Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

The seventh round of the Superbet Chess Classic Romania showcased missed opportunities from top GMs Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So, with all matches concluding in draws, maintaining Caruana’s half-point lead in the standings.

Short Summary:

  • GM Fabiano Caruana missed a winning chance against GM Gukesh Dommaraju.
  • GM Wesley So let a victory slip against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov in a dramatic game.
  • All games in the round ended in draws, preserving the current leaderboard positions.

Three rounds of intense and dramatic play at the Superbet Chess Classic Romania saw GM Fabiano Caruana and GM Wesley So missing key opportunities to secure victories. As the tournament inches closer to its conclusion, Caruana still leads the table with a precarious half-point advantage.

The match between Caruana and the young GM Gukesh Dommaraju was a highly anticipated encounter, especially given their previous clash during the Candidates. Caruana described the game as “very complex” and “very tense,” highlighting the unsure footing both players had throughout.

“I guess we were both not sure what we were playing for,” Caruana admitted, underscoring the mutual uncertainty during the critical stages of the match.

The climactic moment arrived shortly after move 50, when both players were in severe time trouble. Caruana missed a winning combination with a queen check on move 52, followed by a planned switch of his rook to exploit an open file. Instead, he opted for seemingly natural moves, which inadvertently squandered his winning chances.

“Maybe if I had played like this (referring to the missed opportunity), I would have won the game, but I didn’t see this idea,” he reflected afterward.

Meanwhile, Wesley So also experienced a match filled with volatility against GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov. This game was noted for its “wild affair” nature, with both king pieces venturing into exposed territory to evade checks. Despite the thrilling nature of the game, which ended in a move repetition, it was Abdusattorov who managed to escape with a draw from a seemingly precarious position.

The other matches of the round saw similar fates with GMs Anish Giri vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Ian Nepomniachtchi vs. Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, and Bogdan-Daniel Deac vs. Alireza Firouzja all ending in draws. Nepomniachtchi and Vachier-Lagrave notably tied for the seventh time, leaving them both in the mid-table positions.

Individual Game Highlights:

Gukesh vs. Caruana: ½-½

The critical match saw Caruana failing to capitalise on a complex, dynamic position against Gukesh. After trading into a major-piece endgame, Caruana’s clock blunder at move 52…Rb4 eliminated his winning chances. The game concluded in a draw by perpetual check.

So vs. Abdusattorov: ½-½

This was arguably the round’s most exhilarating game. Wesley So’s advanced central passer and resourceful play should have secured a win, but tactical oversights allowed Abdusattorov to defend and force a stalemate after 86 moves. So’s missed chances reflected on his mixed emotions post-game.

“It’s very stupid for me to repeat. During the game, I wasn’t 100 percent sure who’s better or how much better I really am,” So admitted after the game.

Nepomniachtchi vs. Praggnanandhaa: ½-½

The draw result in this game wasn’t unexpected given the rigid lines of the Open Ruy Lopez. Nepomniachtchi’s attempt at using a lesser-known line failed to surprise Praggnanandhaa, resulting in an amicable draw after standard exchanges.

Giri vs. Vachier-Lagrave: ½-½

In this match, Giri chose the English Opening while Vachier-Lagrave diverged by not playing …d5. Despite some build-up on the kingside, the players repeated moves, aligning with the engine’s analysis that favoured Black slightly. Yet, Vachier-Lagrave acknowledged his struggle with fully comprehending the position.

“I want to win one game for sure. I feel like I kind of deserve to win one game before the end, but it’s not going to be easy!” – MVL, reflecting on his performance so far.

Deac vs. Firouzja: ½-½

A solid display by local favourite Deac saw Firouzja unable to carve out winning chances in the Rubinstein Nimzo-Indian. Detailed opening preparation by Deac left Firouzja no option but to settle for a draw.

Round eight begins soon with Caruana set to battle Praggnanandhaa with white pieces, a pivotal game that could potentially decide the final standings. As we approach the grand finale of this chess spectacle, every move and every draw could dramatically influence who takes home the championship.

To review the detailed broadcast of round seven, visit the Saint Louis Chess Club YouTube or Twitch channels. For a broader coverage on chess events, check out

“The fact that all games ended drawn does not mean there was a lack of fighting spirit in the tournament’s seventh round.” – Commentary from Grand Chess Tour.

Standing firm at the top, will Caruana maintain his lead, or will Praggnanandhaa seize the moment? Stay tuned as the chess elite give their final pushes towards the coveted Superbet Chess Classic trophy.

By admin

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