Superbet: So beats Nepo, grabs the lead

by Klaus Besenthal
5/9/2022 – After the fourth round of the Superbet Chess Classic, Wesley So is leading the standings table with 3 points. With his win over Ian Nepomniachtchi, So single-handedly put a previously tied rival at a distance, while Bogdan-Daniel Deac, the third member of the pre-round leading trio, had to settle for a draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. There were also wins for Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (over Fabiano Caruana) and Levon Aronian (over Leinier Dominguez). | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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MVL, So and Aronian score

A truism for chess players is that attacking is easier than defending. Instead of ‘easier’, one could also say ‘more energy-saving’. That was Ian Nepomniachtchi’s experience yesterday, after he entered a position which led to him needing to defend for a predictably long time. He was a pawn down against Wesley So, one of the strongest technical players in the circuit.


Superbet Chess Classic 2022

Excellent playing conditions in Bucharest | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Fabiano Caruana had a great position in his game against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave — until he decided to make a piece sacrifice that looked promising but ultimately failed due to MVL's careful defence.


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

MVL scored his first win on Sunday | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Leinier Dominguez had just successfully worked his way out of all difficulties in the game against Levon Aronian (bad position, time trouble) when he made a serious positional mistake. Aronian exchanged queens and was then completely in his element in the ensuing endgame. The man from Yerevan had an extra pawn.


Leinier Dominguez, Levon Aronian

Leinier Dominguez resigns his game against Levon Aronian | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Round 4 results


Standings after round 4


All games



Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.