Junior Speed Chess Championship: Erigaisi Beats Shevchenko

Junior Speed Chess Championship: Erigaisi Beats Shevchenko

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Arjun Erigaisi beat GM Kirill Shevchenko on Sunday in the second match in the round of 16 in the Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by ChessKid. The tournament is a knockout competition for top junior chess players with a $35,000 prize fund.

The next match in the championship of 16 is GM Parham Maghsoodloo vs. GM Praggnanandhaa R. on Monday, July 5, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe.

The live broadcast of the match.

Just coming off an excellent performance in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid tournament, 17-year-old Erigaisi of India (@ArjunErigaisi2003 on was the favorite for his match with 18-year-old Shevchenko (@kirillshevchenko) of Ukraine—but only slightly. Their blitz ratings were quite close at the start: 2925 for Erigaisi vs. 2908 for Shevchenko.

Interestingly, both players played late in the evening from their hotel in Belgrade as they are both playing in the strong Serbia Open Masters. Shevchenko is currently in the lead; during the day he had just beaten GM Vladimir Fedoseev in round four.

Erigaisi, from Telangana, India, ended up winning all three segments with small margins. After Shevchenko won the very first 5|1 game, Erigaisi won four in a row and eventually took that segment 5.5-4.5. The biggest difference was in the 3|1 part, won by Erigaisi 6.5-2.5, before he also took the bullet part 5.5-3.5.

Here's Erigaisi's fourth win in a row, which saw an interesting opening phase. At one point, things were going White's way, prompting commentator GM Daniel Naroditsky to use a quote from Pulp Fiction: "I'm skeptical of this and so is the eval bar. My girlfriend is a vegetarian which basically means I'm a vegetarian."

Game eight was a quick and funny win for the Ukrainian player, who, from a normal middlegame position, managed to win two rooks and a queen in just four moves:

Three times in the match, the players reached a sharp sideline of the French. Shevchenko scored two wins, before losing the third in the bullet:

"The 3|1 time control was played very badly by me, especially because I made two mouse slips in close-to-equal positions, and I also did some bad things in the middlegames. Arjun absolutely deserved his win," said Shevchenko.

Ergiaisi: "I was just trying my own game, and it went pretty well."

Shevchenko earned $187.50 based on win percentage; Erigaisi won $500 for the victory plus $312.50 on percentage, totaling $812.50. He moves on to the quarterfinals, where he will play the winner of the match GM Haik Martirosyan vs. GM Vincent Keymer that will be played on Wednesday, July 7, at 5 a.m. Pacific / 14:00 Central Europe.

All games

2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship results
The 2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for top junior players. The qualifiers for the event were held June 7-21, while the main event runs July 1-August 8. Players battle for their shares of a total prize fund of $35,000 and a spot in the Speed Chess Championship later this year. More info here; live games here

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Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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