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Vaishali Breaks Assaubayeva's Stunning Streak To Seal Victory in Epic Final Game

Vaishali Breaks Assaubayeva's Stunning Streak To Seal Victory in Epic Final Game

NM_Vanessa
| 10 | Chess.com News

IM Vaishali R defeated the reigning Women's World Blitz Champion, IM Bibisara Assaubayeva, in the first round of 16 match of the FIDE Chess.com 2022 Women's Speed Chess Championship on Monday. Vaishali led through the blitz games but had to fight off a fierce comeback winning streak by Assaubayeva in the bullet segment, leading to an epic final game where Vaishali came through under pressure.

The second round of 16 match, GM Harika Dronavalli vs. WGM Deysi Cori, begins on Tuesday, June 14, at 6:30 a.m. Pacific / 15:30 Central European.

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 FIDE Chess.com Women's Speed Chess Championship on Chess.com/TV. You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on YouTube.com/ChesscomLive. The games can also be followed from our Events Page.

Live broadcast of the tournament, hosted by IM Irina Krush and WFM Alessia Santeramo.


Blitz 5|1

Assaubayeva claimed the first victory of the match, gaining an advantage in activity, material, and time, eventually flagging Vaishali.

Vaishali immediately struck back with a convincing victory of her own to even the score.

Vaishali went on to win the next two games, achieving a three-game winning streak. 

The most fascinating game of this segment was game six. Vaishali had a mass of passed pawns rolling down the board, supported by a single bishop, against Assaubayeva's two rooks. 

The penultimate game of the segment was a hard-fought draw. In an equal endgame with barely any time left for each side, both players showed the intention of playing for the win until every last drop of winning chances had evaporated. 

Vaishali closed out the 5+1 blitz segment with a convincing victory and two-point match lead. She gave up a rook for a knight and pawn but gained amazing compensation. 

Blitz 3|1

The three-minute segment kicked off with a game of time scramble madness. To press for a win, Assaubayeva ran her king out of its castled position to avoid a draw by repetition, unfortunately leading her king straight into checkmate. 

Down four match points by the third game, Assaubayeva entered the knight vs. bishop ending in a slightly worse position. Yet, she was able to maneuver her knight to support her connected passed pawns and roll them down the board for victory. 

Vaishali countered with an attacking win, ending with a clever checkmate. 

Assaubayeva retaliated with a powerful positional victory, breaking through on Vaishali's queenside.

In the penultimate 3+1 game, Assaubayeva reached the ending with a small advantage, but Vaishali's active piece play and advanced passed pawn flipped the position into a winning one for herself.

After a draw in the last blitz game, Vaishali entered the bullet segment with a three-point lead. 

Bullet 1|1

Assaubayeva began the segment with a much-needed win in a time scramble in a sharp position, cutting down Vaishali's lead to two points. 

Vaishaili responded with a one-sided attacking victory, storming her kingside pawns at her opponent's king before Assaubayeva could get any counterplay off the ground. 

In game four, Vaishali's victory brought her lead back up to four points, leaving Assaubayeva in need of a winning streak as the match clock had only enough time left for four more games. 

Assaubayeva responded to the challenge with verve by winning three in a row, starting with a victory in a double rook ending where she was more tactically alert in the time scramble. 

This led to the last game with everything on the line for both players. Trailing by one point, one more win for Assaubayeva would trigger a tiebreak while a win or draw for Vaishali would seal the match in her favor. 

Although Assaubayeva had an advantage for much of the game, Vaishali discovered a skewer to win her opponent's f7-pawn, breaking open the king.

Vaishali earned her match victory with her strong play in the blitz segments, especially her attacking wins, and her ability to come through in the final game of the bullet, despite the momentum being in her opponent's favor. 

All Games - Round of 16

Women's Speed Chess Championship Bracket

The FIDE Chess.com 2022 Women's Speed Chess Championship is an online event where titled women players will play a series of blitz and bullet matches for a share of the $70,000 prize fund. The qualifiers for the event took place on May 24-27, with the main event starting on June 13 and ending on July 21.


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