Bartholomew, Rozman Reach IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship Quarterfinals

Bartholomew, Rozman Reach IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship Quarterfinals

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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18 | Chess.com News

IM John Bartholomew was the first to reach the quarterfinals of the IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship‎ as he defeated IM David Pruess on Saturday. A day later, IM Levy Rozman knocked out IM Tania Sachdev.

The first Speed Chess Championship of 2020 got underway over the weekend with two rather lopsided matches. In both cases, the player who was more active as a player/streamer online got the upper hand.

Bartholomew beat Pruess 6.5-1.5 in the five-minute portion, 4-3 in the three-minute, and 9.5-1.5 in the bullet to reach a total score of 20-6.

A key game early in the match was the fourth. Already 0-3 down, Pruess finally played an excellent game and was crushing his opponent. He just needed to convert his queen versus rook and bishop advantage, but when he was about to get a second queen, he flagged.

That one was not great for his confidence... Pruess said he might have played slower in subsequent games because of it: "I think lack of confidence can sort of subconsciously cost you a couple of seconds per move."

Bartholomew: "I did dirty-flag you in that game!"


Pruess: "There's not too much I could have done differently other than just have more time to train. If the match were in another month I could probably be, like, one or two points better than I was today. I think I probably did a few points better than I would have a week ago."

Bartholomew, who was also streaming: "My strategy was just to get playable positions and try to play at a reasonable pace, which I've been working on in blitz. Especially not trying to over-analyze. Get positions that make sense and where I can play natural moves."

A fun moment in the show was when GM Daniel Naroditsky did a pretty good impersonation of Bartholomew:

Bartholomew won $150 outright and $115.38 based on win percentage, so $265.38 in total. Pruess won $34.62 on percentage.

The next opponent for Bartholomew is the winner between IM Kostya Kavutskiy and IM Lawrence Trent, a match that will be played on April 24.

All games of the match

Rozman beat Sachdev 5-2 in the five-minute portion, 3.5-2.5 in the three-minute, and 6-1 in the bullet to reach a total score of 14.5-5.5.

The 10th game saw an interesting and instructive, textbook knight-endgame. Some of the mistakes were caught by commentators GM Vidit Gujrathi and GM Robert Hess, but not all!

Also for Sachdev, the big issue was lack of practice. "What would make it better is definitely more blitz practice and more bullet practice. It's a different animal from classical play," she said.

Rozman: "I think the match was far, far closer than the score reflects, unlike yesterday. I felt like Tania was better in, like, 75 percent of the positions we were playing, and I was very slow. I think I was just a bit luckier."  


Rozman won $150 outright, and $108.75 based on win percentage, so $258.75 in total. Sachdev won $41.25 on percentage.

The next opponent for Rozman is the winner between IM Teddy Coleman and IM Danny Rensch, a match that will also be played on April 24.

All games of the match

The inaugural IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship exclusively features international masters in an effort to bring entertainment to the Chess.com audience. All matches are broadcast live with commentary and occasional roasting from GMs Robert Hess and Daniel Naroditsky on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/Chess. 

Matches feature 75 minutes of 5+1 blitz, 45 minutes of 3+1 blitz, and 25 minutes of 1+1 bullet chess. The total prize fund is $6,000.


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