Smirnov Beats Sadhwani In Junior Speed Chess Championship

Smirnov Beats Sadhwani In Junior Speed Chess Championship

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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12 | Chess.com News

GM Anton Smirnov defeated GM Raunak Sadhwani 16-11 in the last match in the round of 16 of the Junior Speed Chess Championship sponsored by ChessKid. Smirnov's next opponent is top seed GM Nihal Sarin.

Now that all eight matches in the first round have been played, the quarterfinals are known. Here's the schedule:

  • Haik Martirosyan vs. Parham Maghsoodloo September 28, 2020, at 8 a.m. Pacific / 17:00 CEST
  • Arjun Erigaisi vs. Jeffery Xiong September 30, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Nihal Sarin vs. Anton Smirnov October 1, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST
  • Sam Sevian vs. Alexey Sarana October 2, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 CEST

We didn't see a single upset in this first round of the competition. Also for the Smirnov-Sadhwani match, the SmarterChess prediction was spot on:

Although Sadhwani (@champ2005) won the first game of the match, it was Smirnov (@AntonSmirnov) who claimed the five-minute segment: 6-3. The three-minute was a close affair but still 4.5-3.5 for Smirnov, who then also won the bullet with 5.5-4.5.

The match saw a remarkable score progression. In the first 17 games, which were the five- and three-minute games, Black won 11 times and White only once. And then, except for one draw, White won all nine bullet games!

Smirnov, who played very early in the morning in Australia, leveled the score in game two and then survived a lost position in game three:

"I think it was completely winning for me, and then I tilted. I think that was the turning point," said Sadhwani. Things started to go wrong for the Indian player, such as one-move blunders.

The commentators were impressed by Smirnov's resilience in positions that seemed essentially hopeless.

"When I'm in a lost position, I have nothing to lose," Smirnov said. "I just try to make as many problems as I can, and I just hope that my opponent falls for one of my traps."

But he did not just win by setting traps in losing positions, obviously. Here's an example of soundly outplaying Sadhwani in a game where Black played the Hippopotamus system:

Sadhwani earned $203.70 based on win percentage; Smirnov won $500 for the victory plus $296.30 on percentage, totaling $796.30. He moves on to the next round, where he will play Indian GM Nihal Sarin.


The live broadcast of the match with GM Robert Hess and GM Daniel Naroditsky.

All games

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.


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