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Speed Chess Grand Prix 3: Xiong Clinches Grand Prix Victory, Chigaev Wins Knockout

Speed Chess Grand Prix 3: Xiong Clinches Grand Prix Victory, Chigaev Wins Knockout

SamCopeland
| 4 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Maxim Chigaev triumphed in a tense knockout final against GM Jeffery Xiong to win the third Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix tournament, but it was the runner-up, Xiong, who managed to amass enough points to guarantee himself a Grand Prix victory no matter what happens in week four. Xiong won week two and was the runner-up both this week and in week one.

For his victory, Xiong gets a berth in the 2021 Speed Chess Championship, guaranteeing himself more prize earnings, and a chance to take on the finest speed chess players in the world in the patented Speed Chess Championship match format. This will be Xiong's second Speed Chess Championship berth. He also competed in 2017, losing an exciting match in round one to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

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 Chess.com/tv.
Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix 2021

The qualifying prize tournament was a tour-de-force by GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov who scored 9/10 and only conceded draws to GMs Gadir Guseinov and Dmitry Andreikin. His flashiest victory was against GM Alexander Zubov; in a sharp game, Abdusattorov allowed Zubov to queen before he forced checkmate.

While Abdusattorov's victory was impressive and secured him $2,500 (one-fourth of the $10,000 prize fund), the primary goal for most players was to qualify to the knockout stage and ultimately to the Speed Chess Championship's Main Event. Joining Abdusattorov were GMs Andreikin, Oleksandr Bortnyk, Chigaev, Xiong, and Federico Perez Ponsa as well as 2500-rated IMs Marko Nenezic and Tuan Minh Le.

Xiong cut a clean swath through to the final match, defeating both Nenezic and Andreikin with clean 2-0 scores. He won a pretty game against Nenezic that showcases the power of a passed pawn.

Chigaev scored 2-0 and 1.5-0.5 victories against Bortnyk and Ponsa respectively. His match-winning victory against Ponsa featured an incredible moment as the players had a clearly drawn rook endgame on the board. However, Ponsa premoved ...Re5??, which was disastrous after Chigaev had given check. Then Chigaev simply took the rook whose premove blocked the check.

In the final, Chigaev was under pressure as White in game one, but in a complex rook endgame he managed to pick off three passed pawns and gain an advantage before giving a repetition.

In the second game, Chigaev caught Xiong's bishop on c1 in a pin, picking up a piece for two pawns. Just when it seemed like Xiong might be making the win quite difficult, he allowed a classic remove-the-defender tactic that Chigaev executed immediately.

2021 Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix 3 bracket
2021 Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix 3 bracket.

Congrats to Chigaev on his fine tournament victory and to Xiong on his Grand Prix victory. When Xiong last played in the Speed Chess Championship, he was just 16 years old. Now he is rated exactly 2700 and will celebrate his 21st birthday on October 30, just a couple of weeks before the Main Event starts on October 12. His fans will surely be excited to see him competing at the highest level and will be rooting for him to go far and prove he is ready to be considered among the ranks of the best players and best speed chess players in the world.

Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix Standings.
2021 Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix standings.

Live broadcast of this week's tournament, hosted by GM Krikor Mekhitarian and GM Benjamin Bok.

Speed Chess Championship Grand Prix 3 | Final Standings (Top 20)

Number Rk Fed Title Username Name Rating Score SB Prize
1 12 GM ChessWarrior7197 Nodirbek Abdusattorov 3000 9 53.75 $2,500.00
2 2 GM FairChess_on_YouTube Dmitry Andreikin 3032 8 50.25 $1,800.00
3 77 IM Vincent_Vega95 Nenezic, Marko 2733 8 39 $1,300.00
4 1 GM Oleksandr_Bortnyk Oleksandr Bortnyk 3007 7.5 46.25 $1,000.00
5 7 GM Fandorine Maksim Chigaev 3027 7.5 44 $1,500.00
5 3 GM jefferyx Jeffery Xiong 3033 7.5 44 $400.00
7 17 IM wonderfultime Tuan Minh Le 2937 7.5 42.75 $300.00
8 13 GM Genghis_K Federico Perez Ponsa 2959 7.5 40.25 $250.00
9 47 GM vugarrasulov Vugar Rasulov 2845 7.5 39 $250.00
10 56 FM TheBigBoss04 Jose Gabriel Cardoso 2825 7.5 36 $100.00
11 21 GM Zhigalko_Sergei Sergei Zhigalko 2917 7 41.75 $100.00
12 6 GM RaunakSadhwani2005 Raunak Sadhwani 2982 7 40.75 $100.00
13 9 GM exoticprincess Baadur Jobava 2973 7 38.5 $100.00
13 5 GM Alexander_Zubov Alexander Zubov 2988 7 38.5 $100.00
15 22 GM RD4ever Rustam Khusnutdinov 2915 7 37.75 $100.00
16 8 GM hanzo_hasashi1 Nodirbek Yakubboev 2974 7 35 $100.00
17 36 GM Shield12 Shamsiddin Vokhidov 2880 7 34.25
18 57 GM moro182 Luca Moroni Jr 2807 7 32.5
19 35 GM erichansen Eric Hansen 2830 7 28.5
20 10 IM MITerryble Renato Terry 2951 6.5 38.25

(Full final standings here.)


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