Rosen Wins The 2022 IMSCC Title

Rosen Wins The 2022 IMSCC Title

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

The 2022 I'M Not A GM Speed Chess Championship, presented by, came to a conclusion on Thursday with an exhilarating grand finale between IM Eric Rosen and FM James Canty III, which culminated in a 12-9 victory for Rosen.

Rosen was able to capture the title ahead of the tournament surprise-packet Canty, who fought valiantly but was just off the pace in the big moments. It was a case of third time lucky for Rosen, who has been a mainstay in the past three editions of the event, while Canty can take confidence into next year's event, where he will enter as one of the favorites.

Although the IMSCC has come to a close, be sure to catch our coverage of the Women's Speed Chess Championship which continues on July 8, at 4.00 a.m. Pacific / 13:00 Central European, where IM Polina Shuvalova will take on GM Tan Zhongyi.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 I'M Not A GM Speed Chess Championship on You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on The games can also be followed from our Events Page.

Live broadcast of the match, hosted by GM Jeffery Xiong and IM Levy Rozman

Blitz 5|1: Rosen-Canty 5-3

Rosen got off to a flying start in the match with back-to-back wins, the first of which was a preview of how he intended to challenge Canty's swashbuckling Sicilian Defense. Steering away from his beloved London System, the American IM must have felt that he had found some holes in Canty's Romantic e4 repertoire.

Canty played the rare 5.h5, seen only 15 times at the master level, though Rosen was well prepared and quickly garnered the bishop pair and ground down his opponent in 46 moves.

Surprisingly, Rosen's first game was the lone win for White in the 5+1 portion, in which the players alternated blows with the black pieces for the next seven games! Canty, affectionately known as the "Jedi Master," used significant "force" to get on the scoreboard in game three, finding a discovered check that was more characteristic of his opponent, who was dubbed as "Chess' Greatest Swindler" on the official Twitch broadcast.

With the scores at 4-3 and the match clock allowing for one more game, Canty pulled out all the stops in an attempt to tie things up. A kingside attack was enough to win an exchange; however, a missed tactic meant that his efforts went unrewarded. To rub salt in the wounds, Rosen found a way to turn a drawn position into a winning one and extended his lead to two points heading into the break.

Blitz 3|1: Rosen-Canty 3.5-2.5

Canty was the first to strike in the 3+1 games, showing promising signs of a resurgence with an epic 124-move moral victory after fighting back from a mouse slip that saw him lose a knight. Rosen quickly quelled any questions about a form lapse and found a series of key defensive tactics that allowed him to win the following two games cleanly.

Desperately needing to crack Rosen's momentum, Canty stepped up and played what was his best game of the match. A timely knight sacrifice left Rosen's King stranded in the center and precise follow-up moves forced the leader to give back ample material. Canty made no mistakes in his conversion and leveled the scores in the 3+1 segment.

Canty clearly found some confidence after his round-12 brilliancy and very nearly backed it up in the following game with some exquisite preparation in a sharp line of the Sicilian Defense: Hyperaccelerated Dragon Variation. Rosen navigated the attack and wiggled his way into an endgame that was losing, but the scent of a perpetual check was strong. He managed to pester Canty's king long enough to secure a draw and scored a critical half point.

Perhaps on tilt from the previous game, Canty went on to drop the following drawn rook endgame, though it was not without drama, as Rosen very nearly blundered it away after allowing a "Vancura Draw" ending to arise.

Rosen's ability to clutch results from the jaws of defeat proved successful yet again in today's match, and for this reason, he was able to enter the bullet stage as the heavy favorite with a three-point margin.

Bullet 1|1: Rosen-Canty 3.5-3.5

With the clock on his side, Rosen began the bullet portion in the best way possible: a 62-move draw that drained the match clock and undoubtedly frustrated Canty. For those wondering, only 21 games decided the championship today, which included 19 decisive results! This means that, for once in the world of chess, a draw is actually a newsworthy result.

Last year's final struck a similar chord, with IM Roberto Molina defeating Rozman in 20 games, 17 of which were decisive.

Despite gaining a tremendous advantage in the second bullet game, the previous results seemed to have jinxed the American FM and he missed a golden opportunity to convert.

Commentators Rozman and Xiong were in disbelief covering the game as Canty missed the win (from the diagram above) and left Rosen to pick up the scraps. Rosen won several of the next games in this style, seemingly possessing Canty to make several inconceivable blunders that can only be enjoyed by reliving the moments.

Rozman, still stinging from his quarterfinal loss against the sleek swindler, jested that Rosen had "talked to a witch" and "made a deal with the devil" that resulted in his opponents not being able to play their best chess. 

Canty's fighting spirit was commendable in the late stages of the match and the tactical slugfest did not cease until the match clock was drained. However, it was simply too late to stop the cunning Rosen whose eventual 12-9 victory in the final today makes him ineligible for future editions of the IMSCC.

In the post-match interview, Canty highlighted that some nervy moments had led to his downfall, including several mouse slips. He mentioned that "only when you play Eric Rosen do these types of things happen," which is a testament to Rosen's legendary swindling ability.

Rosen won $1,257.14 in the match while Canty earned $342.86. The champion's winnings in this series are $3,060.77 in total.

All Games - Final

IM Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket

The IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship (IMSCC) is an online event where some of the strongest IMs and other invited players compete in a series of speed chess matches. Each match consists of a 5+1 blitz segment, a 3+1 blitz segment, and a 1+1 bullet segment, with the player who scores the most points winning the match. If there's a tie, players play a four-game 1+1 match to decide the winner. If the tie persists, an armageddon game with a bidding system decides the winner.

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