Junior Speed Chess Championship: Maghsoodloo-Moroni Preview

Junior Speed Chess Championship: Maghsoodloo-Moroni Preview

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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27 | Chess.com News

Today, the Iranian GM Parham Maghsoodloo and the Italian GM Luca Moroni are the next players to take part in the Chess.com Junior Speed Chess Championship, sponsored by ChessKid

This match will determine who will be the next opponent for the Russian GM Alexey Sarana, who defeated his compatriot GM Andrey Esipenko last week.

You can watch Parham Maghsoodloo vs. Luca Moroni on Monday, June 17 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST) with expert commentary on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess.

Junior Speed Chess Championship bracket

The 18-year-old Maghsoodloo (@Parhamov) was born in Gonbad-e Kavus (historically known as Gorgan), in the province of Golestan in the northeast of Iran. He started playing chess when he was nine, and earned both the IM and GM titles in 2016.

Maghsoodloo won the Iranian Championship in 2017. A year later he scored his first international successes, winning the Mumbai Open and then also the Sharjah Masters.

A few months later he scored his biggest success so far as he clinched the gold medal at the World Junior Championship U20 with a round to spare. With that event, he also entered the world's top 100 for the first time.

At the 2018 World Blitz in St. Petersburg, Maghsoodloo beat several top grandmasters, including Alexander Grischuk.

Maghsoodloo was part of the Iranian Olympic team that finished in a splendid shared 11th place at the 2016 Baku Olympiad, where he scored an undefeated 8/11 on board two. Two years later the team finished shared 15th and Maghsoodloo scored 6.5/10 on board one.

The Iranian GM played in the PRO Chess League in one match for the Armenia Eagles this season, and scored 2.5/4. With a FIDE blitz rating of 2719, he is the world number-29 in blitz. On Chess.com, his blitz rating at the time of writing is 3084.

Parham Maghsoodloo Junior Speed Chess Championship

Moroni (@moro182), also 18 years old, was born in Desio, Italy and lives close by, in Bovisio Masciago, just north of Milan. He started playing chess when he was six.

Moroni said he was never a member of one of the big clubs in Milan: “Luckily my small club has always helped me, offering me some good coaches from the start (as you know, the first coach if he is not that good can 'destroy' a player) and they always focused on me and believed in me. This can be considered as the philosophy of small clubs; they focus in less players so they can bet on one person and do it well.”

In 2015 he won the silver medal at the World U16 Championship, and he became an international master a year later. In the summer of 2017 he fulfilled all requirements for the grandmaster title.

In the same year he won his first Italian championship as the second-youngest player ever—after Fabiano Caruana—and the youngest Italian-born player ever.

Moroni said this was his best game he played so far.

Like his opponent, Moroni played in both the Baku and Batumi Olympiads. Last week he participated in the 11th Capo d'Orso International tournament in Sardinia, where he finished in a big tie for second place.

In Italy (and on the FIDE rating list) he is known as Luca Moroni Jr, because there's a player with the same name, born in 1962. He has a FIDE blitz rating of 2476 and a Chess.com blitz rating of 2774.

Luca Moroni Junior Speed Chess Championship

For this preview article, unfortunately we received answers to our questions only from Moroni.

Moroni about his chances: “He is the favorite of course; you can simply see his blitz rating, but he is human like anyone also and nobody is invincible. It will be a tough match but I will try to play my best and see what will happen. In one match anything can happen (some good form or bad form of one of the players, etc.).“

Moroni already did some preparation: “I looked at his games and I played some blitz games on your website, but mostly I trained with some Puzzle Rush, because in blitz it is very important to be faster in some not that difficult tactics, so you can save time and you can find combinations even when your time is low.”

Junior Speed Chess Chesskid

The match will start with 90 minutes of 5|1 blitz, continue with 60 minutes of 3|1 blitz, and end with 30 minutes of 1|1 bullet. (Find all regulations here.)

Moroni is mostly worried about the last segment: “I think I have never played bullet against him. When we played a kind of blitz match I lost 5.5-0.5 so I hope that won't happen again. 🙂 I know I'm not that strong in bullet, so I hope I'll get good results before, but I will try to play my best in every time control.”

Junior Speed Chess Championship prizes

The prize fund for the first-round matches is $800 each. The winner earns $400 and advances to round two, while the other $400 is split by win percentage.

The Junior Speed Chess Championship is sponsored by ChessKid, the world's number-one site for kids to learn and play chess. All JSCC matches are broadcast live with chess-master commentary on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess.

Here's the full schedule of the round of 16:

  • Van Foreest vs. Tari: May 16 (14.5-13.5, news report)
  • Firouzja vs. Martinez Alcantara: May 21 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18-7, news report)
  • Wei Yi vs. Praggnanandhaa: May 31 at 9 a.m. Pacific (14.5-11.5, news report)
  • Sevian vs. Sarin: June 3 at 9 a.m. Pacific (17-8, news report)
  • Sarana vs. Esipenko: June 11 at 10 a.m. Pacific (15-12, news report)
  • Xiong vs. Smirnov: June 14 at 5 p.m. Pacific (19.0-10.0, news report)
  • Maghsoodloo vs. Moroni: June 17 at 9 a.m. Pacific (18:00 CEST)
  • Gledura vs. Liang: June 18 at 10 a.m. Pacific (19:00 CEST)

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