Announcing Death Match 37: Ponomariov vs Vallejo Pons

Announcing Death Match 37: Ponomariov vs Vallejo Pons

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
Feb 9, 2016, 8:15 AM |
15 | Chess.com News

GM Ruslan Ponomariov and GM Francisco Vallejo Pons will do battle in Chess.com's Death Match 37. You can watch the match live at 9 a.m. PST on March 14 on Chess.com/tv and http://www.twitch.tv/chess.

Due to positive feedback from the "open mike format" used in Death Match 35 featuring IM Danny Rensch and IM Lawrence Trent, Death Match 37 will attempt to continue that format as much as possible. 

Both participants have agreed to conduct small interviews between each time control portion, giving their thoughts on the games and their play, and maybe talking a little smack about what's to come!

The entire match will of course continue to have live commentary by hosts -- like IM Rensch and GM Hess -- on Chess.com/tv.

Ponomariov is perhaps most famous for his victory in the 2002 FIDE World Championship Knockout. Triumphing in the finals over his countryman GM Vassily Ivanchuk, Ponomariov became the youngest world champion ever at the age of 18.

Ponomariov has a significant edge over Vallejo Pons in their classical encounters with nine wins, two losses, and three draws. In fact, Ponomariov, who is known for a smooth, positional style, won one of his best endgames against Vallejo Pons.

For his part, Vallejo Pons has consistently been the highest-rated native Spaniard in the world. He is known for an aggressive style of play, and his best games are replete with Sicilian duels featuring numerous sacrifices. One of his most exhilarating victories is the following Najdorf shellacking of popular chess commentator, GM Peter Svidler.

In the future, Chess.com will continue to organize regular Death Matches, but the matches will be run on an ad hoc basis with a more casual environment than the upcoming Grandmaster Blitz Battles.

One of Chess.com's goals will be to have an increasing number of Death Matches taking place on camera with interaction between the participants and the audience.

If you have suggested matchups or participants that you are just dying to see, please post in the comments!

The essence of the Death Matches will remain unchanged as all Death Matches will feature strong players engaging in three-hour blitz and bullet duels for $1,000 in cash. See the full rules here.

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