelena Dembo, Monika Socko, Monika Seps, and Hou Yifan – among many other women – played as well at Biel Chess Festival.

Milov (tied for first with Karpov in the GM Invitation in 1996 as well won the Open twice), Gavrikov (he too won both the Open and GM section), Nemet (winner of the Open in 1982), Partos (winner of the Open in 1978), Bhend (winnner of the inaugural Open in 1968), D. Keller, W. Hug, Lombard, Wirthensohn, Trepp, Franzoni, Züger, Känel, Huss, Costa, Gobet, Landenbergue, Forster, Brunner, Jenni, Ekström, Gallagher, Pelletier or the rising youngsters Nico Georgiadis and Noël Studer (Swiss Champion 2016), represented the hosting nation in different formats.

And many further strong but sometimes outshined Grandmasters who all played at Biel Festival, too, such as Dreev, Ehlvest, Epishin, Yudasin, Kuzmin, Kurnosov, Alekseev, Motylev, A. Sokolov, Romanishin, Tukmakov, A. Onischuk, Vitiugov, Volkov, Volokitin, Eljanov, Avrukh, Smirin, Sutovsky, Rodshtein, Zoler, Grünfeld, Greenfeld, Gutman, IM Birnboim, Stean, McShane, Howell, Chandler, Campora, Shankland, Henley, Bachmann, Dominguez, Nogueiras, Bologan, Safarli, Sturua, Socko, Wojtaszek, Smejkal, Ftacnik, Flesch, Almasi, Balogh, P. Nikolic, St. Nikolic, Kozul, Saric, Ostojić, Janosevic, Sahovic, Ciric, Vukic, Soos, Wahls, Hickl, Lutz, Meier, Kindermann, Klinger, C. Hansen, Hellers, Robatsch, Bauer, Fressinet, Edouard, Tkachiev, Mariotti, IM Toth, Illescas, Bellon, I. Sokolov, Van der Wiel, Van der Sterren, Van Wely, Hjartarson, Adianto, Adhiban, Negi, Ding Liren, Ni Hua, Ngoc Truongson Nguyen and countless others, i.e. Nepomniachtchi who missed a tournament win so far but will maybe triumph in a future edition, if this truly traditional Festival continues.