Although the day started with several quick draws an important result took place as Jan-Krzysztof Duda stopped Alireza Firouzja’s exciting run, knocking the No. 1 junior down to second place in the event. Going into the final round Monday, Fabiano Caruana is back in the sole lead with 5.0/8, while Firouzja, So, Giri, and Rapport are all currently tied for second with 4.5/8.
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the event is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by an additional 30 minutes, with a 30 second increment starting from move 1.
NEPOMNIACHTCHI - SO | ½-½, 14 moves
This game ended quickly after Nepomniachtchi opted for a well-known theoretical draw in the Berlin Defense, which results in an immediate three-time repetition.
Nepomniachtchi getting ready to claim a draw. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
DING - RAPPORT | ½-½, 30 moves
The match between the new World Champion and his recent second was also a “non-game”, as Ding played a harmless line against Rapport’s Berlin, traded off most of the pieces, and simply repeated moves to draw the game.
After their adventures together in Astana, a peaceful result was expected. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
VACHIER-LAGRAVE - DEAC | ½-½, 21 moves
Coming out of an Italian Game, Vachier-Lagrave did not achieve much in the opening, first trading queens before initiating a three-time repetition in an equal endgame.
Deac had few problems in today's game. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
CARUANA - GIRI | ½-½, 26 moves
While this game was also short it featured some incredible fireworks, as at first it seemed like Caruana had caught Giri in some major opening preparation. But despite burning lots of time, Giri miraculously managed to find a series of only moves to survive, including a stunning queen sacrifice that would force yet another draw by repetition.
Down an hour on the clock, Giri found 17...Qxe1+! 18.Nxe1 cxd2, giving Black enough counterplay to eventually force a draw.
Giri's defensive skills were put to the test today, but he passed! | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
DUDA - FIROUZJA | 1-0, 48 moves
In the most compelling game of the day, Duda played the Exchange Slav and got a small edge after Firouzja made a risky advance (13…g5) on the kingside. Duda then left his king in the center to go pawn-hunting on the queenside, winning material while Firouzja tried to initiate counterplay. After the queens got exchanged Firouzja ended up going wrong in time pressure, allowing Duda a decisive endgame advantage which he duly converted.
After 32.Ng5, Black had no defense to the threats of Nxe6+ and Rxf7+, winning a pawn.
Duda played spoiler while scoring his first win of the event. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Final round pairings
The 2023 Superbet Chess Classic concludes Monday, May 15, with tournament action live starting at 6:20 AM CT with Grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Var Akobian, Cristian Chirila and International Master Nazi Paikidze on grandchesstour.org and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.