Top seed Fabiano Caruana and unheralded Bogdan-Daniel Deac gained traction as six other entries, including Wesley So, settled for draws in the second round of the Superbet Chess Classic on Sunday, June 6.
Caruana, the world No. 2, trounced Romanian No. 1 Constantin Lupulescu, while Deac, a last-minute replacement and lowest rated in the 10-man field, stunned French icon Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the over the board tournament at the Sheraton Bucharest Hotel in Romania.
All first-round matches of the inaugural event of the Grand Chess Tour ended in draws, enabling Caruana and Deac to move ahead with 1.5 points each.
So, the reigning United States champion, and new Team USA member Levon Aronian split the point after 30 moves of a Nimzo-Indian Defense and shared 1 point with Anish Giri, Teimour Radjabov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, and Alexander Grischuk.
Giri, winner of the Carlsen Invitational in the Champions Chess Tour, drew with Radjabov, the Airthings Masters victor.
Unwilling to take risks, Mamedyarov and Grischuk also agreed to a truce.
Showing the form that made him a world title contender, Caruana forced Lupulescu to resign in 28 moves of a French Defense.
Deac, the youngest in the 10-man field at 19, thwarted Vachier-Lagrave’s attack and forced the Frenchman to yield after 44 moves of a Ruy Lopez.
The third round will pit So against Grischuk, Deac against Mamedyarov, Radjabov against Vachier-Lagrave, Lupulesco against Giri, and Aronian against Caruana.
A whopping $325,000 (around P15.6 million) is at stake in the round-robin classical event being played over the board. – Rappler.com
$1 = P47.67