19th Blitz Death Match Player Announcement

19th Blitz Death Match Player Announcement

MikeKlein
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Does the end of summer have you feeling blue? Cheer up - another Death Match is on the horizon! Chess.com has secured the lineup for Death Match 19, featuring GM David Smerdon and GM Simon Williams!

The two GMs will face off in three hours of intense blitz and bullet chess until a clear winner is determined. The victor will get the fame, the glory, and a large chunk of the $1000 cash prize!

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The match will take place live on Saturday, November 2 at noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific. Tune in to chess.com/tv for live commentary from IM Danny Rensch and special guests.

GM David Smerdon -- FIDE 2521. Nicknamed "Smurf" because of his last name and childhood prowess, the Australian GM is currently the second-highest rated player in his country. He is only the fourth Australian to earn the title.

GM David Smerdon, the first Death Match Aussie

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Smerdon is also an accomplished academic, having earned a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science. He then worked for the Australian Treasury and received a graduate degree in economics before winning his country's version of the Fulbright and pursuing a doctorate in the Netherlands in the field of human behavior and economics.

All that rigorous study is far afield from some of his opening choices. Known to enjoy playing many wild gambits in classical play, here is one of his most fascinating games. He offers his queen and both rooks, but places all of his minors in the middle of the board for one of the most uncompromising games you'll ever play through:

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GM Simon Williams -- FIDE 2481. Williams is a British GM who, like Smerdon, also has a penchant for creative openings. His nickname is the "GingerGM" (one look at his coif will tell you why). He is one of the world's foremost authorities on the Dutch Defense, beating GM Boris Gelfand in 2012 with his pet opening. Williams has also taken to playing the King's Gambit as white recently, with many entertaining games as a result.

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GM Simon Williams, the "GingerGM"

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He has played in the British Championship six times, finishing second twice, including this year's 100th edition. One of his biggest victories came on home soil at the 2010 London Chess Classic Open.

When the mood strikes him, Williams can vary his repetoire with the Slav Defense. Like his Death Match opponent, the Briton also knows when minors can trump rooks. Here all four converge against the white king:

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These two Commonwealth GMs promise to offer one of the most creative Death Matches yet. Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, November 2, with pre-match interviews starting at noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific. The action will be covered live on ChessTV, open to all members and hosted by IM Danny Rensch and other titled players.

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