Junior Speed Chess SF: Sadhwani Beats Maghsoodloo To Set Up All-Indian Final

Junior Speed Chess SF: Sadhwani Beats Maghsoodloo To Set Up All-Indian Final

| 13 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Raunak Sadhwani narrowly defeated GM Parham Maghsoodloo on Thursday by a 15-14 score in the second semifinal of the Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by ChessKid. This means we'll have an all-Indian final, to be announced soon, between Sadhwani and GM Nihal Sarin

All Junior Speed Chess Championship broadcasts are available on

The match had a slightly worrisome start as connection problems plagued Maghsoodloo. However, after the first game was aborted, everything was OK with a fresh start.

However, the Iranian GM wasn't OK with his play. "I played terrible in the blitz sections," he would say afterward. "Even the games that I won, I was losing the whole game and also the games I lost, I lost without any chance."

Perhaps just the first 1.5 hours were like that. No fewer than 10 5|1 games were played, which were eventually won 6.5-3.5 by Sadhwani. Maghsoodloo held the 3|1 segment 4.5-4.5 and was hoping for a big comeback after winning the first bullet game, but Sadhwani managed to keep a one-point lead at the end.

A blunder like the one in the very first game by Maghsoodloo can sometimes tell early what shape a player is in on a particular day:

Maghsoodloo actually leveled the score in game three, but then lost the next. He was having excellent chances to make 2.5-2.5, was literally dancing during the play, but ended up losing a tough game:

Sadhwani was generally quick and sharp, but he suffered a rare lapse of concentration in game six. A piece up, he first allowed his opponent to get away with a draw, and then he got checkmated:

Maghsoodloo won the bullet part 6-4 and came short just one win. "I think Parham is the king of comebacks, so I was like, not loose, but still I was careful, and but still I managed to mess it up," said Sadhwani, "but I knew he would make a comeback so I was prepared for it."

"I played terrible chess today and congrats to Raunak," said Maghsoodloo. "He was well prepared in the openings, and also he was faster than me in the calculation, so he deserved the win."

The Iranian GM was all smiles when he was asked about what he was wearing. He was sporting a Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets shirt and said: "He's my idol. I like him very much. He's a hard-working guy. He's a beast."

Maghsoodloo won $724.14 on winning percentage. Sadhwani earned $1,500 plus $775.86 on percentage, totaling $2,275.86. On his upcoming final vs. Sarin, he said: "We are very good friends but OK, over the board there is no friendship, so I just like to fight."

All Games

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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