Vachier-Lagrave to Duel Andreikin in Death Match 29

Vachier-Lagrave to Duel Andreikin in Death Match 29

This is the one you've been waiting for: the Death Match that promises to go faster than any other.

Two world top-30 players, who also excel at blitz, will step into the ring for Death Match 29 on Saturday, November 22 at noon Eastern (GMT -4), 9 am Pacific. The match will be aired live on Chess.com/TV.

GM Dmitry Andreikin and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will put Chess.com's live server to the ultimate test in three hours of blitz and bullet. The match will usurp all others in terms of highest average rating.

Andreikin is coming back for his second Death Match. Back in May, he routed World Blitz Champion GM Le Quang Liem (video replay of the match is here).

Vachier-Lagrave is an internet hound and plays nearly daily. Both men are currently competing in the FIDE Grand Prix tournaments (Andreikin is in the opening event in Baku, both will play later this year in Tashkent).

GM Dmitry Andreikin -- FIDE 2722.

A recent candidate for the world championship, Andreikin has become much more widely known around the chess world as of the last year. He qualified for the chance to challenge GM Magnus Carlsen by virtue of making it to the finals of the 2013 FIDE World Cup.

Dmitry Andreikin (left) against Vladimir Kramnik in the 2013 FIDE World Cup Finals. | Photo © Paul Truong

Despite being ranked 21st among the 138-player field, Andreikin got past lower players in the first three rounds (including the Vietnamese number two). He then upset GM Sergey Karjakin 3-1 in the fourth round and GM Peter Svidler in the quarterfinals (themselves both in the Candidates’ Tournament).

Eventually his run ended in the finals as GM Vladimir Kramnik, yet another candidate, won their four-game match 2.5-1.5.

The performance netted him a coveted spot in the 2014 Candidates’ Tournament. Despite being the lowest-rated, he acquitted himself adroitly. Andreikin played .500 chess, winning two and losing two en route to a third-place tie and a performance rating near 2800.

These two performances should not have surprised too many. He proved in the 2013 Tal Memorial that he can play with the big boys. He was the low man there too but finished without any losses (his lone win, to Kramnik, helped him secure another tie for third).

He finished just below the middle of the pack in the blitz, but that included wins over GMs Morozevich, Caruana, and Mamedyarov.

His biggest tournament win came in 2012, when he bested four other tied competitors in a playoff to win the Russian championship.

Here in the 2010 World Blitz Championship, he borrows a trap that can also occur in the Three Knights Opening to win in only 10 moves!

You could rightly call him a world champion, but not in blitz. He won the World Junior Championship in 2010!

He became a father earlier this year and hasn't played since the Candidates' Tournament, except of course for winning Death Match 24 in May.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave -- FIDE 2757.

France's strongest player ever has spent much of 2014 in the world top 10. Long before that, he earned his final GM norm before his 15th birthday.

Like Andreikin, he was a world junior champion. MVL's title came in 2009 in Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave prefers table tennis, but in St. Louis he played the full-sized version.

Other notable tournament successes include the 2007, 2011 and 2012 French campionships. He has a hat-trick in Biel too, winning in 2009, 2013 and 2014. He also won the 2012 Spice Cup in St. Louis, which happened to include GM Le Quang Liem, Andreikin's past Death Match opponent.

That first national title included this memorable win, which may seem like it was played online. Black's 35th move proves it was not -- most bullet players would have had "auto-queen" on!


He has also played in five Olympiads for France, twice helping them to top-10 finishes.

Vachier-Lagrave competed in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, the highest-rated tournament in history. His presence was needed to ensure the record-setting average, since others higher than him declined.

Set your calendars for Saturday, November 22 at noon Eastern (GMT -4), 9 am Pacific for Death Match 29. Commentators GM Ben Finegold and IM Danny Rensch will commentate live at www.chess.com/TV!

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