Caruana Wins Superbet Chess Classic Romania In Playoff After Dramatic Final Day

GM Fabiano Caruana ended up winning the $68,750 first prize at the Superbet Chess Classic Romania after a dramatic final day in Bucharest. Although he lost his classical game to a strong-playing GM Anish Giri, the American GM won all three games in the playoff to retain last year’s title.

The grapes were sour for GM Alireza Firouzja, who was on the brink of beating GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and finishing in clear first place without needing a playoff but then failed to win an exchange-up position.

“Maybe we were making it a bit boring, but on the final day at least we added some excitement,” Caruana noted after receiving the trophy for winning another Superbet Chess Classic. Indeed, after what was not the most exciting classical tournament in the history of the game, the final day made up for it with dramatic results in the classical portion and an exciting playoff to produce the tournament winner.

A big part of all this comes from the fact that Caruana suffered his first loss of the tournament on the last day. “I feel good at the moment but, overall, of course it was a pretty bad day,” the tournament winner also said, but with a big smile on his face.

I played terribly. Anish punished me; I played a poor game but he played well and then I wasn’t even thinking about winning the tournament anymore.
—Fabiano Caruana