Superbet Chess Classic: Lupulescu Beats Giri
Anish Giri lost to Constantin Lupulescu in round three. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Superbet Chess Classic: Lupulescu Beats Giri

| 27 | Chess Event Coverage

The local players keep making a name for themselves at the Superbet Chess Classic. In the third round, it was GM Constantin Lupulescu who took the spotlight with a win against world number-six GM Anish Giri.

Meanwhile, GM Teimour Radjabov surprised by using a well-known theoretical draw in the Grunfeld to split the point quickly with GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The other three games were drawn as well and therefore GM Fabiano Caruana and GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac remain in the lead.

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The games of the Superbet Chess Classic can be found here on our live events platform.

2021 Superbet Chess Classic round 4
Pairings round 4: So vs. Caruana, Grischuk vs. Deac, Giri vs. Aronian, Mamedyarov vs. Radjabov, Vachier-Lagrave vs. Lupulescu

It's quite nice for the local spectators that Deac and Lupulescu have both already scored a victory in this event. At the same time, Giri played against both and struggled against both.

The opening, a reversed Rossolimo Sicilian, went alright for the Dutchman and in fact, Lupulescu admitted he was OK with a draw at move 19, saying: "I decided to bail out. Enough is enough!" 

However, Giri continued the fight and managed to put a lot of pressure on his opponent. But then the same happened as what Deac had shown against Vachier-Lagrave the other day: Lupulescu found an ingenious defense.

The moves 26.Qd5+!, 28.e4!, and 29.Qf7! were especially strong, and afterward Lupulescu would call them "my real contribution in the game."

With only a few minutes (plus increment) left for 10 moves, Giri could not adjust to the situation and went down himself, with the Romanian GM finding all the necessary tactics to get the full point.

Lupulescu-Giri Superbet 2021
A powerful counterattack by Lupulescu. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

The other big story of the day was Radjabov's play with the white pieces. Against MVL, the Azerbaijani played the same line in the Grunfeld that GM Alexander Grischuk had used to draw with MVL quickly in round one. The result in this game was the same: an easy, quick draw for the Frenchman.

Radjabov reportedly was not feeling well, but it was still hard to understand that he "spoiled" his second white game like this. In the first round, he had played a quick move repetition with Caruana as well.

Florin Răducioiu chess
After Ilie Dumitrescu in round one, another Romanian football legend made the ceremonial first move here: Florin Raducioiu. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Unfortunately, Radjabov was not interviewed and whereas one might expect an explanation via Twitter to his fans, he talked about something else instead:

GM Wesley So, who used the same opening line more than once to make draws in the preliminary stage of the recent FTX Crypto Cup, commented: "I'm not going to criticize or question my colleagues' decisions because they know much better than ordinary people. But I'm just curious what's going on in their minds because if you waste your white games your opponents can put a lot of pressure when you're Black."

So himself was involved in another quick draw, this time with the black pieces. Therefore, the same questions could be raised for Grischuk, who also didn't push too hard in his two white games.

Grischuk superbet chess
Alexander Grischuk. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

More interesting was the clash between GM Levon Aronian and Caruana, where Aronian's 8.Ne5 in the Queen's Gambit Accepted was an early surprise (even though it had been tried by a young GM Max Euwe in the 1930s!).

Black could have reacted more accurately better as White's position looked promising out of the opening. Aronian said his play wasn't optimal after that: "He thought for an enormous amount of time here and I probably started to get a bit too clever."

Caruana: "I thought, OK, my position got sad, but it's not so bad. I decided just not to try and get out of this tactically but just try to systematically trade pieces and hope that the drawing margin is large enough."

Aronian Caruana Superbet 2021
Aronian and Caruana discussing their game afterward. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

It was nice to see 19-year-old Deac show some fighting spirit as he avoided a move repetition early in the endgame against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov but the result was unavoidable:

Deac Mamedyarov Superbet 2021
Deac and Mamedyarov. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour.

Superbet Chess Classic 2021 | Round 3 Standings

# Fed Player Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts SB
1 Fabiano Caruana 2820 2854 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 3
2 Bogdan-Daniel Deac 2627 2890 ½ ½ 1 2.0/3 2.25
3 Levon Aronian 2781 2749 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.5
4 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2770 2725 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.5
5 Wesley So 2770 2775 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2.25
6 Alexander Grischuk 2776 2767 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2
7 Teimour Radjabov 2765 2786 ½ ½ ½ 1.5/3 2
8 Constantin Lupulescu 2656 2793 0 ½ 1 1.5/3 1.75
9 Anish Giri 2780 2563 ½ ½ 0 1.0/3 1.75
10 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2760 2603 0 ½ ½ 1.0/3 1.5

All games

The Superbet Chess Classic takes place June 5-14, 2021 in Bucharest, Romania. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30-second increment per move, starting from move one. It is the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour and has a $325,000 prize fund.

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Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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