Guseinov Wins Last Speed Chess Qualifier
The winning score in all four Speed Chess qualifiers was 8.5 points. On Tuesday, only GM Gadir Guseinov made that mark. He wins the final qualification spot for the Speed Chess Championships, joining GMs Sergey Grigoriants, Georg Meier, and Jeffery Xiong.
The four qualifiers will submit a ranking of their preferred opponents to Chess.com. The highest seeds by Chess.com blitz rating as of midnight, May 1 will be granted their preferred pairings in our bracket.
After that, the matches will come quickly as our first Speed Chess Championship battle is just a week away on May 3! Update: Hikaru Nakamura will play Sergey Grigoriants!
Guseinov's victory started oddly with a zero-point bye in round one as he was disconnected when the round was paired. He then scored a superb 8.5/9 to finish the tournament. His only draw came late against GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. This Swiss gambit would have been more impressive had not Xiong done the same last week! Maybe now everyone will disconnect for the first round?
Here is one of Guseinov's direct wins, this one against Magnus Carlsen's good friend FM Johannes Kvisla.
Along the way, Guseinov outperformed three former world number-twos: GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, and Alexander Morozevich! Morozevich entered Titled Tuesday for the first time yesterday, but he immediately impressed the audience as he sacrificed his queen and then an exchange to wholly bottle up White's pieces before delivering mate.
Morozevich's results can be erratic, but he is known to be one of the best blitz players in the world.
Morozevich played great chess, finishing with 7.5/10 and facing many of the top seeds in the tournament, but there is little room for error in Titled Tuesday. The move Morozevich would love to have back came against GM Maxim Chigaev. In a winning position, Morozevich tried to finish things immediately but missed Black's only saving move.
GM Alexandra Kosteniuk is always a favorite among the fans. Today she convinced her husband, GM Pavel Tregubov, to join her after she attempted her first qualifier last week. They kept marital strife to a minimum by finishing neck and neck in the tournament.
To the dismay of Kosteniuk's fans, she did lose this blitz brilliancy in round four against GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez.
Kosteniuk celebrated her 33rd birthday two days earlier.
The hottest player in the tournament was Vachier-Lagrave who appeared to be running away with the event until he lost in the final round to Nakamura, lifting Nakamura to second and dropping MVL to the same place. Prior to that, Vachier-Lagrave won this crazy game featuring a "brilliant blunder" from his opponent.
Vachier-Lagrave nearly lost to second-place finisher GM Akshat Chandra who found a fabulous move and could have put the game away.
Final Standings (Seven Points And Above)
|11||35||GM||RLH2||Robert L. Hess||7|
Full tournament results are available here.
Missed the live event? Watch the replay in full with commentary from IMs Danny Rensch and Anna Rudolf!
Guseinov wins $500 for clear first place while GMs Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura, Akshat Chandra, and Sergei Azarov each received $225 for shared second place. GM Eric Hansen of the ChessBrahs wins the $100 streamer prize and had a great finish, coming in tied for sixth.