Grigoriants Wins 1st Speed Chess Champs Qualifier
GM Sergey Grigoriants was a surprise sole winner in Chess.com's inaugural April Speed Chess Championship Qualifier. With 8.5/10, he bested 231 players (a new record) including GMs Dmitry Andreikin, Vladimir Fedoseev, Georg Meier, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Gawain Jones and Leinier Dominguez Perez.
In addition to the $500 prize for sole first place, Grigoriants claims entry to the Speed Chess Championship where (depending on the ratings of the other qualifiers) he may play Carlsen, Nakamura, Karjakin, or MVL in the first round. Can he score an upset against these great players?
Of course, Grigoriant's peers and many more may be back in the three remaining Tuesday qualifiers to try to snag one of the three remaining spots. Who are you hoping to see qualify? Post in the comments!
Grigoriant's path to qualification started inauspiciously with a draw in the opening round, but then he won three games in a row before drawing in rounds five and six. It was his final run with four wins that elevated him into that coveted first place with no tiebreaker needed. Two of his finest wins were his round-three win against GM Simon Williams (starts at 39:10) who won the $100 best streamer prize and his extremely convincing attack against GM Sergei Movsesian.
One of the second-place finishers who must still be a favorite to grab one of the three remaining qualification slots for the Speed Chess Championship is Andreikin. He put on a nice demonstration in the first round.
The Titled Tuesday regular, Dmitry Andreikin, missed by a hair, but he has three more shots at a qualification spot.
However, Andreikin's hopes took a big hit with this round-six loss against the fan favorite and Chess.com regular GM Alan Pichot.
Even in blitz, endgame knowledge is vital. Perhaps it is even more vital than in classical chess because players will have no time to solve problems at the board with minimal time in the endgame. Another favorite, Daniil Dubov, demonstrated his knowledge of the basic principle of bishop endgames: put the pawns on the opposite color of your bishop!
Dubov continually played interesting games.
Dubov also demonstrated the value of tactics and long diagonals with a nice round-four win.
The newly minted grandmaster Akshat Chandra also had one of his best finishes by reaching that large fourth-place tie. He won a nice game against the above Dubov when he showed his f-file provided the scarier attack than Dubov's c-file.
Titled Tuesday | Final Standings (7 Points And Up)
|4||24||GM||iturrizaga||Edwardo Bonelli Iturrizaga||7.5|
|10||1||IM||renatoterrylujan||Renato Alfredo Terry Lujan||7|
Full tournament crosstable available here.
The full tournament with commentary from the man who effortlessly balances enthusiasm and stoicism, IM Aman Hambleton, is available on Twitch.tv/chess.
While Grigoriants won the $500 first-place prize and the far more valuable qualifier spot, GMs Fedoseev and Andreikin each got $325 for shared second place. Splitting the fourth and fifth place prizes were GMs Iturrizaga, Pichot, Darius Swiercz, Chandra, Alexander Lenderman, and FM David Gorodetzky.
CORRECTION: This report originally identified user Duhless as Eduardo Iturrizaga. Duhless is GM Daniil Dubov.
Update 6 April: GM Maxim Dlugy started with 8/8 but did not finish the tournament. Currently, Chess.com is unable to provide more information.