How To Watch The Speed Chess Championship Final 4 This Weekend
Hikaru Nakamura is the favorite to emerge from this weekend as the Speed Chess Champion, but he will have a lot of work to do.

How To Watch The Speed Chess Championship Final 4 This Weekend

pete
pete
Dec 2, 2018, 12:00 AM |
32 | Chess Players

It's what you've been waiting for all year: The Speed Chess Championship semifinals and finals are this weekend.

With three action-packed matches in three days, you'll want to tune in Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

SCC final four schedule:

  • Semifinal: Wesley So vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Friday, November 30, 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. GMT)
  • Semifinal: Hikaru Nakamura vs Levon Aronian, Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. GMT)
  • Final: Hikaru Nakamura vs. Wesley So, Sunday, December 2, 12 p.m.. Pacific (3 p.m. Eastern, 8 p.m. GMT)

The following viewing options will be available:

  • Twitch.tv/chess: the official broadcast with IM Daniel Rensch and GM Robert Hesswatch here to see the Twitch chat.
  • Chess.com/TV: watch here to see the Chess.com chat.

so vs duda speed chess

First up on Friday is a battle between the second-seeded Wesley So and the 14th-seed Jan-Krzysztof Duda. So is a formidable opponent for his rating and experience, but Duda has been a giant killer all tournament, upsetting Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk on his way to the Speed Chess semifinals.

Then the action really heats up on Saturday with a battle between two heavyweights, the top seed Hikaru Nakamura and the 12th-seeded Levon Aronian.

nakamura vs aronian speed chess

On Sunday, the two semifinals winners will meet in the finals with everything on the line. 

nakamura so speed chess

You can see the main Speed Chess Championship bracket below. Click on the image for a larger version. 

speed chess bracket

The match format:

  • 90 minutes of 5/1 blitz.
  • 60 minutes of 3/1 blitz.
  • 30 minutes of 1/1 bullet.
  • 3-minute breaks between segments.
  • If a game begins before the end of the segment timer, that game counts fully and will be played to completion. 
  • Higher seed starts with White, and colors alternate thereafter.
  • Highest cumulative point total wins. If points are tied after the bullet segment, a four-game 1/1 tiebreaker match will be played.
  • If the match is still tied after the additional four 1/1 games, a single armageddon game will be played: White 5+0, Black 3+0, Black gets draw odds. The player with the highest Chess.com blitz rating at the start of the Armageddon chooses his color.
  • Full match rules are available here.

The semifinals match prizes:

  • Winner: $3,000 and advances to the finals of the SCC.
  • An additional $3,000 split by win percentage.
  • Additional prize funds donated by the Twitch community during the live show will be split evenly between the two players. 

The finals match prizes:

  • Winner: $5,000
  • An additional $5,000 split by win percentage.
  • Additional prize funds donated by the Twitch community during the live show will be split evenly between the two players. 

scc prizes

Who are the favorites to win? 

The Chess.com SmarterChess predictions call for a close match with a shocking outcome on Friday: Duda to beat So in the semifinal. 

Duda earned the model's respect with his recent Speed Chess success, and is actually the favorite over So despite the vast disparity in seed. If the model is right, it will be a statement that Duda has truly arrived on the elite world chess stage. In any case, the predictions expect a close match, perhaps decided by a single game.

so vs duda speed chess

For Saturday's match, the SmarterChess predictions align with most fans' expectations: a fairly easy win for Nakamura. Still, Aronian is never an opponent to be overlooked, and Nakamura will have to win the match on the chessboard.

nakamura vs aronian speed chess

For the championship, the SmarterChess model says Nakamura is a two-to-one favorite over So:

nakamura so speed chess

The SmarterChess statistical model bases its predictions on prior performance by the players in selected Chess.com events. 

Don't forget to read FM Mike Klein's news preview of the semifinals, complete with interviews of the four players. 

speed chess championship bracket

You can find all the information on the 2018 Speed Chess Championship here, including rules, format, players, and complete schedule. 

Let us know your match predictions in the comments or on Facebook

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