World No. 5 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov finished with 6.0/9 points to win 1st place in the 2021 Superbet Chess Classic, clinching victory after a draw with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final round. Tying for second place were Levon Aronian, Wesley So, and Alexander Grischuk, who each drew their last-round games to finish with 5.0/9.
The win earns Mamedyarov a first-place prize of $90,000 and a total of 13 Grand Chess Tour points.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov is the first player from Azerbaijan to win a Grand Chess Tour event. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Prize Earnings & GCT Points
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90/40, SD 30, with a 30-second increment for both sides starting from move one.
And check out the full album of photos from the 2021 Superbet Chess Classic here.
Vachier-Lagrave - Mamedyarov ½-½
The French No. 1 chose the ultra-solid Four Knights Scotch, and promptly took the game into a drawish endgame. Needing only a draw to secure 1st place, Mamedyarov decided to trade off one of his bishops to enter a worse position but with opposite colored bishops. The players soon repeated moves, though according to the engines MVL certainly could have played on, holding a big advantage at the end of the game.
MVL had a difficult event overall, tying for 9th place in the standings. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Bryan Adams
Aronian - Radjabov ½-½
Another quick draw as the players repeated moves in a known line of the Berlin Defense. A solid but somewhat unfortunate result for Radjabov, who finished the event with nine draws, many occurring from theoretical lines in the opening.
Aronian and Radjabov wait for the arbiter to confirm their repetition. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Lupulescu - So ½-½
A solid line of the 4.Qc2 Nimzo gave Lupulescu a small structural advantage, but So had plenty of activity to compensate for his slightly weakened king. Neither player was able to generate any chances and the game finished in a repetition shortly before the first time control.
Romanian No. 1 Constantin Lupulescu earned a respectable 3.5/9 in his first GCT event. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Bryan Adams
Giri - Grischuk ½-½
An interesting variant of the Italian Game left Giri with a bit of pressure in the middlegame. Things stayed relatively balanced, with the exception of one moment where Giri could have secured a nice strategic advantage. After missing this chance the game soon saw massive trades, petering out into an equal endgame.
Giri finished on an equal score while Grischuk was quite pleased with his +1 result | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Caruana - Deac ½-½
In the longest game of the day Caruana chose the King’s Indian Attack, an opening where White typically tries to build up a slow but deadly attack on the kingside. While Deac successfully defended against the kingside pressure, he allowed Fabiano some chances in the endgame. Unfortunately for the World No. 2 it wasn’t enough, and after 74 moves of play the game finished with just bare kings on the board.
The Romanian junior impressed many with his fighting spirit, and finished tied for 7th place with Caruana himself. | Photo: Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
The next leg in the GCT will be the Paris Grand Chess Tour, a 10-player round-robin rapid and blitz tournament. The Paris Grand Chess Tour will be held at Mobilier National from Friday, June 18- Tuesday, June 22nd.