Boxbox Defeats Forsen In Epic Tiebreak Match
Boxbox, SlikeR, and Ludwig have all advanced to the Semifinal round in their respective brackets.

Boxbox Defeats Forsen In Epic Tiebreak Match

ColinStapczynski
ColinStapczynski
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31 | Chess Event Coverage

The Chess.com PogChamps Quarterfinals continued Tuesday, with Boxbox, SlikeR, and Ludwig advancing with their respective victories. In the championship bracket, the Boxbox-Forsen matchup was an entertaining slugfest with Boxbox winning in an exciting tiebreak three-minute game. He moves on to the Semifinal on June 18th where he will face Voyboy.

In the consolation bracket, SlikeR defeated Swiftor and Ludwig defeated xChocobars. With their wins, both SlikeR and Ludwig have advanced to the Semifinals.

The last matches of the Quarterfinals will be starting on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time (21:45 Central Europe). With two matches scheduled, the PogChamps will feature Papaplette vs. NymN in the championship bracket as well as xQc vs. Fuslie in the consolation bracket.

Ludwig Chess.com PogChamps
The always entertaining Ludwig advances to the Semifinals of the consolation bracket.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's official quarterfinals coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time (21:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.

SlikeR Beats Swiftor, Will Face MoistCr1tikal

The first PogChamps Quarterfinal match on Tuesday saw SlikeR facing Swiftor, in a match in which both agreed to play only one game for their match. SlikeR was the favorite by over 300 rating points heading into the game, and he surprised commentators WFM Alexandra Botez and GM Hikaru Nakamura with 2.Qh5, going for a quick Scholar's mate out of the gate. Swiftor defended against the early mate threats well but soon found himself behind on the clock.

Swiftor hung a knight on move eight and had less than four minutes remaining on his clock. A few moves later, Swiftor lost another piece and fell below two minutes. At this point with SlikeR up two pieces and several minutes ahead on the clock, a comedy of errors occurred with 16.Qh3:


SlikeR did the unthinkable and hung his queen–which Swiftor missed! The reason for SlikeR's blunder with Qh3 was later revealed: He thought he had checkmate on h7, but later realized that he didn't as Swiftor's knight on f6 defends the h7-square. 

Swiftor was unable to keep his PogChamps hopes alive, but his chess abilities noticeably improved throughout the event. Swiftor thought he had no chance at the beginning of the event, but has now "found the joy in chess" and can't wait to learn more. SlikeR has advanced to the consolation bracket semifinal and will face MoistCr1tikal.  

Chess.com PogChamps
SlikeR advances to the Semifinals of the consolation bracket where he will face MoistCr1tical.

Boxbox Narrowly Defeats Forsen In Tiebreak

This matchup was expected to be close, and it did not disappoint. Boxbox, who had won all three of his previous matches, was considered the favorite with a 250+ rating point advantage.

In the first game, it looked like Forsen had done his homework for Boxbox's Vienna opening, and he quickly achieved a pleasant position. By move 10, Forsen had a noticeable advantage which grew over the next few moves. On move 19, Forsen created a dangerous passed pawn on d3 and quickly followed it up with the powerful 22...Ng4 threatening to win Boxbox's queen with Ne3+ and the royal fork!

Boxbox saw this threat but was still facing a difficult position. Unfortunately for Forsen, after creating a completely dominating position, he missed Qa8 a few times and then hung a knight with 24...d2. Boxbox was able to exchange queens and won the endgame up a piece. Although Boxbox won the game, he was noticeably nervous and knew that Forsen was in the driver's seat for most of the game.

The second game was must-win for Forsen, who again had an advantage out the opening. Boxbox played a Caro-Kann Defense instead of his normal opening and quickly lost a pawn. After a small tactical skirmish, Forsen found 14...f7+!

Forsen conducted a great attack and found the beautiful stroke 19.Qf3! This move forced checkmate, and with this win, Forsen leveled the match score at 1-1. This meant that the match would head into the first PogChamps tiebreaker! The final game was a considerably faster time control of 3+0, and Nakamura gave the odds at 50/50 heading into the tiebreak game.

Boxbox had White in the tiebreak game and played the fianchetto Vienna opening again. Both players played the opening well, but in the early middlegame, Forsen made the first misstep and allowed his knight to get trapped while facing a kingside pawn storm from Boxbox.

With both players low on time, Forsen hung a rook on move 24 and then his queen on move 27. Boxbox delivered checkmate with 44 seconds left on his clock.

Despite a valiant effort, Forsen has been eliminated from the PogChamps event. He played strongly in both of the slower time control games, but he couldn't quite hold up in the considerably faster time control in the tiebreak game. Like most participants, Forsen said he enjoyed the tournament and is happy that he played. 

Boxbox praised Forsen's play and remains undefeated in matches. He advances to the championship bracket Semifinal where he will meet Voyboy on Thursday, June 18.

Chess.com PogChamps
Boxbox will face Voyboy in the championship bracket Semifinals.

Ludwig Eliminates xChocobars

Ludwig was the rating favorite heading into this consolation bracket Quarterfinal matchup. Both players made mistakes in the opening of the first game, and Ludwig quickly recovered after blundering a pawn. xChocobars was in trouble after 9.Nd6+, but Ludwig missed the devastating 10.e5. xChocobars hung a knight on move 16, and Ludwig capitalized.

Ludwig eventually converted in the endgame and even displayed a great Palpatine impression while doing so:

In the second game of the match, xChocobars played a King's Indian Attack-style opening. The queens were exchanged early, giving Ludwig another opportunity to show off what he has been learning from Mark Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual. On move 15, xChocobars missed 15.b4 (which won a piece) and instead blundered a rook. Ludwig converted in the endgame again.

xChocobars had a nice run in the PogChamps event, but Ludwig's experience proved to be too much for her. xChocobars' play throughout the event was impressive, especially considering that she hasn't been playing for very long at all!  

With the win, Ludwig advances to the Semifinal and will now face the winner of Wednesday's Quarterfinal between qXc and Fuslie. In the post-match interview, Ludwig informed us that his style is to "bait the blunder." The chess world looks forward to seeing if this strategy continues to work in the semifinals on Thursday. 

Nymn Favored In Wednesday's Quarterfinal

Nymn is considered the favorite in his matchup against Papaplatte as he has won all of his games so far (including a win over Forsen). Papaplatte is an underdog, but he has been performing extremely well so far! The winner of the match will face Hutch in the Semifinals. Clocks will start at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time (22:00 Central Europe) on Chess.com/TV

Chess.com PogChamps
Can Nymn continue his winning ways versus Papplatte?

xQc, Fuslie Fighting For Survival

The match between xQc and Fuslie should be a tight one! Some see Fuslie as a favorite to win the event, while xQc is still looking to avenge his six move loss to MoistCr1tical. The winner of this match will play Ludwig, who will be commentating the match!

Clocks will start at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (00:00 Central Europe) on Chess.com/TV.

Ludwig xChocobars Chesscom PogChamps
Ludwig is a favorite in the consolation bracket, both on and off the board.

Still deciding who to root for in the first-ever Chess.com PogChamps? Here's a quick sampler of each streamer:

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's official Quarterfinals coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps on Wednesday at 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time (21:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.


Previous reports:

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