Bartholomew Beats Trent In Successful Death Match
It was a very vocal and one-sided match.

Bartholomew Beats Trent In Successful Death Match

Jan 10, 2018, 10:53 AM |
17 | Chess Event Coverage

Taking part in yesterday's Death Match was more important than winning. IM Lawrence Trent, who lost 6-18 to IM John Bartholomew, will uphold the Olympic thought, supported by the dozens of donors who gave over $2,000 during the show.

"This is one of the most exciting events we've ever done," said IM Danny Rensch, who hosted the Death Match's live broadcast on He was referring to the amazing generosity by the viewers, who donated a total of $2,100, which came on top of the prize fund had put on the table—$1,000 for the winner and $500 for the loser of the match.

Bartholomew and Trent played the second Death Match in the new style, after GMs Ben Finegold and Simon Williams kicked it off last October: playing, live streaming and a bit of trash talking (parental advisory: explicit) by the players themselves.

In the days before the match, both players had built up excitement and both were involved in some extra financial agreements. It started with Trent asking for a side wager of the winner's purse, and Bartholomew suggesting to make it an extra bet for charity.

Meanwhile, Trent had his own wager with PRO Chess League manager IM Greg Shahade.

Bartholomew and Trent started their battle on Tuesday at 1 p.m. Pacific but already before the first game took off, donations started to drop in and some were rather impressive. The Twitch user chessbae94 was the biggest donor, offering hundreds of dollars.

By that point, before the first move had been played, the match was already a success. Bartholomew, who would eventually win the match with a fairly big margin, noted that this new form of a Death Match with players streaming and donations coming in is something special. "This is pioneering stuff for chess."

The American IM hasn't decided on the charity yet but agreed with his opponent that the $500 from their side bet will go to a cancer charity.

Bartholomew won all three segments. His 6.5-1.5 score in the 5|2 portion was a  clear sign that this match might not be so close, and although 4.5-2.5 in the 3|2 was decent for Trent, a devastating 7-2 in the 1|1 part made the battle rather lopsided.

"I didn't take my chances when I needed to in order for it to be even a competitive match," said Trent afterward. "John is the deserving winner." 

After winning the first game, Bartholomew went for the move of the match in the very next. He would later spoil a winning position to split the point with his opponent—one of only two draws in the entire match.

Trent would win only five games out of 24, all of them in endgames. In this one, the fifth game of the match, he got to show his (textbook) technique.

Fans of the Morra Gambit had their fun as well, with Bartholomew winning with a pretty attack in game eight:

Rewatch the video broadcast.

Score 5|2

Fed Player Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 Score
IM John Bartholomew 2502 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 6.5
IM Lawrence Trent 2383 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.5

Score 3|2

Fed Player Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Score
IM John Bartholomew 2502 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 4.5
IM Lawrence Trent 2383 1 0 1 ½ 0 0 0 2.5

Score 1|1

Fed Player Rtg 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
IM John Bartholomew 2805 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 7
IM Lawrence Trent 2398 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 2

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