Speed Chess Grand Prix 2: Xiong Wins In Dramatic Knockout

Speed Chess Grand Prix 2: Xiong Wins In Dramatic Knockout

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

The second event of the Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix on September 25 with an individual prize fund of $11,000 saw GM Jeffery Xiong beat GM Aleksandr Shimanov in a dramatic final after Russian GM Sanan Sjugirov won the initial Swiss part of the event with a dominating 9.5/10 score. The knockout part proved to be a cliff-hanger of a blitz event with exciting games testing the players' nerves and reflexes.

How to watch?
The Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix takes place Sept. 18, 25, Oct. 2, and Oct. 9. The winner of the Grand Prix qualifies for the 2021 Speed Chess Championship Main Event. Games and commentary will be broadcast on
Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix 2021

Watching a blitz event with a 3|1 time control is overwhelming with the sheer number of games each round by some of the quickest hands and brains in the world. Twists and turns kept spectators steadily entertained but players perpetually heart-broken:

It is also aesthetically satisfying  when one gets to watch "clean" high-quality games played even at such a pace:

There is also plenty of "cheeky" stuff, and they do delight us, though we might feign false outrage!

When 50...Ra1?!?! was executed on the board, WGM Dina Belenkaya (who was commentating during the live-stream with GM Irina Krush) gasped with shock and exclaimed, "The famous Bortnyck trick!" indicating the Ukrainian grandmaster's likely penchant for such "ploys."

Of course, Sjugirov survived, won, and jumped into the lead with 6/6. He further scored two more wins to forge ahead of the field and finally topped the Swiss part of the event with an impressive 9.5/10 score.

Joining him in the knockout phase were Shimanov, GM Dmitry Andreikin, GM Bogdan Deac, Xiong, Bortnyk, GM Mikhail Demidov, and GM Artur Gabrielian.

Prominent among those who didn't make it to the knockout stage were GM Sam Sevian, GM Oleksandr Zoubov, GM Alexander Rustemov, and GM Vidit Gujrathi.

In the quarterfinals, Xiong showed a flavor of his encounters to come, as he won two topsy-turvy games against the in-form Sjugirov to win the match 2-0. The first of the games was the most dramatic:

In other quarterfinal matches, Andreikin beat Demidov (1.5-0.5), Shimanov beat Bortnyk (2-1), and Deac beat Gabrielian (2-0).

In the semifinals, Shimanov prevailed over Andreikin in dramatic fashion in the tiebreak bullet game of a minute each per player, after their regular 3|1 games ended in a tie:

Xiong scored a smooth 1.5-0.5 win over Deac in the other match.

The first game of the final was an absolute thriller, though it all started slowly and sedately. Towards the end of the game, with seconds remaining on their clocks, the players decided to raise the heat:

Shaking his head after the game, Shimanov visibly showed his frustration on missing a win. It probably played in his mind during the second game, which he lost almost without a fight by playing surprisingly sloppy. Thus, Xiong won the finals with a score of 1.5-0.5 to pocket the additional $1,000 and 15 Grand Prix points.

Live broadcast of this week's tournament, hosted by GM Irina Krush and WGM Dina Belenkaya.

Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix 2 | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score Prize
1 10 GM Sanan_Sjugirov Sanan Sjugirov 2984 9.5 $2,500.00
2 30 GM ShimanovAlex Aleksandr Shimanov 2897 8 $1,800.00
3 3 GM FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3006 7.5 $1300.00
4 4 GM BogdanDeac Bogdan Daniel Deac 3002 7.5 $1000.00
5 44 GM Gabrielian_Artur Artur Gabrielian 2840 7.5 $500.00
6 26 GM kuli4ik Mikhail Demidov 2910 7.5 $400.00
7 17 GM Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 2949 7.5 $300.00
8 5 GM jefferyx Jeffery Xiong 3022 7.5 $1250.00
9 7 IM MITerryble Renato Terry 2967 7.5 $250.00
10 31 GM iturrizaga Eduardo Iturrizaga 2891 7.5 $100.00
11 56 IM Volodar_Murzin Volodar Murzin 2797 7.5 $100.00
12 27 GM Infernal_XaM Pavel Ponkratov 2915 7 $100.00
13 6 GM hanzo_hasashi1 Nodirbek Yakubboev 2958 7 $100.00
14 48 GM Igor_Lysyj Igor Lysyj 2833 7 $100.00
15 119 IM Legendinunknown Harshavardhan GB 2663 7 $100.00
16 65 IM QuintilianoR Renato Quintiliano 2731 7 $100.00
17 11 GM GigaQuparadze Giga Quparadze 2934 6.5
18 9 IM Denis_Makhnyov Denis Makhnev 2946 6.5
19 8 GM exoticprincess Baadur Jobava 3000 6.5
20 23 GM Msb2 Matthias Bluebaum 2904 6.5

(Full final standings here.)


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