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Wesley So and Grischuk, leaders / Arturo Xicoténcatl

In a singular turn in the classification and in two illustrative games in the tactical and strategic aspect, GMs Wesley So, from the United States, Alexander Grischuk from Russia, defeated the leaders Fabiano Caruana, from the USA, and Daniel Bogdan Deac, from Romania, and were become the new leaders of the Superbet Classic in Bucharest, Romania after finishing the fourth round of the competition. Both dominate with 2 ½ points and performances of 2,881 points for So and 2,826 for Grischuk.

So beat his compatriot Caruana in 52 moves of an English while Grischuk beat Deac in 62 of a Semi-Tarrasch. The rest of the games were drawn: Giri – Aronian in 34 from a Catalan, Azerbaijanis Mamedyarov – Radjabov in a short game of 21 sets from a King’s Indian; and Vachier – Lupulescu in 44 movement of a French.

Classification to the R-4: 1st. So, Grischuk, 2 ½ points. From 3rd to 8th: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Caruana, Levon Aronian, Teimour Radjábov, Constantin Lupulescu and Deac, 2 points. 9th. Anish Giri, The Netherlands, 1 ½; 10th. Máxime Vachier-Lagrave, France 1 ½.

R-5 pairing. Aronian vs. Vachier, Deac, Bodgan vs. Wesley So, Lupulescu vs. Mamedyarov and Radjabov vs. Grischuk.

The tournament is played at the classic rhythm of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an addition of 30 seconds from the first move.

White: Alexander Grischuk, Russia, 2,778. Black: Daniel Bogdan Deac, Romania, 2627. Queen’s Gambit, SemiTarrasch Defense D41. R-4, Superbet Chess Classic Tournament, Bucharest, 08–06.2021.

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 A position popularized in recent years by former world monarchs Boris Spassky and Garri Kasparov. It usually leads to a fight in which Black, trying to develop his pieces, is left with an isolated pawn. 5.cxd5 cxd4 6.Dxd4 exd5 Observe the activity of the black bishops from their square of origin and the white queen, in the inappropriate position of sentry. This function is preferable to be fulfilled by a minor part. The masters block the isolated pawn with a knight as a sentry as the first part of a plan to attack it. 7.Bg5 Be7 8.e3 0–0 9.Be2 Nc6 10.Qd3 h6 11.Bh4 Be6 12.0–0 Qb6 13.a3 Known tactical resource that prevents the immediate capture of b2. 13 … Rfd8 If 13 … Qxb2 14.Na4 Bf5 15.Nxb2 Bxd3 16.Nxd3 + – 14.Rfd1 Ne4 15.Bxe7 Nxe7 16.Nd4 Nxc3 17.Qxc3 Rac8 18.Qd2 Nf5 19.Bf3 Rc4 It does not seem very accurate as Black loses the central pawn 20.Nxf5 Bxf5 21.Bxd5 Be6 22.e4 Bxd5 If 22 … Rxe4 23.Bxe4 Rxd2 24.Rxd2 with a draw-tending ending. 23.exd5 Qb5 24.h3 Rd6 The black rook, as an obligatory sentinel, allows more flexibility for the white heavy pieces. 25.b4 Rc7 26.Qf4 ± Rcd7 27.Rac1 Rxd5 28.Rxd5 Qxd5 29.Qb8 + Kh7 30.Qxa7 ± Most queenside pawns give Grischuk an advantage. 30 … Qd2 31.Dc5 g6 32.Dc3 Qf4 33.Re1 Rd2 34.Qe3 Qd6 35.Df3 Qc7 36.Qf6 Rd6 37.Qe7 Rd7 38.Qe5 Qd8 39.g3 b6 40.a4 Rd4 41.Re4 Rd1 + 42 .Rh2 Qa8 Fine move that ties the rook because of the mate image on h1. 43.b5 Rf1 44.Qd4 Qb7 45.Qe3 Ra1 46.Dd4 Rf1 47.Qe3 Ra1 48.g4 Rd1 49.Qf3 Rd4 50.Re3 Qc7 + 51.Qg3 Qd7 52.Db8 Rxa4 53.Qxb6 + – the free pawn decides. 53 … Rf4 54.Kg3 g5 55.Rf3 Rb4 56.Qc6 Qe6 57.Kg2 Kg8 58.Qa8 + Kh7 59.Qf8 Rf4 60.Rxf4 gxf4 61.Qa8 h5 62.Qc6 Blacks perform. 1–0.

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