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A Match of Death

Shankland
Apr 1, 2012, 2:06 PM 40

In January, chess.com introduced a whole new level of extreme chess. Dubbed a "deathmatch", 2 players will play 3 consecutive hours of blitz and/or bullet games and whoever wins the most total games walks away the winner, and takes a big stake of the prize. I really enjoyed watching the first 2 matches, Pruess vs Rensch and Shahade vs Sharma, and was looking forward to my own. My opponent was to be GM Robert Hess, a very strong young American Grandmaster who I've tangled with many times before. The match itself was completely exhausting, but a lot of fun and I would love to do another one! Robert and I produced some good games in the 5 1 section of the match, but in the faster time controls (3 1 and 1 1) the  quality dropped a bit, often seeing one side play an excellent game and achieve a great position only to mess it up because the time was so short. But, this created a lot of excitement for the fans! I'll start out by showing what I believe the 2 best played games of the match were, and ironically they were played back to back.


The match was very close throughout, with nobody ever leading by more than 2 or 3 games. With just 3 minutes left in the match, I was leading by one game, but I manged to win the penultimate game (in a far from perfect display) to stretch my lead to 2 games with only time for one more, finally clinching the match at the very end.

 

I'll give a few more games here, each of which I think was really exciting and fun, with some great play under such short time contraints.

And to keep things fun, to finish off I'll include 1 game from each of us that shows in blitz, even strong GMs can let completely won positions take disastrous turns!

Thanks to everyone who came out and watched, and I hope Robert and I didn't disappoint!

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