Artemiev Beats Giri In Speed Chess Match

Artemiev Beats Giri In Speed Chess Match

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GM Vladislav Artemiev (@Sibelephant) will be GM Magnus Carlsen's opponent in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event. The Russian grandmaster beat GM Anish Giri (@AnishGiri) 15.5-11.5.

The first quarterfinal has been scheduled and will be played on Thursday, November 19, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe between GM Wesley So and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

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The games of the Speed Chess Championship Main Event are played on the live server. They are also available on our platform for watching live games at and on our apps under "Watch." Expert commentary can be enjoyed at

Based on his online experience and the ratings, Artemiev was the slight favorite and he lived up to the expectations. Playing just a little bit faster than his opponent and with great tactical vision, the Russian player deservedly won this match.

It was a result even Giri himself had expected. In fact, he moved up to a shared 12th place in the standings of our Fantasy competition (yep, he plays!) as he accurately predicted the four-point margin that he'd lose to Artemiev by!

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The match started quite even and was still tied after four games. Artemiev had won a nice, smooth first game and after a draw, Giri won his first. That was one of the rare moments in the match where Artemiev stumbled in a winning position.

Usually, it was the other way around, with Artemiev being the one throwing in little tactical tricks here and there that were often completely missed by the commentators and sometimes by Giri as well. Take this example from game six, which ended in a draw. (Note that Giri could have won later in the game.)

Artemiev won game five in a technical endgame and then also game eight, this time again with a small tactical shot. The score at the end of the five-minute segment was 5.5-3.5, and never in the match could Giri level the score again.

Occasionally, Giri got the chance to show what he's worth. That was the case in the second 3+1 game.

Afterward, he revealed that he hadn't prepared much, but that he did look at the Neo-Veresov (GM Baadur Jobava's 2.Nc3 and 3.Bf4) because he "always loses against that system in bullet." The Dutchman got a great position out of the opening and finished it nicely:

Giri held on and even ended up winning the three-minute segment with a one-point margin. He got a little help in one game as Artemiev briefly had issues with his internet and flagged in a drawn position, shortly after missing a win:

Artemiev kept on playing different openings. Afterward, he explained: "I think that it was very logical because Anish is famous as a player with good preparation, so I tried to find something interesting and just for playing."

With 9-8 for Artemiev, the players started the bullet segment and in that phase, more than before, the Russian player was faster and more accurate. For instance, the first bullet game, where Giri was positionally dominating but allowed a tactic:

Giri definitely had his chances, like in the fifth bullet game, but like in the previous example (on move 38), he perhaps was too worried about the b2-pawn:

The impression was that Giri didn't make the most out of his promising positions. In the post-match interview, he didn't think he was doing so well in the openings:

"Maybe the computer will say I had 0.40 here or there, but it was not like there was anything I was thrilled about, and he was pretty familiar with the positions, and I think he was doing OK. I think too often I was down on the clock, and I had not a great position but otherwise, in terms of time scrambles, I think I played OK."

2020 speed chess anish giri
Artemiev said that he was surprised to see his opponent only playing 1.e4 (he had looked a bit at 1.d4 and 1.Nf3) but didn't think it had a big impact:

"It's blitz and you must focus on every move. I think it's not really important which opening [comes] on the board in blitz. I think for blitz, every aspect of the game is very important, also your health and how you slept. You must find your best chess every day. It's not important how strong you are in blitz. If you're in a very bad form one day, you can lose to every player."

Giri agreed: "Like Vladislav said, in sport you just have to deliver every day. That's what I'll have to do. Right now I feel like I lost the match but OK, once I'll be a little bit more rested, I'll appreciate the beauty of life again."

Vladislav Artemiev 2020 Speed Chess

Giri won $851.85 based on win percentage; Artemiev won $2,000 for the victory plus $1,148.15 on percentage, totaling $3,148.15. He moves on to the quarterfinals, where he will play GM Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen).

"It should be a very interesting and also a difficult match for me," said Artemiev. "It was a good motivation for today because it was clear that the winner of our match would go to Magnus. I'm happy and probably I will prepare, I don't know, a few hours maybe."

Speaking of Carlsen, the world champion was watching the match and sent a tweet that quotes a line that hangs framed in Giri's office: "Do more of what makes you happy."

When he learned about this in the post-match interview, Giri referred to the recent IPO of PlayMagnus when he said: "In general, Magnus should behave very well because now that his company, or at least the one he's heavily invested in, is so public, one tweet and I can drop the stock completely! He should really be careful and treat me nice. I think so far he's doing it quite well."

All games

The first quarterfinal has been scheduled and will be played on Thursday, November 19, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe between GM Wesley So and GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

2020 speed chess bracket
The 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event is a knockout tournament among 16 of the best grandmasters in the world who will play for a $100,000 prize fund, double the amount of last year. The tournament will run November 1-December 13, 2020 on Each individual match will feature 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet chess.

Speed Chess Guess the Move

The current leaderboard for SCC Fantasy.

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