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Franks-Is-Heres Knocks Out Ghastly, Rise of Squeex and Daily Dose

Franks-Is-Heres Knocks Out Ghastly, Rise of Squeex and Daily Dose

NM_Vanessa
| 20 | Chess Event Coverage

It was a day that seesawed between inspiration and shock at PogChamps 5. As the players fought it out in their brackets, some rose from the ashes of their former selves to emerge victorious while others played their final moves of the event. 

On the championship side, Franks-is-heres made a comeback to defeat Ghastly. Meanwhile, the consolation bracket brought out the best in Daily Dose of Internet, who beat Jarvis, and Squeex, who won vs. Fuslie.  

PogChamps 5 continues Monday, August 7, starting at 3 p.m. ET/22:00 CEST.

How to watch PogChamps 5

PogChamps 5 games, schedule, and all the details can be found here as part of our live events platform. 

Live commentary provided by IM Levy Rozman and WFM Anna Cramling.

  


Fuslie 0-2 Squeex

The match began with a thrilling miniature. When Squeex attacked Fuslie's knight, she cleverly countered with a threat on one of his. But when Squeex moved his calvary to safety, she forgot about her own hanging piece and castled. To gain back a pawn for her knight, she recaptured in a way that damaged her king's pawn cover. 

Squeex felt good about his position and saw this as an opportunity. Twisting the relationship between commentator and player with a laugh, Squeex contemplated a move that would hang his knight and attributed the idea to Rozman. Watching bewildered, the latter yelled: "Noooo! That's not what I said in my video!"

Despite Rozman's horror, the hidden brilliance of Squeex's play was revealed when he checkmated just three moves later.

In the next game, Fuslie confidently premoved the first seven moves of the London System, risking material but gaining 33 seconds on her clock. After a solid opening, Fuslie fell victim to an unfortunate cause of many losses: the commentator's curse. When Cramling mentioned that this was the best game she's seen in a while, Fuslie overlooked a knight fork on her queen and rook. 

As the YouTuber hovered her queen over many squares that would hang it anyway, the commentators responsible watched in fear as the decision unfolded. 

Ahead a queen, Squeex closed out his 2-0 sweep by bringing his own queen and rook onto his opponent's second rank and surrounding the white king to checkmate. Finishing the game with 90 percent accuracy, the new-and-improved Squeex advanced to the semifinals.

Squeex shared the inspiration behind his leap in abilities: "I'm confident in my chess now―from all the hate!"

I'm confident in my chess now―from all the hate!

―Squeex

Jarvis 0-2 Daily Dose of Internet

The first game had more twists and turns than Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. 

Early in the game, Daily Dose of Internet adopted a high-risk, high-reward strategy, aggressively advancing his kingside pawns―giving himself attacking chances while weakening his own monarch. His controversial strategy started to reap rewards, luring Jarvis' queen to a square where it could be trapped. However, in the last seconds, he overlooked how to win the queen, choosing to trade queens instead. 

With a fresh chance, Jarvis gained the upper hand but tossed it back when he hung a rook. With a winning ending, Daily Dose switched his efforts to his trash-talk game, dusting off his hands as a display of confidence. Seconds later, he mouseslipped a blunder of his rook and fell out of his chair in dismay!

Amazingly, after several moments of nothing but an empty chair, Daily Dose got up, continued the game, pushed his connected passed pawns to create a fresh queen, and won anyway. 

The second game was a more convincing victory. With 92 percent accuracy, Daily Dose displayed a strategic understanding of closed positions reminiscent of a python squeezing its prey. In a tough situation, Jarvis hung his rook while allowing a back-rank mate, and it was all over: Daily Dose's first victory of the event was a clean 2-0 sweep, establishing himself as a favorite in the consolation bracket. 

Ghastly 1-2 Franks-is-heres

In their first clash―in the midst of a complicated middlegame fight―Franks set his own kingside on fire, weakening all of the dark squares and then hanging his knight with check with what Rozman called "one of the worst moves he's ever seen."

Ghastly seized this chance and finished the game by calculating a back-rank mate combination. 

In game two, it was Ghastly's turn to open up his own king, creating a clear path for Franks' queen to start the attack. With Ghastly's king trapped in the center, Franks then traded away his strongest attacking piece to pursue victory grandmaster-style with an extra pawn in the endgame. 

Many moves later, the depth behind his plan shone through. Three of his pawns raced toward the other side with Ghastly's king unable to catch them all as Franks screamed: "To heaven with the pawns!"

To heaven with the pawns!

―Franks-is-heres

In the blitz playoff, Franks spent 30 seconds on his third move to come up with a variation he's never played before versus the Ruy Lopez. Ghastly gained a strong position and opened up Franks' king but used a lot of time in the process. 

In the time scramble, Franks rearranged his pieces, using the open file as a pathway to spark his own attack. Ghastly gave up his queen to avoid checkmate. Then Franks won his opponent's last piece with a fork that left him with an extra queen and bishop.

In the final stage, the fate of the game teetered back and forth as Franks checked many times, dancing between the possibility of checkmate and an impending three-time repetition draw.

In the interview with both players, Ghastly rooted Franks on for the rest of the event with that ideal blend of goodwill and threat.

All Games: Day 8

PogChamps 5 is Chess.com's most popular chess event for creators. Featuring 16 players and a $100,000 prize fund, the event started on July 26, 2023, and ends on August 18, 2023, with live in-person finals happening in Los Angeles. Creators are divided into groups of four and play a single round-robin before moving on to either a Championship or Consolation bracket.


Previous coverage:

NM_Vanessa
NM Vanessa West

Vanessa West is a National Master, a chess teacher, and a writer for Chess.com. In 2017, they won the Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow them on X: Vanessa__West

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