Junior Speed Chess Championship Main Event Starts Thursday

Junior Speed Chess Championship Main Event Starts Thursday

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

The Main Event of the 2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by ChessKid starts on Thursday, July 1. The first match in the round of 16 will see GM Raunak Sadhwani of India vs. GM Paulius Pultinevicius of Lithuania at 10 a.m. Pacific / 19:00 Central Europe.

How to watch?
The Junior Speed Chess Championship games can be found here as part of our live events platform. You can enjoy the commentary also on and

After the winners of the four qualifier tournaments were added to the participant list and the final invitees accepted, it's time for the Main Event of this year's championship for juniors! Once again presented by ChessKid, the tournament will see the most talented chess prodigies on the planet brought together in one bracket. The third edition has the highest prize fund for this event to date: a total of $35,000.

The participants are, in order of seeds:

# Fed Name blitz
1 GM Nihal Sarin 3104
2 GM Raunak Sadhwani 2933
3 GM Jeffery Xiong 2980
4 GM Haik Martirosyan 2934
5 GM Arjun Erigaisi 2934
6 GM Parham Maghsoodloo 2911
7 GM Hans Niemann 2908
8 GM Amin Tabatabaei 2933
9 GM Anton Smirnov 2949
10 IM Christopher Yoo 2925
11 GM Praggnanandhaa R. 2939
12 GM Kirill Shevchenko 2905
13 GM Vincent Keymer 2908
14 IM Denis Lazavik 2833
15 GM Paulius Pultinevicius 2769
16 GM Nicolas Checa 2770

Junior Speed Chess Championship bracket

European Qualifier

The 2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship started on June 7 with the first of four qualifiers. It was GM Vincent Keymer of Germany who came out on top of eight talented players from Europe. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and final all consisted of two 5|1 games, four 3|1 games, and eight 1|1 games.

Keymer defeated the Belarus IM Denis Lazavik 8-6 in an exciting final that was still tied two games before the end. Lazavik was winning and could have scored the 7-7, but allowed a combination and then even lost that last game.

That was a tough finish for Lazavik, but he ended up as one of the best performers in the qualifiers and earned his invitation to the Main Event after all.

The live broadcast of the European qualifier.

Asian Qualifier

A week later, GM Arjun Erigaisi, who is now also making a name in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid, won the Asian qualifier. The 17-year-old grandmaster from India defeated GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov of Uzbekistan.

The match saw a similar score progression as in the previous final, with an 8-8 tie on the scoreboard shortly before the end. Erigaisi then won the last two games, with Vokhidov getting one chance in the final bullet game:

The live broadcast of the Asian qualifier.

Global Qualifier

Another week later, on June 21, Sadhwani won the global qualifier by beating Pultinevicius in the final. Coincidentally, this is also the pairing for the first match in the Main Event as Pultinevicius also earned a ticket as one of the best-performing finalists.

It will be a tough task for the Lithuanian player because in the global qualifier final he went down with a big score: 2.5-7.5. In what is basically a best of 14, Sadhwani had already decided the match in game 10. 

From this match, we show an instructive rook endgame played at a 3|1 time control:

Americas Qualifier

Later that day, the final qualifier for players from the Americas was played. The newly-minted GM Hans Niemann came out on top after beating IM Christopher Yoo, a name that we will also see in the Main Event.

This was another match where the score was still tied two games before the end. Niemann had the best finish and was also in full control in that final game:

The live broadcast of the global and Americas qualifiers.

The Main Event has a $25,000 prize pool. The winner will earn $5,000 and will qualify for's flagship event, the Speed Chess Championship, to be held later this year.

At the time of writing, the following three matches have been scheduled:

All the events will be broadcast live on with commentary by experts like GMs Aman Hambleton, Daniel Naroditsky, Robert Hess, and FM Mike Klein. You can also follow the games on our Events page. Don't miss it!

See also:

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