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Andrew Tang Wins Junior Speed Chess Championship Qualifier

Andrew Tang Wins Junior Speed Chess Championship Qualifier

PeterDoggers
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34 | Chess Event Coverage

Andrew Tang won the Junior Speed Chess Championship qualifier. The American grandmaster emerged as the winner in an eight-player bracket and will now play a match against GM Nihal Sarin on Friday.

The qualifier was a knockout tournament with, alongside Tang, GMs Kirill Shevchenko (Ukraine), Nikolas Theodorou (Greece), Bogdan-Daniel Deac (Romania), Thai Dai Van Nguyen (Czech Republic), Luca Moroni (Italy), Carlos Albornoz (Cuba), and Jonas Bjerre (Denmark).


The live broadcast of the tournament.

The format in the quarterfinals and semifinals was two 5+1 games, four 3+1 games, and eight 1+1 games. The final was a bit longer: three 5+1 games, five 3+1 games, and 10 1+1 games. The total prize fund was $2,500.

Tang's first opponent was Bjerre, who put up an excellent fight and even briefly took the lead when his opponent blundered into a mating attack.

One more less from Tang needs to be included here as Bjerre conducted a model attack in one of the bullet games as he was praised by commentators GM Robert Hess and GM Daniel Naroditsky.

However, Tang is an absolute bullet specialist and he won this part 6-2 and convincingly reached the semifinals after all with an 8.5-5.5 score. In this round, Shevchenko beat Albornoz 11-3 and Theodorou beat Moroni 7.5-6.5.

Interestingly, Nguyen beat Deac 8-6 by winning the first eight in a row (including two bullet games) and then losing the last six!

In the semis, Tang beat Nguyen 8-6 in a close match that was still equal three games before the end. Shevchenko was too strong for Theodorou (7.5-5.5) but the latter did find a beautiful checkmate in one of the games.

Unexpectedly, the final was almost a walk-over for Tang, who perhaps needed some time to fully warm up? In any case, he won 10-3 and confirmed his favorite status.

The following rook endgame was actually one of the three-minute games, but showed the speed at which Tang finds the critical moves.

As the qualifier, Tang is paired against the top seed of the Junior Speed Chess Championship: Indian GM Nihal. Here's the full program for the round of 16:

  • Round of 16, match 1: Nihal Sarin vs Andrew Tang
    September 11, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 2: Arjun Erigaisi vs. Gukesh D.
    September 12, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 3: Sam Sevian vs. Amin Tabatabaei
    September 13, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 4: Haik Martirosyan vs. Vincent Keymer
    September 14, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 5: Parham Maghsoodloo vs. Praggnanandhaa R.
    September 19, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 6: Alexey Sarana vs. Andrey Esipenko
    September 20, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 7: Jeffery Xiong vs. Nodirbek Abdusattorov
    September 21, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Round of 16, match 8: Anton Smirnov vs. Raunak Sadhwani
    September 23, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST

Knockout Qualifier | All games

The 2020 Chess.com Junior Speed Chess Championships sponsored by ChessKid is a 16-player knockout tournament among the top junior players in the world. In this second edition, there's a total prize fund of $25,000 on the line. Find all information here.

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