Speed Chess Championship Resumes With Karjakin vs Meier

Speed Chess Championship Resumes With Karjakin vs Meier

| 17 | News

It's Speed Chess week! Our online championship will resume on Wednesday this week the match between Sergey Karjakin and Georg Meier. On Thursday there's Anish Giri vs Wesley So, which we'll preview tomorrow.

Find all information about the 2017 Speed Chess Championship here

After four qualifier tournaments in April, we saw Hikaru Nakamura convincingly reach the second round. The American player eliminated qualifier Sergey Grigoriants 20.5-7.5.

Now it's up to Sergey Karjakin, who is making his debut at, to do the same against qualifier Georg Meier. And it won't be easy.


For starters, Meier (29) has a lot of experience with online chess, especially on this site. He participated in our Titled Tuesday right from the very first edition on October 28, 2014, and he won it six times (three shared). 

At the inaugural Pro Chess League, earlier this year, the German grandmaster played the largest number of games of any participant: 42. He scored 33 points, the second-best score behind Wesley So's 36.5 out of 41.

Meier, who will be playing from his apartment outside Stockholm, said to that he doesn't value his online experience that much.

"I think the advantage of experience is minimal, probably boiling down to greater agility with the mouse. Playing someone of Sergey's level online is very different from facing the 'mere mortals,' who you can play on auto-pilot if your chess ability is superior in some way. This means that I have to put much more energy in the games than I am used to. In short: Only experience against top-level players helps you against those."


Meier is definitely going to prepare, he said, but doesn't want to give away any secrets: "Yes, of course! I won't go into chess specifics, but the main thing is to be sharp that day. I hope I catch good form, then I can put up a challenge for Sergey."

Asked to describe his opponent's main strength, Meier said: "His main advantage is of course that he is a better chess player, but as he has shown himself in his world championship match, it's entirely possible to bridge a gap with asymmetrical warfare. I'd expect Sergey to show great resilience in defense, in positions where others will just collapse, but I first have to get such positions!"

Well, as you might remember even bad positions offer chances, in Meier's case. Because the way he actually qualified for this match, on April 11, was amazing.

Meier was just completely lost against GM Dmitry Andreikin, but then this happened.

Because of this win, Meier tied for first place with IM Toms Kantan, and then won the Armageddon game (where a draw was enough).

Karjakin and Meier have only faced each other three times so far. In 2012, they drew their only classical encounter at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund. Two years later, Meier upset his opponent at the World Blitz Championship in Dubai:


A year later, Karjakin took revenge with a black win at the World Rapid Championship in Berlin:


 Karjakin is currently at a training session in the Moscow region, so he'lI play from there. He hasn't played online chess for a while, he tells "A long time ago I played at ICC a lot, and a little bit on Playchess, but for a long time I don't have a regular blitz experience unfortunately..."

About preparing for the match, he said: "I would play some training blitz games, and even more important I will take a computer mouse from my second, because normally I use a touchpad. But for the blitz it is not good!"


Karjakin playing on with a touchpad. | Photo Maria Emelianova.


In the worst case, Karjakin can always ask his manager for tips. Kyrillos Zangalis plays on on a daily basis.

Karjakin about his opponent: "He is a very good positional player with a good theoretical knowledges, but I hope to show my best in this match."

As always, the match will be played over three segments: 90 minutes of 5/2 blitz, 60 minutes of 3/2 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1/1 bullet chess. Each segment will finish with a Chess960 (Fischer Random) game.

Meier likes this: "I love Chess960! But I haven't played it much in the last years for lack of good opponents to play against."

Karjakin has been around long enough to have participated in the Mainz Chess960 tournaments. "I played few times in Mainz. My results were not so bad, but I have never won it."


The Karjakin-Meier match will start May 24, 2017 at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central Europe). You can watch it at and with commentary by IM Danny Rensch and WGM Jennifer Shahade.

They will also be doing a show on May 23 at 1 p.m. Pacific which will preview this match and the one between Wesley So and Anish Giri.

$1,000 will go to the winner of the match, and another $1,000 will be split between the match winner and the loser by total win percentage. There will be eight matches in total in this round. The total prize fund of the 2017 Speed Chess Championship is $50,000.

Find all information about the 2017 Speed Chess Championship here.

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