Today: PogChamps 2 Finals

Today: PogChamps 2 Finals

CoachJKane
NM CoachJKane
|
30 | Chess Event Coverage

The PogChamps 2 semifinals were all hard-fought matches! Gripex played dogdog, and itsHafu played TFBlade in the championship bracket. Meanwhile, the consolation bracket saw TSM_Zexrow against easywithaces and Cizzorz against QTCinderella.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps on Sunday at 12:45 p.m. Pacific (21:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.

dogdog vs. Gripex90

dogdog has shown good opening preparation throughout the tournament and came ready for game one against Gripex, who avoided the first trap but soon allowed his opponent to pick up an exchange and trade into an endgame. The one complicating factor was the clock, which eventually caught up to him. He missed a crucial knight fork, after which Gripex took over. Here's how the commentators looked after the crucial Ng5+:

Commentators reacting to a knight fork.
Commentators reacting to a knight fork.

Game two was wild! Gripex had a time advantage and a comfortable endgame, but lost a bishop and ran into trouble. In time pressure, dogdog lost the bishop back and complained: "I hate endgames!" Finally, Gripex, in a winning endgame, chose the wrong moment to trade rooks. dogdog's passed e-pawn easily decided the king-and-pawn endgame, and the match went to a blitz tiebreaker.

Here is the critical moment of game two.

In the tiebreak game, both sides had chances, but Gripex, who was the faster player all day, showed that he also knew something about pawn endgames. He traded down into a position where his passed a-pawn could decide the game and the match!

TSM_Zexrow vs. easywithaces

In the first game the players reached an unusually closed position. easywithaces seemed more at home, found a fork to win an exchange, and converted it in good style. The second game started well for easywithaces, but TSM_Zexrow complicated the game and anything could have happened. At the end easywithaces forced off the remaining pieces, and the game was drawn with bare kings, moving him to the finals of the consolation bracket.

Here are the final moments of the match:

Cizzorz vs. QTCinderella

Cizzorz got off to a great start, winning a piece early and converting into a dominant performance in game one. GM Hikaru Nakamura was full of praise for his play. In game two, QTC seemed poised to even the score but lost her extra rook right as she was nearing checkmate, giving Cizzorz the win. The victory moves Cizzorz into the finals of the consolation bracket to face easywithaces.

itsHafu vs. TFBlade

In the first game of their championship semi-final match, Hafu won material early and duly converted it into a win. The second game was a much more tense affair. TFBlade built up a strong kingside attack. In a promising position, he sacrificed a bishop for two pawns on h6. It was a reasonable idea, but there was no win.

Hafu found the calm Qf8 to offer a queen trade and slowly traded the attacking pieces. They reached an endgame with two pawns against a knight that remained complicated until White's pawn reached g7 where it looked scary but could not advance any further. Eventually, Hafu got her queenside pawns rolling, promoted and won the game. This sends her into the finals against Gripex.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps on Sunday at 12:45 p.m. Pacific (20:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.


Previous Coverage:

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