Kashlinskaya Beats Sielecki In Thrilling IM Not A GM Match

Kashlinskaya Beats Sielecki In Thrilling IM Not A GM Match

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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9 | Chess Event Coverage

In Monday's round of 16, IM Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia eliminated IM Christof Sielecki of Germany from the IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship‎. The match was a close affair, with a final score of 13-11 for the winner.

Kashlinskaya joins IM John Bartholomew and IM Levy Rozman in the quarterfinals as both also won their matches over the weekend. More matches in the round of 16 will be played later this week.

Halfway through the match, Kashlinskaya seemed to be cruising to a convincing match win. With two games to go in the three-minute portion, she was leading by four points. However, as he won twice before the start of the bullet, Sielecki was back in the match.

"When I was down four points I thought: I am too old for this s***, you know, and then I somehow got two wins," Sielecki said.

Kashlinskaya ultimately emerged as the winner as the bullet segment ended 4-4, with three wins for each (all with the white pieces) and two draws.

It was actually Sielecki who took an early lead, as he won twice after a draw in the first game. Here's his second win, where he found a petite combinaison:

His finish in game six wasn't bad either. This is actually a perfect combination for Puzzle Rush; try to find it yourself:

Matchup Kashlinskaya Sielecki
Some numbers on Kashlinskaya vs. Sielecki.

After seven games, Sielecki was back to leading by two points. That was the moment when the Russian IM had warmed up enough: She won three in a row and took the lead, which she would never let go of.

Here's the ninth game of the match, where Black could have saved himself (and won the game!) with a defensive move that was hard to find:

A well-known strategy in Speed Chess matches for players who are leading in the score is to play out drawn or lost positions longer than normal, to gain match time. In the second to last game, Kashlinskaya had the option to do so, but instead, she offered a draw quite early. A classy move?

"Somehow I felt it was not fair to move pieces from one side to another, to win on time," she said.

After the match, Sielecki was a good sport, saying: "Alina, congratulations, you played a great match; it was a great fight." 

Kashlinskaya won $150 outright, as well as $81.25 based on win percentage, so $231.25 in total. Sielecki won $68.75 on percentage.

The next opponent for Kashlinskaya is the winner between IM Elisabeth Paehtz and IM Eric Rosen, a match that will be played on April 23.

All games of the match

The inaugural IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship exclusively features international masters in an effort to bring entertainment to the Chess.com audience. All matches are broadcast live with commentary and occasional roasting from GMs Robert Hess and Daniel Naroditsky on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/Chess. 

Matches feature 75 minutes of 5+1 blitz, 45 minutes of 3+1 blitz, and 25 minutes of 1+1 bullet chess. The total prize fund is $6,000.


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