Exciting Endgames In Martirosyan-Maghsoodloo Junior Speed Chess Match

Exciting Endgames In Martirosyan-Maghsoodloo Junior Speed Chess Match

| 24 | News

GM Haik Martirosyan defeated GM Parham Maghsoodloo 15-10 in the first quarterfinal of the Junior Speed Chess Championship sponsored by ChessKid. The next match will be on Wednesday between GM Arjun Erigaisi and GM Jeffery Xiong.

Now that the round of 16 is behind us, the matchups in this knockout event are more equal. Martirosyan and Maghsoodloo, winners of the PRO Chess League for the Armenia Eagles, are two of the most successful blitz players on our site, and SmarterChess could hardly distinguish who would be the favorite.

The match lasted 25 games, and just four ended in a draw. Martirosyan (@Micki-taryan) took an early 4-1 lead in the five-minute segment and ended up winning that part 5-3. He won the three-minute games with the same result and then also won the bullet 5-4. The clash turned out to be slightly more one-sided than expected.

Early in the match, the two 20-year-olds played two fascinating endgames. Martirosyan had started with a win when the following position on the board appears in game two. The contours of the Berlin can still be recognized as Maghsoodloo (@Parhamov) goes for a breakthrough on the kingside:

Martirosyan again took the lead by winning game three, and then came game four, a crucial one for the match. Maghsoodloo was completely winning but first spoiled his win. Then, perhaps not satisfied with the draw, he blundered into checkmate. That meant 3-1 instead of 2-2, and Maghsoodloo would never manage to come back in the remainder.

Many more interesting endgames were played in this match but not in all games, obviously. Here's a nice textbook attacking win for Maghsoodloo in the last but one bullet game. Some say it doesn't make sense to analyze bullet games, but on the other hand, they reveal the many defensive possibilities Black has that can be instructive.

Maghsoodloo earned $300 based on win percentage; Martirosyan won $750 for the victory plus $450 on percentage, totaling $1200. He moves on to the next round, where he will play the winner of the match between GM Nihal Sarin and GM Anton Smirnov on October 1.

With the match taking place only a day after the PRO Chess League finals, it wasn't strange for Martirosyan to point out that both players were tired: "I think it was a very interesting match, but when I saw Parham's face, he was very tired, and I was also! Maybe we did not play our best chess, but I think it was very interesting."

The live broadcast of the match with GM Daniel Naroditsky and GM Simon Williams.

All games

Junior speed chess bracket

Remaining quarterfinals

  • Arjun Erigaisi vs. Jeffery Xiong September 30, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Nihal Sarin vs. Anton Smirnov October 1, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Sam Sevian vs. Alexey Sarana October 2, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST

The 2020 Junior Speed Chess Championships is sponsored by ChessKid, the world's number-one site for kids to learn and play chess. Sixteen GMs younger than 21 years old play in a knockout format with 90 minutes of 5|1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3|1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1|1 bullet chess. In this second edition, there's a total prize fund of $25,000 on the line. Find all information here.

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