A surging Ian Nepomniachtchi and Fabiano Caruana were able to catch Anand during the second day of the SuperUnited Rapid and Blitz, with Nepo winning all three games to tie for the lead going into the last day of the rapid. Just a point behind in second place are Jan-Krzysztof Duda and the young Gukesh, who scored two wins and a draw in today’s action.
Check out the full replay of live coverage from the day here. The time control for the rapid portion is 25+10, with 2 points awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw, and 0 for a loss. The blitz portion will have a time control of 5+2, using the typical 1, 1/2, 0 scoring system.
RAPID | ROUNDS 4-6
The day started off with a shock for Carlsen, as he lost back-to-back games to Caruana and Firouzja. Against Fabi, Magnus got caught in a rare line of the English and found himself worse in an endgame without much prospects.
Carlsen-Caruana: After 15…Nd4, Caruana was a pawn up and with better development. | 0-1, 31 moves
Two wins and a draw for Fabi, whose tied for first heading into the half-way point. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Caruana converted the win, and in the next round Carlsen again found himself on the defensive side against Firouzja. This time he was close to holding, but a late blunder in a queen endgame allowed Firouzja to seize the full point.
A tough day for Carlsen, although at 50% he remains just two points behind the leaders. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Meanwhile Anand carried his excellent form into the first round, as he managed to outplay Saric in a complicated Najdorf struggle.
Anand-Saric: 37.Nf5+! was a winning stroke, as 37...gxf5 leads to mate after 38.Qg5+ Kf8 39.Qe7+ Kg7 40.Rg1++- | 1-0, 39 moves
A win, loss, and draw for Anand, who remains one of the leaders. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Carlsen would bounce back in the final round, with a nice technical win against Anand in a rook endgame. This gave a chance for both Nepomniachtchi and Caruana to catch Anand with wins in the final round of the day–Nepo scoring his third straight victory and Caruana defeating Duda with Black.
Nepomniachtchi-Lupulescu: after 32.Bg6, Black had back rank issues for the rest of the game. | 1-0, 50 moves
After a winless Day 1 Nepo defeated Firouzja, Rapport, and Lupulescu in back-to-back games. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Lennart Ootes
Ending the day just a point behind the leaders was the young Gukesh, who defeated both Lupulescu and Saric while drawing with Rapport in the first game.
The youngest participant in the field, Gukesh has performed impressively so far. | Photo courtesy of Grand Chess Tour, Bryan Adams
Rapid Pairings for Round 7
The 2023 SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz in continues Friday, July 7, with tournament action live starting at 7:05 AM CT with Grandmaster commentators Yasser Seirawan, Evgenij Miroshnichenko, Cristian Chirila and International Master Nazi Paikidze on grandchesstour.org and on the Saint Louis Chess Club’s YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.