Superbet Classic: Caruana, Nepo and Abdusattorov favourites in Romania

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/24/2024 – The Superbet Chess Classic, the second event in this year’s Grand Chess Tour, is set to take place from June 26 to July 5 at the Grand Hotel Bucharest in Romania’s capital. All nine GCT regulars will participate, and will be joined by local rising star Bogdan-Daniel Deac. Defending champion Fabiano Caruana is the rating favourite, with Ian Nepomniachtchi (pictured, center) and Nodirbek Abdusattorov the second and third seeds respectively. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour 2023 / Lennart Ootes

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The second event of the 2024 Grand Chess Tour

This year’s edition of the Grand Chess Tour started in Warsaw, with wildcard Magnus Carlsen claiming an astounding victory after scoring ten consecutive wins to overtake Wei Yi in the blitz section of the event. The Tour now moves to Bucharest, where the Superbet Chess Classic is set to take place from June 26 to July 5.

Unlike the tour’s inaugural event, the tournament in Romania will see the contenders playing classical chess. All nine ‘tour regulars’ will be participating, and they will be joined by Romanian rising star Bogdan-Daniel Deac.

The top seeds in Bucharest will be defending champion Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Also in the mix will be World Championship challenger Dommaraju Gukesh, who is set to face Ding Liren in the next match for the crown.

The time control in Bucharest will be 120 minutes for the game, plus 30-second increments from move one. A total prize fund of $350,000 will be up for grabs, with $100,000 reserved for the winner. Grand Chess Tour points will also be awarded.

Suberbet Chess Classic 2024

The full lineup

Suberbet Chess Classic 2024

The schedule

A city with a chess tradition

By Eduard Frey

The capital of Romania, today best known for its annual Superbet Chess Classic, has a rich chess tradition. Especially the two world elite tournaments of 1953 and 1954 have remained in the collective chess memory.

The legendary Ludek Pachman won the first major international chess tournament in Bucharest in 1949 (in which Karel Opocensky, Jaroslav Sajtar, Oleg Neikirch, Pal Benkö, Janos Balogh, Tibor Florian, Ion Balanel and Octavio Troianescu also played). In 1951, the Bulgarian Zdravko Milev won the second edition of that tournament, which, however, was not as strong as the first.

The 1953 București (Romanian for Bucharest) International Invitational can be regarded as the strongest chess event ever held in Romania in the 20th century, and is often cited along with the 1954 tournament.

The next editions, irregularly held, were of major status, mostly including one player from the Soviet Union (i.e. Gipslis, Lutikov, Sveshnikov, and Vasiukov played too, but did not win), albeit far less strong than the world elite tournaments of 1953 and 1954.

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Chess in Bucharest

The five Soviet players in Bucharest 1953: Boleslavsky, Smyslov, Petrosian, the winner Tolush and the 16-year-old Spassky, who was Tolush’s pupil at the time

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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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