Junior Speed Chess Championship QF: Martirosyan Pulls Away To Defeat Erigaisi

Junior Speed Chess Championship QF: Martirosyan Pulls Away To Defeat Erigaisi

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Haik Martirosyan defeated GM Arjun Erigaisi in the Tuesday quarterfinal of the Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by ChessKid with a 15.5-13.5 score. Martirosyan consistently held early leads in each section and held off several strong comeback attempts by Erigaisi.

In the JSCC semifinal, Martirosyan will play the winner of the last quarterfinal match between GM Nihal Sarin and GM Amin Tabatabaei.

The live broadcast of the match.

Martirosyan jumped out to a 3.5-0.5 lead in the first half of the 5-minute round, but Erigaisi made an opening adjustment to close the gap. In the final game of the round, Martirosyan tried to mix it up tactically but was worse the rest of the game after 19.Nxf7, and the match was tied 4.5-4.5 entering the 3-minute segment.

The 3-minute section also began 3.5-0.5 in Martirosyan's favor. Erigaisi began to make another run but this time Martirosyan held him off, winning the final game of the segment in a wild ending to take the section 5-3 and an overall 9.5-7.5 lead.

2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship prizes

In the bullet section, Martirosyan won five of the first seven games, avoiding the Erigaisi comebacks that characterized the first two portions of the match. Erigaisi did make the score closer with four wins in the last five, but the match was already decided before the last couple of games.

In the third bullet game, Erigaisi dropped a piece early and Martirosyan got his lead back to three games in just 26 moves. Just before the game ended we saw some very rare quadrupled pawns for White.

Once the match ended, Martirosyan acknowledged Erigaisi's persistence, remarking, "It's very difficult for me but I know he's a very tricky player and I think I showed my best."

Erigaisi, who is also currently playing in the Biel Masters Open, was asked about the effects of playing the match while traveling. He didn't take the chance at an excuse, replying, "It's a bit tiring but it's all good. It doesn't affect me much."

Erigaisi earned $349.14 based on win percentage; Martirosyan won $750 for the victory plus $400.86 on percentage for a total of $1,250.86. He moves on to the semifinals where, if Tabatabei upsets the #1 seed Nihal in the last quarterfinal, we will see a rematch of the Round of 16 from the 2021 FIDE World Cup.

All games

2021 JSCC Bracket

The 2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship is an online tournament for top junior players. The qualifiers were held June 7-21 while the main event is running from July 1-August 8. Players are fighting 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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