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Superbet Classic 2024 R2: Firouzja bounces back, Gukesh shows his grit against Nepomniachtchi

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/06/2024

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) bounced back with a victory over Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) in the second round of Grand Chess Tour Superbet Classic 2024. The former World Rapid champion provoked his opponent to improve his pawn structure. It proved detrimental to Abdusattorov as later his opponent could afford to sacrifice an exchange due to a strong control of the center. Fabiano Caruana (USA) was winning for the better part of the game against Wesley So (USA). However, the All-American battle ended peacefully. D Gukesh had to defend a slightly unpleasant rook and minor piece endgame against Ian Nepomniachtchi for nearly 64 moves. Praggnanandhaa drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave comfortably. In the third round, Gukesh will face Praggnanandhaa. Round 3 starts today from 3 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Caruana misses against So

The second round had only decisive game, but it had the potential to have two.

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) played his second consecutive decisive game | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Nepomniachtchi - Gukesh: 0.5-0.5

D Gukesh (2763) is yet to lose a Classical rated game against Ian Nepomniachtchi (2763). He defended a rook and bishop vs rook and knight endgame with few pawns for nearly 64 moves before Nepomniachtchi decided that draw is the only result.

D Gukesh showed his grit against Ian Nepomniacthchi | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU) - Anish Giri (NED): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Caruana - So: 0.5-0.5

Ideally, Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2805) should have won the game against Wesley So (USA, 2757) after the advantage he accumulated.

Position after 21.Nxf7!

21.Nxf7! is a fantastic sacrifice. Black cannot take it due to 21...Kxf7 runs into 22.Qb3+ Re6 23.Rfe1 Ng5 24.h4 is one of the possible variations. The game continued 21...Qd5 22.Ne5 Ng5 23.h4 Rxe5 24.dxe5 Nf3+ 25.Kh1 Qb7 now 26.Nxc7 was better. Even 26.Rc3 which was played in the game is also winning. Despite having decisive advantage for the majority of the game, he allowed his opponent to escape with a draw.

Wesley So Saves Game ‘Thanks to New Time Control’ | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club

Praggnanandhaa, Anish Giri observing Caruana and So's game | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes
Praggnanandhaa: Nice to be in one of the interviews | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club

R Praggnanandhaa drew with... | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

...Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA) | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Firouzja - Abdusattorov: 1-0

Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB, 2766) is yet to beat Alireza Firouzja (FRA, 2737) in a Classical rated game. That statistic remained unchanged. Firouzja went for the Exchange variation in the Slav Defence. In the middlegame, Abdusattorov provoked a knight fork which improved his opponent's position.

Position after 20...Ra6?

21.Nc5 Bxc5 22.bxc5 e5 23.dxe5?! instead 23.Bg3 exd4 24.Ne4 threatening Nd6 was better. Soon White regained the upper hand.

Position after 28...Rb4?

29.e4 Nd4 30.Be3 Nc2 White happily gave away the exchange 31.Rxc2 bxc2 32.Qxc2 White's firm control of the center has crippled Black's pieces Qd7 33.Bd2 Rb8 34.f4 Bxh3? a desperate attempt to regain some sense of control 35.gxh3 Qxh3 36.Qc3 Qg4+ 37.Kf2 Rc6 38.Nf5 threatening Ne7+ as well as Rg1 and then take the g7-pawn. The game ended as Black cannot save both.

Firouzja bounces back against Abdusattorov | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) bounced back with a win over Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Round 2 in progress | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Spectators following the games at the venue | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes

Praggnanandhaa signs autograph for his fans | Photo: Grand Chess Tour/Lennart Ootes
Replay Grand Chess Tour Superbet Classic Round 2 Live Commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Schedule and Format

Superbet Chess Classic will have one round played each day from 26th June to 5th July 2024. Each round starts at 3 p.m. local time, 5:30 p.m. IST. Except the last round on 5th July which will start at 2 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. The sole rest day is on Monday 1st July. It will be a 10-player Round Robin event. Time control will be 120 minutes KO + 30 sec./move.

Prize

The total prize fund of each Classical event is the double of Rapid and Blitz events - US$ 350000.

Replay Round 2 games

Round 2 results

Round 2: Alireza Firouzja (FRA) scored the sole win of the round | Photo: Grand Chess Tour

Details

Standings after Round 2

Fabiano Caruana (USA) and D Gukesh maintained their lead 1.5/2 | Photo: Grand Chess Tour

Round 3 pairings

Bo.No.RtgNameResultNameRtgNo.
122766GMAbdusattorov, NodirbekGMCaruana, Fabiano280510
232732GMVachier-Lagrave, MaximeGMFirouzja, Alireza27371
342763GMGukesh, DommarajuGMPraggnanandhaa, Rameshbabu27479
452745GMGiri, AnishGMNepomniachtchi, Ian27708
562757GMSo, WesleyGMDeac, Bogdan-Daniel26807

Details

Links

Official site


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