PogChamps 2: dogdog, Gripex90, Cizzorz Win In Exciting Quarterfinals
dogdog upset the highest-rated player in the event and moves on to the semifinals.

PogChamps 2: dogdog, Gripex90, Cizzorz Win In Exciting Quarterfinals

ColinStapczynski
ColinStapczynski
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19 | Chess Event Coverage

The knockout stage of PogChamps began with a bang on Wednesday. The action was commentated by GM Hikaru Nakamura, IM Danny Rensch, and IM Anna Rudolf. Concurrent viewership peaked at over 79,000 while total views on twitch were over 550,000. All who tuned in were treated to some incredibly exciting and intense chess.

In the championship bracket, dogdog upset one of the tournament favorites WagamamaTV in a blitz tiebreak game. In the second match, Gripex90 defeated DavidPakman 2-0. In the consolation bracket, one of the most amazing matches in PogChamps history occurred—Cizzorz beat xQc in a four-game match that was decided in the final seconds of the second tiebreak blitz game.

PogChamps 2

    Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps at 11:45 p.m. Pacific (21:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv. The complete show archives are available on twitch.tv/chess and youtube.com/chess.

    dogdog Upsets WagamamaTV

    The first match of the day saw an intense fight between two of the highest-rated players in the tournament, WagamamaTV and dogdog. This incredibly balanced match was decided in the blitz tiebreak game.

    In game one, Waga played his usual London system and dogdog replied with a King's Indian setup. dogdog played the tricky 7...Qe8 threatening to win a piece with e7-e5-e4, and Waga missed it—he was behind both on the board and on the clock, but he kept finding solid moves to extend the game. With both players under immense time trouble, Waga started a kingside attack and delivered checkmate.

    With his back against the wall in the second game, dogdog played an interesting gambit against Waga's Caro-Kann. Waga made some unusual choices and fell behind on the clock, but then dogdog got too aggressive and lost a piece. Waga's position was difficult to play, and he found himself even further behind on the clock.

    Commentator Nakamura made some funny faces as dogdog figured out how to press with a time advantage:

    Waga committed multiple blunders in time trouble, lost his queen, and dogdog won the game. With this win the match score was even at 1-1, forcing a blitz game tiebreak.

    Waga had the White pieces in the blitz game, and the players repeated the London versus King's Indian opening that we saw in the first game of the match. Both sides made mistakes, but Waga made the larger mistake and found himself down two bishops for a rook. With both players under a minute, dogdog was in the driver's seat and found the correct plan of pushing his passed pawn down the board for the win.

    Waga flagged in a lost position, and dogdog won the match! dogdog's fiancee, itshafu (who is another one of the tournament favorites) had some encouraging words for dogdog in between games:

     

    With this win, dogdog moves on to the semifinals of the championship bracket where he will face Gripex90. His "dream" of playing itshafu in the championship final is still alive!

    Gripex90 Sends David Pakman Packing

    The second match of the day had Gripex90 facing off against David Pakman in the championship bracket. In game one, Gripex played a closed system versus Pakman's Sicilian. The position seemed reasonable for both players until Pakman misstepped and lost a pawn. 

    Gripex was in the driver's seat, and the position turned a little tricky. Pakman found the correct line of play, and all of a sudden the position was equal. It seemed like the game would end in a perpetual check, but then this happened:

    Gripex found the checkmate quickly and took game one.

    Pakman had a pleasant-looking position out of the opening in the second game but then blundered his e4-pawn. Gripex kept up the pressure and then picked up a full rook. He showed pretty strong technique by trading queens when up material and won the game convincingly—he even pre-moved the final moves of checkmate for extra style points.

    With this match win, Gripex moves on to the championship bracket's semifinals where he will face dogdog.

    Cizzorz Defeats xQc In Four-Game Blitz Tiebreak

    The most-anticipated match of the day did not disappoint. Fan-favorite xQc took Cizzorz to not one but two tiebreak games, and he was completely winning when he flagged in the second blitz tiebreak game.

    In game one, Cizzorz played a four knights opening which led to a balanced position. xQc set up a really nice tactic that threatened to win Cizzor's queen, but Cizzorz replied with a strong move. Just when xQc thought he was in trouble, he also found the best move—these two players were playing like masters, at least for a little while.

    Cizzorz made the first mistake and lost a piece. xQc went on the offensive but unfortunately misclicked while calculating:

    Cizzorz took advantage of the misclick and continued playing good moves with xQc in time trouble. xQc hung a knight and was checkmated a few moves later.

    In the second game, xQc was facing an elimination game and was in a must-win situation. Cizzorz blundered a piece on move five and xQc found himself up a piece (just like in game one). xQc kept up the pressure and found an excellent tactic that won a full rook, and Cizzorz resigned.

    xQc had won when he needed to and put up a mind-blowing 98% CAPS score! The momentum seemed to be in xQc's favor heading into the blitz tiebreak game.

    In the first tiebreak blitz game, both players made mistakes early, but it was Cizzors who capitalized and picked up a full rook. xQc hung his queen a few moves later, and Cizzorz started collecting all of xQc's pieces. With only 5 seconds left and a single pawn on the board for xQc, it looked like it was all over... and then this happened:

    This mind-boggling stalemate (with checkmate in one on the board) meant that there would be another blitz tiebreak game.

    xQc had White in the fourth game and had a promising position out of the opening. xQc offered an exchange of knights, but then Cizzorz blundered a whole rook. xQc maintained his material advantage and was pressing for victory when time trouble reared its ugly head yet again—xQc flagged in a completely winning position, and Cizzorz was victorious.

    What an amazing finish to both the match and the first day of PogChamps quarterfinals action! With this win, Cizzorz moves on to the semifinals of the consolation bracket.

    Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps at 11:45 a.m. Pacific (20:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.


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