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Sarana Beats Esipenko In Junior Speed Chess Championship

Sarana Beats Esipenko In Junior Speed Chess Championship

PeterDoggers
| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Alexey Sarana of Russia will be the opponent for American GM Sam Sevian in the quarterfinals of the Junior Speed Chess Championship sponsored by ChessKid. In a match on Sunday, Sarana defeated his compatriot Andrey Esipenko 14-11.

It was the closest match in the round of 16 so far, with only three points making the difference. The SmarterChess prediction had put it at four points and also suggested more games. So far, all winners have been predicted correctly.

Esipenko (@Andreikka) played his match right after a long weekend of online chess as he had just won the gold medal at the European Online Youth Championship U18. He was certainly warmed up and tied the five-minute segment 4-4. After that, Sarana (@mishanick) took a big lead as he won the three-minute 7-2. Esipenko's 5-3 win in the bullet wasn't enough but did win him some extra prize money.

The match started with a rather nice little combination by Esipenko in the first game. He didn't deserve to lose that game but would later take the lead by winning games four and five. Can you find the combination?

Sarana was down 3-4 when he leveled the score in the last 5-1 game. Just when co-commentator GM Anish Giri did an IM Danny Rensch impersonation saying, "He blundered a rook," Esipenko did blunder one:

In game 21, already in the bullet phase, Sarana was up 11.5-8.5 and tried the well-known stalling technique in a completely drawn endgame to win time on the match clock. When he suddenly blundered a rook, Giri called it karma:

Esipenko earned $220 based on win percentage; Sarana won $500 for the victory plus $280 on percentage, totaling $780. He moves on to the next round, where he will play GM Sam Sevian.

One other matchup in the next round is also known: GM Haik Martirosyan will be playing GM Parham Maghsoodloo. Two more matches in this round are scheduled this week, on Monday and Wednesday.


The live broadcast of the match with GMs Anish Giri and Robert Hess.

All games

The remaining matches in the round of 16:

  • Sept. 21: Jeffery Xiong vs. Nodirbek Abdusattorov at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe
  • Sept. 23: Anton Smirnov vs. Raunak Sadhwani at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe
Junior Speed Chess Championship bracket
Junior Speed Chess Championship bracket

The 2020 Chess.com 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.


See also:

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


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