Sadhwani Beats Pultinevicius As Junior Speed Chess Championship Gets Underway

Sadhwani Beats Pultinevicius As Junior Speed Chess Championship Gets Underway

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Raunak Sadhwani on Thursday defeated GM Paulius Pultinevicius in the opening match of the Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by ChessKid. The tournament is a knockout competition for top junior chess players with a $35,000 prize fund.

The next match in the round of 16 is GM Arjun Erigaisi vs. GM Kirill Shevchenko on Sunday, July 4, at 2 p.m. Pacific / 23:00 Central Europe.

The live broadcast of the match.

The match between Sadhwani and Pultinevicius was, in fact, a repeat of the final of the June 21 Global Qualifier, from which the players qualified for the main event. The 15-year-old grandmaster from Nagpur, India, had won that final 7.5-2.5, so he was the clear favorite for this opening match of the championship. And he delivered.

The 19-year-old Pultinevicius, a grandmaster since 2019 and a runner-up in the 2018 Lithuanian championship, first had a tough time in the 5|1 segment. The start was OK, though, as he bounced back in the second game from a loss with a classic minority attack:

Apart from that one, Sadhwani dominated the five-minute portion where he set a score of 7.5-1.5. The short summary is that he played faster and better than Pultinevicius.

Game four was a tough one to swallow for the Lithuanian player, who was defending quite tenaciously until he suddenly blundered a mate in one:

It went a bit better for Pultinevicius in the 3|1 segment, where the players traded wins twice and then drew a game. However, when Sadhwani won three games in a row, the match was more or less over. Here's the second of those three games, where Pultinevicius was completely winning but spoiled it with two seconds on the clock:

With the speed at which he had played his games so far, it wasn't a surprise that Sadhwani also won the bullet segment. In fact, he scored the biggest margin there: 9.5-0.5.

"There were many problems. First, I think, openings. I tried to change but it didn't work," said Pultinevicius.

Sadhwani, who played from Serbia, said that it probably helped that he had just finished a classical tournament as he was "calculating faster." He was referring to the Silver Lake Open, where he finished in second place behind another JSCC participant, GM Nihal Sarin.

If Sadhwani and Sarin were to play each other in the Junior Speed Chess Championship, that would be in the final on August 8 since the two players are on different sides of the bracket.

All games

Pultinevicius earned $89.29 based on win percentage; Sadhwani won $500 for the victory plus $410.71 on percentage, totaling $910.71. He moves on to the quarterfinals, where he will play the winner of the match GM Hans Niemann vs. IM Christopher Yoo that will be played on Thursday, July 8 at 10 a.m. Pacific / 19:00 Central Europe.

2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship results
The 2021 Junior Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for top junior players. The qualifiers for the event were held June 7-21, while the main event runs July 1-August 8. Players battle for their shares of a total prize fund of $35,000 and a spot in the Speed Chess Championship later this year. More info here; live games here

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