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Erigaisi Routs Comeback King Muradli: 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship QF

Erigaisi Routs Comeback King Muradli: 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship QF

JackRodgers
| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

The 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship continued on Monday with a high-energy quarterfinal in which GM Arjun Erigaisi defeated an in-form GM-elect Mahammad Muradli 17-11.

Erigaisi managed to build a one-point lead in the 5+1 segment but went to another level and dominated in the 3+1 games. Despite a closer scoreline in the bullet portion, Muradli was unable to recover and Erigaisi was able to win the match with a convincing score. 

The next match will see GM Arjun Erigaisi back up against GM Hans Niemann in the semifinal that determines who will take on GM Nihal Sarin in the final. This will take place on Wednesday, May 18, at 8 a.m. Pacific / 17:00 Central European.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by SIG on Chess.com/TV. You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive.

Live broadcast of the match, hosted by GMs Daniel Naroditsky and Robert Hess.


Blitz 5|1: Erigaisi-Muradli 5-4

Erigaisi stamped his authority early with back-to-back wins to kick off the match. Game two was a wild affair that saw both players execute two "brilliant" moves each (according to Chess.com game review)! High-quality defensive resources proved insufficient for Muradli's scalping chances and he eventually blundered a bishop with seconds left on the clock, allowing Erigaisi to complete a checkmate on the board.

Muradli was unfazed by the prospects of an early deficit, having already had to win seven games on-demand in his round of 16 Junior Speed Chess Championship match against GM Raunak Sadhwani, and clapped back immediately with two wins of his own. This included a thriller where he played Black in the Modern Defence and launched a scintillating attack on Erigaisi's queenside-castled king.

The next two games only added to the tension as the players slugged out two draws with almost impeccable accuracy. During this time, Muradli was forced to defend down an exchange in a rook ending however found all the right moves to give Erigaisi little chance to make progress.

Erigaisi, the reigning Indian chess champion, is one of the world's best when it comes to creating complications for his opponents. Photo: Rakesh Kulkarni / Chess.com.

Poised at 3-3, it was Muradli that broke away with a win in the theoretically-challenging Najdorf, Zagreb Variation. Erigaisi bit back in the following game to lock the scores yet again, finding a tactical shot, and capitalized on a rare mistake from the Azeri IM.

With the match clock expiring for the 5+1 segment, the final game became paramount if either player wished to take a lead into the break. Erigaisi stood up to the task in one of the cleanest decisive games of the match so far, winning a pawn and then liquidating.

Blitz 3|1: Erigaisi-Muradli 6.5-2.5

Erigaisi put on a masterclass in the 3+1 segment on Monday, accruing 7.5/8 in the opening games in an imperious display of blitz prowess.

Muradli attempted to bombard Erigaisi with mind-boggling complications however was thwarted time and time again by the inspired Indian GM, who rode momentum like a wave.

With the match score widening, Muradli did have several chances to stop Erigaisi's purple patch but was unable to convert with the immense time pressure that the Indian GM constantly exerted.

Muradli was able to pull out two wins in the backend of the segment, reeling it into a five-game deficit for a period. The two wins were a stark reminder of Muradli's proclivity for comebacks which still left a degree of excitement heading into the bullet games.

Bullet 1|1: Erigaisi-Muradli 5.5-4.5

If Muradli was planning a resurgence in the bullet then he may have picked the wrong opponent to try his luck against on Monday. Erigaisi, one of the world's best bullet chess players started with a bang, extending his lead after winning 2.5/3 in the first games. Erigaisi barely missed a trick and certainly jumped at every opportunity to exploit his opponent's errors.

Muradli continued in his quest for chaos creation as the match clock wound down by Erigaisi, completely undeterred by the Azeri's ambitions, clinically liquidated into equal or better positions consistently.

Muradli displayed the tenacity which is quickly becoming his trademark, completing a four-game winning streak from a down and out position, but it wasn't enough to stop Erigaisi whose earlier heroics kept him in front.

In the final game of the match, Erigaisi snapped Muradli's streak, signaling to his future opponents that he knows how to wrestle control back with the pressure on, vacuuming up any of White's initiative claims and taking the match to a commanding score of 17-11.

This result sets up a semifinal between Erigaisi and Niemann which will be played on Tuesday. Commentators Naroditsky and Hess offered their predictions and suggested that the match would be one featuring swinging momentum and streaks that will have spectators on the edge of their seats.

All Games - Quarterfinal

Junior Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket

Junior Speed Chess Championship 2022 results

The 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by SIG is an online tournament for top junior players. The qualifiers happen March 31-April 8, while the main event runs April 11-May 13. Players battle for a piece of the $35,000 prize fund and a spot in the 2022 Speed Chess Championship.

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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