Qualifier List for Death Match 21 Finalized

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 1/2/14, 1:56 PM.

All Chess.com members were invited to the Third Death Match Qualifier, the first of many in 2014. February's Death Match 21 qualification period is now over, and the list of invitations goes out today. Below you'll see who finished on top in the ratings list (of those who played the minimum 100 games in bullet or blitz). The match is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, February 15.

Note that Death Match 20 will take place before this match. If you didn't see the announcement, read about GM Yury Shulman and GM Daniel Fridman facing off here. That match will be Saturday January 18 at noon Eastern (New York time), just after our live commentary of the Tata Steel Tournament, so go ahead and cancel all of your plans that day!

Here are the highest-rated players that played 100 blitz games or 100 bullet games in the month of December. The first player gets the invitation. If he declines, Chess.com reserves the right to invite another player from the list. Ratings listed are as of January 1, 2014 at midnight Pacific time.


1. GM Imre Balog (Imre91), 2526 (played 117 games)

Balog's Chess.com photo. His play was "Amazing."

The real GM Balog!

2. FM Evan Ju (Eilyisum), 2513 (201 games)

3. GM Robert Hess* (RLH2), 2490 (288 games)

4. IM Dejan Stojanowski (ChessTrener), 2461 (268 games)

5. Daniel Paras (abyss25), 2413 (122 games)


1. GM ???** (Phoenix), 2826 (115 games)

Phoenix might be a man and could be a legend. Right now he's just myth.

2. GM GeorgMeier (GeorgMeier), 2753 (133 games)

3. unidentified member** (Nouki), 2675 (148 games)

4. FM Kazim Gulamali (Gulamali-BOS), 2631 (406 games)

5. GM Imre Balog (Imre91), 2583 (188 games)

Chess.com will announce the player's officially, and confirm the date and time once both players accept!

*Hess is eligible to play in a second Death Match since he would not get the first invitation, as Balog would have to decline for him to have a chance (as per the posted rules).

**Both GM "Phoenix" un-titled/unconfirmed account and "Nouki" would have to verify their identities in order to be eligible, also as per the rules.

5838 reads 27 comments
One Vote


  • 2 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    Did not "wuss" out guys Wink

    He's a GM of the highest caliber (that I can confirm) and is as such, very busy...

  • 2 years ago


    Dang Phoenix wussed out.

  • 2 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    FYI to everyone - we have officially agreed with the participants of the 21st Blitz Death Match:

    GM Imre Balog will battle GM Georg Meier.

    GM Phoenix declined participation ;)

    Very excited to have Imre and Georg play each other on February 15th!


  • 2 years ago


    Wait, all of the sudden Nakamura has popped up.  So I guess Phoenix is NOT him.  Cool

  • 2 years ago


    If phoenix is what he says on his profile page (vancouver, washington) he might be Erenburg, Sergey

  • 2 years ago


    Phoenix could be one of the 200+ GMs in the world rated 2600+. That leaves plenty of room for speculation. He may or may not be American.

    Definitely not Naka because Naka plays very unconventionally bad aggressive openings in bullet, and then overwhelms his opponents using his superior middle game play and incredible speed. You can test my theory by watching his ICC games.

    Phoenix gotta be fairly young, I have seen his tantrums when he gets bad positions and so maturity may not be his forte (letting game run out instead of resigning, disconnecting in a huff!) . Thats my guess.

    So a youngish strong GM, that leaves 50+ players in the world!

  • 2 years ago


    GM Phoenix Is GM Le Quang Liem 

  • 2 years ago


    I think Daniel Rensch has a game against Phoenix in the videos lessons.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  • 2 years ago


    Man I really want Phoenix to accept, whoever he is.

  • 2 years ago


    Evan Ju SAAAAAAN!! Cool

  • 2 years ago


    Who is Phoenix?

  • 2 years ago


    Phenix is  Sam Shankland

    or   2 Yasser Seirawan

          3  Arthur Youssoupov

          4  ALONSO ZAPATA winnerVANCOUVER OPEN CHESS TOURNAMENT                                                                                                                     2011

            5  Doroshenko, Maxim

  • 2 years ago


    d4soldier  "also if you're staff you should have access to that information right? he's a verified gm so the people at chess.com know who he is " agree, have the same doubt.

  • 2 years ago


    FM Klein or IM Rensch, do you all know who Phoenix is?  I'm curious how someone could have "GM" next to their name but yet you don't know who he/she is. 

  • 2 years ago

    IM JMB2010

    If Phoenix accepts I think he will be forced to reveal his identity, as in the original announcement it noted that anonymous accounts will not be accepted. For that reason he might decline, but I sure am rooting for the opposite! Smile

  • 2 years ago


    also if you're staff you should have access to that information right? he's a verified gm so the people at chess.com know who he is 

  • 2 years ago


    i thought everyone figured out already that it was naka

  • 2 years ago


    Phoenix may be Nakamura.If he is I am hoping that he accepts.Everybody now that the 3rd in the world in classic chess is very good at Blitz.

  • 2 years ago

    FM MikeKlein

    Thanks Plexinico - I made a bad guess. We're actually working on getting a real photo of Balog, but I'll change the caption for now.

  • 2 years ago


    That is not Slash with the guitar in the first pic!  It's Steven Tyler singer from Aerosmith...

Back to Top

Post your reply: