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Gukesh Heads Record $50,000 Junior Speed Chess Championship Line-up

Gukesh Heads Record $50,000 Junior Speed Chess Championship Line-up

Leon_Watson
| 27 | Chess.com News

Chess.com’s premier online event showcasing the world’s top young talent, the Junior Speed Chess Championship, is back for 2023—and now with a record $50,000 prize fund

The fifth edition of this fast and furious tournament, which kicks off Chess.com’s speed chess season, starts with qualifiers on May 16 and ends on June 20.

The 2023 Junior Speed Chess Championship promises to be even more intense after two key tweaks were made to the format. The championship’s main field has been streamlined from 16 to eight players, and the age limit has also been lowered to 18.

Raunak Sadhwani is one of two Indian youngsters confirmed for the main event. Photo: Niranjan Navalgund
Raunak Sadhwani is one of two Indian youngsters confirmed for the main event. Photo: Niranjan Navalgund

It means there will be a new champion as the reigning king GM Arjun Erigaisi is 19 and no longer eligible. Four of the world’s top juniors have been invited to the main event.

They are: the Indian duo GM Gukesh D, who is 16, and 17-year-old GM Raunak Sadhwani, along with GM Christopher Yoo of the United States, also 16, and the exciting young Belarusian GM Denis Lazavik.

The remaining four spots will be determined by two qualifiers. Each qualifier will start with an 11-round Swiss on day one, followed by a double-elimination bracket on day two.

The qualifiers are open to all titled players born in 2005 or later who register in time. Players can register using the form below. The main event will be a straight eight-player knockout, with the winner qualifying for Chess.com’s Speed Chess Championship, held later in the season.

Last season, Erigaisi dethroned the two-time Junior Speed Chess Champion GM Nihal Sarin in a thrilling final. Erigasi, then aged 18, clinched the title after going on a five-game winning streak in the bullet segment.

Players' and commentators' reaction to Erigaisi's win against Nihal.
The moment when Erigaisi capitalized on Nihal's mistake to turn the tides of the 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship.

His total winnings for the event were $8,572.12. However, more is at stake in the 2023 event, with $15,000 up for grabs in the final alone, $8,000 in the semi-finals, and $3,500 in the quarters.

In the main event, 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 contest a four-game 1+1 match to decide the winner. If the tie persists, an armageddon game with a bidding system decides the winner.

Juniors wanting to enter the qualification process should fill out the form below.

Leon_Watson
Leon Watson

Leon is an award-winning former national newspaper journalist now working for Chess.com, having previously been chess24 and Chessable. His main mission is to spread the word about chess, but he is also a keen league player and secretary of Battersea Chess Club in London. In his previous career as a reporter/editor, Leon worked for The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and The Sun, breaking many chess stories as well as writing general news and features. As an ex-hack, Leon is still always on the hunt for a good chess tale.


Contact him at leon.watson@chess.com.

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