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Alice Lee Prevails vs. Tani Adewumi With Stunning Bullet Comeback

Alice Lee Prevails vs. Tani Adewumi With Stunning Bullet Comeback

NM_Vanessa
| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

In a match that came down to the wire, IM Alice Lee defeated FM Tani Adewumi in the fifth edition of Tani vs. The World. Down four points with barely enough time left for as many games, Lee pulled off an unbelievable comeback to win in overtime.

Throughout the match, Adewumi's tactical savvy clashed with Lee's determination to produce a marvelous duel between these two top prodigies. 

How to watch?
You can watch Tani vs. The World: FM Tani Adewumi vs. IM Alice Lee on chesskid.com. You can also enjoy the show on ChessKid's Twitch channel.
Live broadcast of Monday's match, hosted by FM Mike Klein and WFM Kinga Polak

Blitz 5|1:

Adewumi kicked off the blitz with two wins in a row. One of Adewumi's biggest strengths is his tactical ingenuity, which he displayed in game two. Lee tried to win material when Adewumi found back-to-back countertactics to flip the dynamic play in his favor. 

Many of the battles came down to endgame techniques, such as in game four when Adewumi's understanding of active defense―even at the cost of material―saved the game.

Adewumi closed out the 5-1 segment with another attacking gem to cement his two-point lead.

Blitz 3|1: 

The 3-1 started with a battle that highlighted the strengths of both players. Adewumi was on the attack, chasing his opponent's king up the kingside while winning a rook. Yet, Lee counterattacked, spurring a king hunt of her own with just her queen and bishop, gaining a perpetual and then―after an inaccuracy by her opponent―checkmate. 

Lee finished the 3-1 portion with a tactical reversal of her own narrowing Adewumi's lead to one point. 

Bullet 1|1: 

Adewumi has played over 18,000 bullet games on Chess.com, and his proficiency showed. Early in the bullet segment, Adewumi increased his lead to four points by combining swift tactical awareness and insightful endgame technique.

Game two was an excellent example of the warp-speed dynamic play that fueled his growing lead. 

With Adewumi's incredible run, Lee faced a four-game deficit with less than 12 minutes left on the match clock―likely enough time for exactly four more games. This meant that to make it to overtime, she had to win every single game for the rest of the match. A tall order for a player with little bullet experience facing a seasoned bullet pro like Adewumi.

In a shocking turn of events, Lee rose to the challenge and began to win one game after another. The highlight was game seven. Lee gave up her queen to neutralize Adewumi's middlegame play and gain material. Yet, in such a fast time control, it's often easier to play with the queen, which is able to swoop across the board and hunt down loose pieces.

As her opponent drummed up threats around her king, Lee defended with precision, holding back Adewumi's ideas while squeezing out enough moves to run her queenside passer down the board and promote.

In game nine, Lee gave up her queen again, this time for a checkmate, claiming her fourth win in a row. She had overcome the nearly impossible odds and tied the match in the nick of time.

Position after Lee's 32.Qxe8!

The score reset, entering overtime where the next win would declare the winner. Adewumi gained the advantage and won a pawn in the ending. Yet, Lee defended actively, activating her rook to generate threats against her opponent's pawn chain. It came down to a pawn race where Lee promoted second but with check, giving her the initiative to strike first.

Lee's tenacious spirit earned her the match victory. As commentator Klein described: "There is no quit in Alice Lee."

All Games 

Tani vs. The World is a ChessKid series where rising chess star Tani Adewumi challenges other strong-titled players and trains to become the world's youngest grandmaster. 


Previous coverage:

NM_Vanessa
NM Vanessa West

Vanessa West is a National Master, a chess teacher, and a writer for Chess.com. In 2017, they won the Chess Journalist of the Year award.

You can follow them on X: Vanessa__West

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