Mamedyarov rules Superbet Classic at expense of So, Aronian, Grischuk

Roy Luarca
Mamedyarov rules Superbet Classic at expense of So, Aronian, Grischuk

DRAW. Wesley So ends his Superbet Chess Classic campaign with a draw.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov vaults to fifth in the world chess ranking

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov claimed the Superbet Chess Classic crown and all Wesley So, Levon Aronian and Alexander Grischuk could do was watch.

All the ninth and final matches ended in draws on Monday, including that of Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, giving the Azerbaijani No. 1 a six-point total in the inaugural leg of the country-hopping Grand Chess Tour.

Handling black and facing mate, So was forced to draw via perpetual check against Romanian icon Constantin Lupulescu for 5 points, the same as Aronian, who agreed to a 14-move truce with Teimour Radjabov, and Grischuk, who ended with a 42-move standoff against Anish Giri.

The Bacoor, Cavite-born So won over world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana in round 4 and drew the rest in the $325,000 (P15.6 million) all-super Grandmaster event.

Mamedyarov surged ahead following three straight victories from rounds fifth to seventh.

Settling for draws throughout, Radjabov shared fifth spot with Giri at 4.5 points.

Caruana pressed for a win against Bogdan-Daniel Deac but fell short and ended up at joint seventh with the Romanian teen prospect at 4 points.

Lupulescu and Vachier Lagrave landed at the cellar with 3.5 each.

So, Aronian, Radjabov, Caruana, and Vachier-Lagrave will fly over to France to compete in the $150,000 Paris Rapid & Blitz Play, the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour starting on Friday.

Posting a performance rating of Elo 2873, Mamedyarov vaulted to fifth in the world chess ranking. Dropping 14.4 Elo points, Caruana (2805) lagged further behind world champion Magnus Carlsen (2847) in live FIDE (International Chess Federation) classical ratings. –