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Fedoseev Wins 2024 Chess960 Championship With Queen Sac In Final

Fedoseev Wins 2024 Chess960 Championship With Queen Sac In Final

AnthonyLevin
| 9 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Vladimir Fedoseev won the 2024 Chess.com Chess960 Championship, defeating GM Denis Lazavik 3.5-1.5 in the Final and winning $2,000 in the process. Four days of qualifiers culminated on Friday with an eight-player knockout.

The next community championship will be the Spell Chess Championship, taking place on July 25-26.

Final Standings


Quarterfinals: All But 1 Match Ends With Game To Spare

After four days of qualifiers, eight grandmasters competed on the final day for the $2,000 first prize. They played in a single-elimination bracket with a 5+2 time control, with four-game matches leading up to the six-game Final.

Chess.com Chess960 Championship 2024 knockout format

Except for one matchup, all of the others ended in just three games.

Fedoseev 3-0 Sevian

GM Sam Sevian, who resigned by accident in the qualifiers when attempting to offer a draw, continued his series of unfortunate events and met an in-form Fedoseev in the first match. In game two, Sevian hung a rook but was still, even then, winning...

...when he lost on time in a completely winning position. Black won in this position, with White to move, and Fedoseev went on to win the match with a 3-0 score.

Raunak 3-0 Hong

GM Raunak Sadhwani also went 3-0 against GM Andrew Hong. The first game was evidence of how quickly a position can turn sour in Chess960—but despite losing an exchange out of the opening, Raunak went on to win anyway.

Duda 2.5-0.5 Bok

GM Benjamin Bok had several chances to win against GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda but realized not one of them. The nail in the coffin was the final game, where he stumbled from a winning position into checkmate.

Lazavik 2.5-1.5 Yoo

Lazavik vs. GM Christopher Yoo was the only match to reach four games. In the final game, Lazavik conducted a checkmating attack while most of White's pieces observed as poor spectators on the other side of the board.

Semifinals: Armageddons Decide Finalists

Both matches were decided in armageddon, but they reached the tiebreaker in opposite ways. While Raunak-Fedoseev made four draws, the other match featured four decisive games before armageddon.

Fedoseev 3-2 Raunak

Unlike the other match, there was just one decisive game, though it wasn't for a lack of fighting. Fedoseev later shared that this was the most challenging match for him: "That match with Raunak was absolutely key for me. I struggled a lot in this match. I couldn't get my game in basically any game this match."

I struggled a lot in this match. I couldn't get my game in basically any game this match.

—Vladimir Fedoseev

Fedoseev, needing just a draw, won the armageddon game with Black. He started with a "turtle-up" opening, and his pieces unfurled like a spring after his frustrated opponent was unable to break through.

Duda 2.5-2.5 Lazavik

The only draw in this match was the armageddon game, but it was full of action despite the result. Commentator GM Robert Hess praised Duda's 44.c5! as "world-class technique," but Lazavik's brilliant 51...Kb7! later on was even more impressive—the only move to avoid a loss and, ultimately, to draw.

Final: Fedoseev Sacrifices His Queen En Route To Glory

Unlike the other matches, the last one was a best-of-six. Fedoseev said, "Denis played super well. He took a game against me. It shows that he was on a really good level," admitting that if Lazavik had converted game four, the result may have been different.

Denis played super well. He took a game against me. It shows that he was on a really good level.

—Vladimir Fedoseev

Fedoseev 3.5-1.5 Lazavik

After a draw in game one, Fedoseev's victory in game two was the Game of the Day. He capped off a kingside attack with a remarkable queen sacrifice. GM Rafael Leitao analyzes the full game below:

Lazavik retorted with a convincing endgame win and looked to be coasting to winning game four when the position turned on him:

In a must-win final game, Lazavik made his worst blunder of the week, losing a piece in the opening.

Fedoseev explained his mindset during Chess960 games concisely: "In all games, the first thing you look for is harmony of pieces and then you're just trying to understand how to pose any concrete problems... if it's possible with White."

As for what's next on his schedule, he said, "I will play more online in the next two months." He will play in the Speed Chess Championship qualifiers next week and then the Champions Chess Tour Play-in in mid-July. He's taking a break from over-the-board until the middle of August, after which he said he'll be much more active through the end of the year, which he hopes to close out with the World Rapid & Blitz Championships in New York.

How to watch?

You can watch the Finals broadcast on Twitch and YouTube. The games can also be checked out on our dedicated events page

The live broadcast was hosted by GM Robert Hess and WIM Ayelen Martinez.

The Chess.com Chess960 Championship is the second event of the Chess.com Community Championships series. The eight Swiss qualifiers ran June 17-20 while the main eight-player single-elimination knockout takes place on June 21. The time control is 5+2, with best-of-four Quarterfinals and Semifinals before a best-of-six Final. The prize fund is $7,500, with $2,000 for the winner.  


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    AnthonyLevin
    NM Anthony Levin

    NM Anthony Levin caught the chess bug at the "late" age of 18 and never turned back. He earned his national master title in 2021, actually the night before his first day of work at Chess.com.

    Anthony, who also earned his Master's in teaching English in 2018, taught English and chess in New York schools for five years and strives to make chess content accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages. At Chess.com, he writes news articles and manages social media for chess24.

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