Blitzstream Cup Raises 11,250 Euros For Doctors Without Borders

Blitzstream Cup Raises 11,250 Euros For Doctors Without Borders

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6 | Chess Event Coverage

The Blitzstream Cup, organized by Kevin Bordi and held over Easter Weekend, raised 11,250 euros for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). With the participation of GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the event was a success beyond all expectations.

MVL agreed to participate with the speed of a premove and even carried the event. His second, GM Etienne Bacrot, naturally joined him and GMs Fabien Libiszewski and Matthieu Cornette, two regular GM presences on Bordi's Twitch channel, completed the stellar line-up to bring a show worthy of the cause they were defending.


The whole show for replay.

Two semi-finals, played at a time control of three minutes (no increment) and arranged in two sets of three points each, started the ball rolling on Saturday night. Bacrot and Cornette were the first to enter the arena, receiving virtual cheers from a generous audience.

The first set proved to be much tighter than the 3-1 score in favor of Bacrot, but the eight-time French champion was the strongest in the key moments.

Without even taking time to breathe, the two players moved on to the second set and Cornette, with a CAPS of 99 (precision level out of 100), came to the net with a Closed Sicilian and concluded with an unstoppable volley:

Back to the wall with 1-2 score, Bacrot finally lived up to his Elo expectations by winning the last two games on the edge, thus earning his ticket into the final after an intensive fight. 

Then it was time for the French chess ambassador to take the stage. Vachier Lagrave first challenged the well-known streamer Bordi. 

The latter's specialty 1.g4 was much debated, and after two wins, MVL, in a teasing mood, sacrificed his queen for the show. Bordi's hand did not tremble and despite a few shivers, he managed to knock down the French number-one in what would be his only—anecdotal—defeat in the whole the weekend.

After this slight lapse, Vachier-Lagrave closed the deal by clinching the first set three to one. Relay runner Libiszewski then entered the track for the second act, with a more solid approach—some would say more cowardly—and managed to secure half a point against the super sprinter that is MVL!

MVL joined Bacrot in the final, but the main goal was obviously quite different. Throughout the evening, the pot had grown considerably after the semi-finals; more than 5,000 euros in favor of Doctors Without Borders had already been collected.

Medecins Sans Frontieres

The next evening, the community was obviously hyped, again and Bordi stepped aside in favor of MVL to comment on the final himself.

The French star was facing the man who knows his repertoire better than he does himself, his second and friend Bacrot. The leader of the Candidates Tournament set the stage from the outset, as his main weapon would be the clock rather than the board. Bacrot was very often in a good position before falling apart in the last 20 seconds when his rival proved to be unstoppable.

Vachier-Lagrave won the first set 3-0 and repeated the feat in the second set, making it look easy to beat a player of Bacrot's strength. A final tactical shot, after having been largely dominated the whole game, allowed MVL to complete a "perfect" 3-0, 3-0. 

Bacrot jokingly promised "holes" in his opponent's preparation in the second half of the Candidates as a means of revenge. However, during these joking threats on-air, what was most apparent was the generosity of the spectators. 

As the day before, the live show sometimes looked like a pinball game, punctuated by sound and colorful animations on the screen which signaled an avalanche of donations. 

When the pot rose to above 10,000 euros, MVL gave the spectators the pleasure of hearing about his Candidates Tournament. He then took the time to answer questions from Bordi and an excited audience.

A total of 11,250 euros were raised for Doctors Without Borders. If you would like to make a contribution, you can still do so here.