Seven undisputed World Chess
Champions played at Biel Chess Festival (Interzonals included):
Smyslov, Tal, Petrosian, Karpov, Kramnik, Anand, and Carlsen (seven times,
in 2018 as reigning World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen is also the youngest winner ever of the Grandmaster 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, Leko, Rapport, Gheorghiu, Wojtaszek, Navara, Pachman,
Hort, Unzicker, Hübner, Lobron, Smirin, Geller, Polugaevsky, Beliavsky, Vaganian, Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Gelfand, Grischuk, Svidler, Shirov, Salov, Bareev, Khalifman, Ponomariov, Karjakin, Volokitin, Eljanov, Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Nakamura, So, Caruana,
Shankland, Kamsky, Gulko, Seirawan, Christiansen, De Firmian, R. Byrne, Vallejo Pons, Panno, Quinteros, Zapata, Torre, Spraggett, Rogers, Harikrishna, Sasikiran, Ding Liren, Wang Hao (the winner above Carlsen in 2012), and Mark Taimanov - to illuminate another
bunch of prominent names, who played on various occasions at the Biel Chess Festival.
Spassky and Kasparov were guest of honour and gave a simul at Biel, Kasimdzhanov acted as one of the commentators (as Danny King, Miso Cebalo or Klaus Bischoff,
to mention only a few more). As the reigning FIDE president, Euwe was present at the (IZT) closing ceremony at Biel in 1976.
Zsuzsa (Susan), Sofia and Judit 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 the Biel / Bienne 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, Rino and Renzo Castagna from Biel, or
the rising youngsters Nico Georgiadis and Noël
Studer, 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, Avrukh, Sutovsky, Rodshtein, Grünfeld, Greenfeld, Gutman, Zoler, IM Czerniak, IM Kagan, IM Birnboim, Stean,
Flear, Hodgson, McShane, Howell, Chandler, Campora, Henley, Bachmann, Dominguez, Nogueiras,
Bologan, Safarli, Sturua, Bartel, Socko, Smejkal, Ftacnik, Flesch, Almasi, Balogh, P. Nikolic, St. Nikolic, Kozul, Saric, Ostojić, Ciric, Sahovic, Janosevic, Vukic, Soos, Wahls, Hickl, Lutz,
Meier, Kindermann, Klinger, Robatsch, Hjartarson, C. Hansen, Hellers, Fressinet, Bauer, Edouard, Tkachiev, Mariotti, IM Toth, Illescas, Bellon, IM Dunkelblum, Van der Wiel, Van der Sterren, Van Wely, I. Sokolov, IM Cuartas, Adianto, Adhiban, Negi, Ganguly, Ngoc Truongson
Nguyen, Ni Hua, and countless other chess players, i.e. Nepomniachtchi who will maybe triumph in a future edition of this truly traditional Festival.