GM Alireza Firouzja won the Chessbrah Invitational, a blitz tournament among six super grandmasters held Friday and Saturday on Chess.com. The Iranian grandmaster defeated GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands in a best-of-10 final.
Yesterday the preliminary phase of the Chessbrah Invitational was covered here. Giri and Firouzja had qualified directly to the finals together with GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, while GM Alexander Grischuk then joined as the winner of the losers' bracket. GMs Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave also participated but were eliminated on Friday.
The semifinals were best-of-four matches with a time control of three minutes and a two-second increment. The first to play were Giri and Nepomniachtchi.
It was Giri who won the first two games before losing the third, but the Dutch GM was very much in control in the fourth and won that as well to reach the final.
All four games were interesting, but the choice fell on the first, partly because Giri stepped away from his regular repertoire with 1.e4 and faced Nepo's French.
Sadly, the game was marred by a mouse slip by Nepomniachtchi that might have affected his play in the remainder. As commentator GM Aryan Tari put it: "I think Ian is the most tilting player in the top 10."
The other semifinal, between Firouzja and Grischuk, saw a completely different scenario as all four regular games ended in draws. An armageddon had to force matters with five minutes for White and four minutes for Black, who had draw odds.
The final between Firouzja and Giri was a best-of-10, also played with 3+2 games. Giri won the first, Firouzja the second and with a draw in the third, the final was a close affair... until then.
Firouzja finished his opponent by winning four straight games, earning the $1,750 first prize as part of a $5,500 total prize fund.
The first of those four saw a pretty little combination by Firouzja. Can you find it before watching the clip below?
All of Saturday's games