Superbet Classic: Missed chances by Caruana and So

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
7/4/2024 – The seventh round of the Superbet Chess Classic saw all five games ending drawn for a third time in the event — much like in the two previous occasions, it was not for a lack of fighting spirit, though. Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So failed to convert superior positions against Dommaraju Gukesh and Nodirbek Abdusattorov respectively. The results left Caruana in sole first place with two round to go. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Caruana leads with two round to go

For a third time in the event, all games ended drawn at the Superbet Chess Classic in Bucharest. This means Fabiano Caruana continues to top the standings with a half-point lead over a chasing trio consisting of Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa and Alireza Firouzja. In the final two rounds, set to take place on Thursday and Friday, Caruana will face Pragg (with white) and Anish Giri (with black).

The fact that all games ended drawn does not mean there was a lack of fighting spirit in the tournament’s seventh round. Most notably, Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave entered a complicated middlegame out of an English Opening before suddenly agreeing to a draw by threefold repetition, while Caruana and Wesley So failed to make the most of clear winning chances against Gukesh and Nodirbek Abdusattorov, respectively.

Caruana gobbled up a pawn in a major-piece endgame that was evaluated as drawn by the engines. A mistake by Gukesh, however, gave Caruana a tactical chance which he failed to find with a bit over 2 minutes on his clock (Gukesh had less than a minute at that point).

So, on his part, ably consolidated the position of an advanced central passer before letting his large advantage slip amid a tactical struggle with both kings vulnerable to attacks. Abdusattorov defended resourcefully and was rewarded with an 86-move draw.

Results - Round 7

Superbet Chess Classic 2024

Praggnanandhaa, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on the stage of the Grand Hotel Bucharest during round 7 | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Gukesh ½ - ½ Caruana

Dommaraju Gukesh, Fabiano Caruana

Draw agreed | Photo: Lennart Ootes

So ½ - ½ Abdusattorov

Wesley So, Nodirbek Abdusattorov

The handshake | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Wesley So

A smiling Wesley So... | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Nodirbek Abdusattorov

...and a smiling Nodirbek Abdusattorov | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Standings after round 7

All games


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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