Nihal Streams For First Time in 3 Years, Wins In Bullet Brawl Masterclass
Nihal scored a round 200 points in Saturday's Bullet Brawl. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Nihal Streams For First Time in 3 Years, Wins In Bullet Brawl Masterclass

| 30 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Nihal Sarin claimed his first Bullet Brawl title on Saturday and scooped the $400 first prize after accruing 200 points in the two-hour arena, seven points ahead of the two-time winner GM Jose Martinez.

GM Oleksandr Bortnyk outlasted GMs Renato Terry and Aram Hakobyan by a single point to claim the $150 prize for third place while the $100 best female prize was taken by Greece's FM Anastasia Avramidou for the second week in a row.

In the community event, "advancedrook" once again finished atop the leaderboard but only did so by a single point, having been challenged all the way by Turkiye's Umut Behram Can.

The next edition of Bullet Brawl will take place next week on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 1 p.m. ET/19:00 CEST.

How to review games?
The games from September's second Bullet Brawl can be found here.

Nihal has long since floated near the top of the bullet chess leaderboard on and on Saturday he showed his strength, scoring 61/70 with 57 wins and only five losses in the arena. With 128 titled players in the field, the Indian prodigy's start was particularly impressive. Following a draw with the second-seed Bortnyk in the first game, Nihal went on a 16-game undefeated streak.

Nihal later defeated Bortnyk as well as GMs Vugar Rasulov, Awonder Liang, Martinez, and Pranesh M. during the streak. Image:

Nihal's performance was marked by his defensive prowess, and at numerous points in the event, he had to defend against brilliant moves by his opponents. Interestingly, Nihal's own "brilliant" moves (according to's Game Review) were few and far between, and the Indian GM seemed to prioritize consistency throughout the event. In one of his wins over Bortnyk, Nihal managed to find two extraordinary tactical shots to claim victory.

With Martinez breathing down his neck, Nihal looked to seal the event with a win over Chile's IM Daniel Barria and managed to do so in sensational style. Forcing his opponent's king forward, the Indian GM built a mating net and forced resignation having used just 17 seconds of his time.

For Martinez, earlier losses at the hands of the eventual winner, as well as two defeats at the hands of Bortnyk and GM Alan Pichot, left him just shy of Nihal's score. As the arena clock drained, the experienced Martinez did his best to dispatch as many opponents as he could in order to challenge Nihal's lead but was hindered by their resilience.

Avramidou's second consecutive win of the female prize was convincing in Saturday's event. The Greek FM's 87 points allowed her to finish nine points ahead of the second-place IM Karina Ambartsumova.

Avramidou and Ambartsumova finished 28th and 35th, respectively. Image:

One of the crucial moments for Avramidou was her upset win against GM Guha Mitrabha, where she capitalized on an endgame blunder, played out the knight and pawn ending in less than 10 seconds, and checkmated her Indian opponent with 0.8 seconds left on the clock.


Rank Fed Title Name Username Rating Score
1 GM Nihal Sarin nihalsarin 3209 200
2 GM Jose Martinez Jospem 3150 193
3 GM Oleksandr Bortnyk Oleksandr_Bortnyk 3126 162
4 IM Renato Terry MITerryble 3027 161
5 GM Aram Hakobyan Njal28 3037 161
6 GM Alan Pichot platy3 3031 159
7 GM Pranesh M artooon 2959 152
8 GM Amin Tabatabaei amintabatabaei 3092 148
9 GM Rasmus Svane rasmussvane 2976 139
10 FM Toivo Keinanen ToivoK3 3001 138
11 GM Hans Niemann HansOnTwitch 3047 134
12 GM Frederik Svane frederiksvane 2989 130
13 GM S.L. Narayanan IndianLad 2985 121
14 GM Dmitrij Kollars GM_dmitrij 3000 119
15 FM Eray Kilic DonkyDonkyDonkey 2954 116
16 GM Raja Rithvik R starworld123 2865 112
17 IM Mahel Boyer kingofthenil 2816 111
18 CM Eqor Baskakov stollenmonster 2827 111
19 IM Ediz Gurel gurelediz 2988 110
20 IM Deniz Ozen denizozen 2987 110

Bullet Brawl is an exciting new titled arena that features's top bullet specialists and now takes place weekly on Saturdays. The format is a two-hour arena with a 1+0 time control; the prize fund is $2,500.

Much like Titled Tuesday and Arena Kings, Bullet Brawl often features top GMs, including Hikaru Nakamura, Daniel Naroditsky, Andrew Tang, Tuan Minh Le, and many more!

Previous coverage:

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