It was an exciting day of chess as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk both won their games today to remain in the lead after Round 6 of the 2021 Superbet Chess Classic. The two leaders are currently on 4.0/6, while previous co-leader Wesley So is just a half-point behind with three rounds left to play.
Standings after Round 6
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90/40, SD 30, with a 30-second increment for both sides starting from move one.
Vachier-Lagrave - Caruana
An extremely sharp Neo-Moller Variation of the Ruy Lopez tested the opening preparation of both players, where Vachier-Lagrave was the first to slip, mixing up his move order in a critical position. Caruana spotted the opportunity to seize the initiative, but faltered a few moves later, allowing MVL back into the game. After Fabi’s slip, neither player had chances to play for a win and a repetition was forced to draw the game.
After MVL’s 18.f4, a likely move-order mistake instead of the critical 18.Rg5 Qh6 19.f4. In the game 18...Nxf4 19.Rg5 was played, and rather than transposing to the main lines with 19...Qh6 Fabi played 19...f5!, creating a powerful kingside attack.
Mamedyarov - Aronian
A surprising blunder from Aronian allowed Mamedyarov to win two pawns and achieve a virtually decisive advantage, with the safer king in addition to the extra material. Despite resistance from Aronian, the win was never in doubt and Mamedyarov won his second game of the event, moving to a +2 score.
After Aronian’s 22...Re8, which allowed 23.Rxe8+ Bxe8 24.Bxf7+!, winning a second extra pawn for White.
Deac - Radjabov
A quiet 5.Re1 Berlin led to a symmetrical position out of the opening, with neither player able to create any real imbalance. After most of the pieces were traded off on the open e-file, the game was eventually drawn in an equal king and pawn endgame.
Romanian junior GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac has had an excellent tournament so far, and currently sits on an even score. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Grischuk - Lupulescu
In a complex Richter-Rauzer Sicilian Grischuk managed to pose some serious problems for Lupulescu, who made a strategic mistake with 17...Bb5, trading off light-squared bishops. After the trade of bishops White was able to dominate the light-squares in the center, which soon led to material losses for Black. Facing a trade of queens into a hopeless endgame, Lupulescu resigned, giving Grischuk his second win of the event as well.
Grischuk - Lupulescu featured a double-edged Sicilian that ended in Grischuk’s favor | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
So - Giri
The last game of the day to finish saw Wesley So pressing his advantage for many moves in a slightly better endgame. Despite winning an extra pawn, So wasn’t able to generate much progress, as Giri defended with fantastic precision, keeping his pieces active throughout the endgame. The game was later drawn after all the pawns were finally traded off.
So-Giri went the full distance (84 moves) but eventually ended with just a king and knight for each player. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Pairings for Round 7
Our coverage of the 2021 Superbet Chess Classic continues Saturday, June 12, at 6:50 AM CDT with live coverage from GMs Alejandro Ramirez, Yasser Seirawan, and Maurice Ashley on grandchesstour.org.