Tan Wins Crazyhouse Championship, Escapes Mate-In-1
Jann Lee wins his second Crazyhouse Championship.

Tan Wins Crazyhouse Championship, Escapes Mate-In-1

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Justin Tan ("JannLeeCrazyhouse") claimed a solo and dramatic victory in's 2018 Crazyhouse Championship on Thursday. Crazyhouse fans who haven't seen his epic streams (are there any?) will recall that he also shared victory (with FM Dan Yeager, "chickencrossroad") in's inaugural Crazyhouse Championship in 2016.

Crazyhouse is a popular chess variant in which captured pieces may be dropped on empty squares on your turn. See here for the basic rules.

Hosts IM Daniel Rensch and GM Yasser Seirawan were touting Tan as the favorite from the beginning, but in round two, Tan suffered a significant setback in a convincing defeat. His opponent's account was later closed for fair-play violations.

Fortunately for Tan's fans, he quickly got back into action with some nice victories, including this one over Nikolas Theiss. Can you find the mate-in-three played by Tan?

White to Play: White holds 

JannLee vs Atrophied, Crazyhouse Championship

Highlight to see solution: 1.e6+! fxe6 2.N@f6+ Nxf6 3.Nxf6#

While Tan struggled with his tournament start, NM Mark Plotkin was putting on an impressive run, winning his first six games. They soon faced each other in a complicated game that ended rather unexpectedly in a draw. Plotkin continued through round 10 without defeat.

Unfortunately for Plotkin, he then suffered a defeat in round 11 against the player xuanetcrazyhouse and another critical one in round 13 against IM HigherContrast. HigherContrast eventually earned a nice win after claiming the initiative with 14.@g6+!, but he missed a clean win spotted by commentator Seirawan.

Can you see it?

White to Play: White holds


Highlight to see solution: 18.B@d7+ is soon decisive since 18...Bxd7 is met by 19.Q@f7#

HigherContrast also played the following nice finish earlier in the tournament against Eskil Grønn. How did he meet 11.N@e3 by White?

Black to Play: Both players hold a  and HigherContrast vs Gronn, Crazyhouse Championship

Highlight to see solution: 1...Nxg1! wins because 12.Nxd5 is mated by 12...N@f3+! 13.Bxf3 R@f1#

Last year's co-champion, Yeager, did not have a great event this year, but he did finish prettily in this game in which he had seconds on his clock.

As the event spiraled into the final two rounds, Tan and Plotkin were tied for first. Both players won their 14th round, but Tan was incredibly lucky to do so, saying on his live stream, "I don't feel clean." He was able to win by flagging his opponent who had a mate-in-one available.

With everything to play for in the final round, soon both players were busted. Plotkin was fortunate that his intimidated opponent took a draw in a winning position, but Tan's opponent continued to pressure him with some crushing moves.

Tan's opponent's account has since been closed for fair-play violations. Thus, Tan dramatically claimed sole victory in the 2018 Crazyhouse Championship by flagging two opponents in a row with mate-in-one on the board!

One could not orchestrate such a spectacular conclusion to the championship.

2018 Crazyhouse Championship: Final Results

Place Seed Fed Title Username Name Score
1 2 JannLeeCrazyhouse Justin Tan 12.5
2 6 NM littleplotkin Mark Plotkin 12
3 27 TomHammerschmidt 11
4 34 Mugwort Neil Wright 11
5 69 EasyLuck Игорь 11
6 38 terra87 Константин Крылов 10
7 4 xuanetcrazyhouse Joan Miquel 10
8 16 IM HigherContrast 10
9 28 CAHKT DM 9.5
10 29 vikassawhney 9.5
11 7 mastertanCrazyhouse 9
12 17 Vempele 9
13 5 IM schoolmeester Vincent Rothuis 9
14 32 helmsknight 9
15 10 FM rezacz Wojciech Reza 9
16 63 CM TranThanhTu Thanh-Tu Tran 9
17 52 ciiw 9
18 48 FM Slmctk Selim Citak 9
19 45 esken Eskil Ekeland Grønn 9

The full crosstable and games are available on the tournament page. would like to thank all the players for a thrilling and hard-fought competition. Tan collects $500 for clear first place. Plotkin earns $400 for second place. Mugwort received $300 for clear third place, and in a three-way tie for fourth place, terr87, xuanetcrazyhouse, and HigherContrast each won $100.

The Chessbrahs won $100 for the most viewed stream, while Tan and Theiss received $75 and $50 respectively for the second and third most-watched streams. The Chessbrahs also received $75 for the most followers gained. Tan also won $100 for the best stream

Which of these do you think should win the additional $100 fan prize for best stream?

The complete live coverage of the 2018 Crazyhouse Championship is available on

Watch Crazyhouse Championship with GM Seirawan and IM Rensch from Chess on

Watch Crazyhouse Championship with GM Seirawan and IM Rensch from Chess on

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