Artemiev Beats Aronian In Speed Chess Quarterfinals
The Russian prodigy put on a Speed Chess show Thursday.

Artemiev Beats Aronian In Speed Chess Quarterfinals

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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18 | Chess.com News

Levon Aronian won the five-minute games, but then Vladislav Artemiev took over and ended up winning their Speed Chess Championship quarterfinal match convincingly. The Russian player dominated both the three- and one-minute segments towards a final score of 16-9.

Although the Chess.com SmarterChess statistical model named Aronian as the favorite in this match, something could be said for Artemiev as well. The Russian grandmaster won several over-the-board blitz championships, and in speed chess games, he was leading vs. Aronian two to one.

Aronian Artemiev predictions
The SmarterChess predictions were accurate for the five-minute games only.

It started as an exciting match. Especially in the first half, the quality of the games was high, and the outcome not clear until the end. Aronian scored most points in the longest time control, and for a while he seemed to be the favorite indeed.

Playing from his home in Yerevan, Armenia, Aronian took most of the early points, but the games showed that his opponent is a tricky player. After winning the first game followed by two draws, Aronian won the following tactical slugfest:

Artemiev, playing from Kazan, Russia, really needed a few games to warm up. After a draw, he got a winning position in game six, but when he lost that one as well, he seemed to be in trouble:

Levon Aronian 2019 Speed Chess Championship
Artemiev finally got on the scoreboard with his first win in the next game. He made it two in a row when Aronian blundered terribly in the next:

Aronian ended the five-minute segment with a win, setting a 5.5-3.5 score during the first break. That's where things changed: the Armenian grandmaster wouldn't win another one for 13 games in a row.

5+1 games | Score

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
1 Levon Aronian @LevonAronian 3108 3155 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 0 0 1 5.5/9
2 Vladislav Artemiev @Sibelephant 3077 3030 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 0 3.5/9

Artemiev took full control in the three-minute part. He won four games in a row, and after a draw he added two more. 

Game 11 saw the most dramatic finish in this match. Instead of giving checkmate, Aronian flagged:

"It was the moment that made me tilt, from that moment on," Aronian said. 

"It was a big surprise for me," said Artemiev. "It was a critical moment, I think."

The strength of Artemiev in blitz cannot be demonstrated more clearly in the following game. Aronian takes some risks in the opening, and then gets blown away tactically:

Vladislav Artemiev 2019 Speed Chess Championship

3+1 games | Score

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score
1 Vladislav Artemiev Sibelephant 3084 3437 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 7.0/8
2 Levon Aronian LevonAronian 3099 2746 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1.0/8

Artemiev went into the one-minute segment with a 10.5-6.5 lead. It was clear that he was on the brink of match victory, taking into account that he completely dominated the bullet in his previous match with Alexander Grischuk.

Here Artemiev also won the bullet, with 5.5-2.5, and so he put on the same final score as against Grischuk: 16-9. Aronian would win only one:

1+1 games | Score

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score
1 Vladislav Artemiev Sibelephant 3060 3108 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 0 1 ½ 5.5/8
2 Levon Aronian LevonAronian 2972 2924 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 2.5/8

Aronian earned $540 based on win percentage. Artemiev won $1,500 for the victory plus $960 on percentage, totaling $2,460.

Artemiev will now play against the winner of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Wesley So. He said there will be no big favorite, and that it will all depend on the form of the day.

"He has chances!" said Aronian.

2019 Speed Chess Championship bracket quarterfinals

The next two quarterfinals are scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, November 18 at 7 a.m. Pacific (10 a.m. Eastern, 16:00 CET): Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Ding Liren
  • Tuesday, November 19 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern, 18:00 CET): Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs Wesley So
  • Wednesday, December 4 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern, 18:00 CET): Hikaru Nakamura vs. Jan-Krzysztof Duda

Replay the commentary with GMs Robert Hess & Aryan Tari.

All match games for replay and download:

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