Van Foreest Beats Tari In Last Game Of Match
The last game decided the match in a thrilling JSCC opener.

Van Foreest Beats Tari In Last Game Of Match

| 9 | News

It came down to the wire.

Jorden van Foreest led for most of the match, but his opponent Aryan Tari come back and took over the lead in the bullet before van Foreest eventually won the first Junior Speed Chess Championship match in the last bullet game.

It was the first match of the inaugural speed chess tournament for juniors on, and it was a nail-biting one. If the tension and drama provided by van Foreest and Tari is exemplary for the rest of the event, then chess fans have lots of entertainment to look forward to in the coming months.

SmarterChess predictions Van Foreest Tari
SmarterChess was right about having a close match, but wrong about the outcome.

The games started at 7 p.m. for both players. Tari was playing from his house, about 20 minutes away from Oslo, while van Foreest played from Loek van Wely's home in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The reason was that two Dutch GMs will be driving together to France on Friday to play in the French Team Championship.

One of the comical highlights of the live broadcast, with commentary by IM Danny Rensch and FM Mike Klein, occurred during the second break, between the 3|1 and the 1|1 portion. After van Foreest had left his chair, van Wely sat down on it and checked his computer for a while, not realizing that viewers were watching him via the webcam.

Junior Speed Chess Championship Van Foreest Tari Loek van Wely
A little yawn by van Wely (now a father of two). 

But let's quickly move on to the chess, which was far from yawn-provoking, in fact.

Van Foreest started with a quick win, using an offbeat line against the Caro-Kann, which is sort of a speciality for him. It allows an early queen trade, which Tari would try next.

After a draw in game two, Tari leveled the score in a game starting from the same opening. This time it was decided far in the endgame, where van Foreest missed a deadly pin:

Junior Speed Chess Championship

Games four to six were three straight draws, with the middle one being the funniest. The players ended up in a basic NP-vs.-N endgame, which was a theoretical win, but van Foreest spoiled it, then underpromoted to another knight. Tari then sacrificed his own horse, knowing that he couldn't be mated by two knights!

At that point things were still even, but then van Foreest scored there straight wins to finish the five-minute portion. It would take Tari 14 games to level the score again. In game nine, van Foreest got a second chance, and this time converted a knight endgame flawlessly:

5|1 section | Scores

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
1 Netherlands Jorden van Foreest @joppie2 2821 2821 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.0
2 Norway Aryan Tari @AryanTari 2863 2863 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 3.0

Tari would win both the 3|1 and the 1|1, but the one-point margins weren't enough to overcome the three-point deficit. 

"In the five-minute I was doing pretty well, but in the three-minute I started blundering everything, my level dropped severely and Aryan started winning game after game," said van Foreest. "The same started happening in the one-minute, so yeah, that was very upsetting."

It was blunders like this that upset him:

Jorden van Foreest Junior Speed Chess Championship

And then there was this game, by far the worst by "JVF" in this match:

Van Foreest: "Against 1…e5 I actually prepared this 2.Nc3 and 3.g3 system but every time on the second move by accident I played this 2.Nf3 so then I couldn’t go back to this system. But in the end I think it was a good choice because the one time I did get to play that game I lost in like 10 moves!"

Tari: "That was a very nice win. Jorden forgot the move order in the opening or something and I got a free point there basically. Then I felt better and I managed to come back."

3|1 section | Scores

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
1 Norway Aryan Tari @AryanTari 2848 2874 1 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 0 5.0
2 Netherlands Jorden van Foreest @joppie2 2836 2810 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 0 0 1 4.0

Tari's win in the bullet part was kind of surprising if you take into account that he had only played 14 bullet games on before the match, against over 6,000 for van Foreest!

"I wasn’t sure at all how I was going to be in bullet," said Tari. "I thought Jorden must be the favorite because I know he played more than me on and I started playing bullet two days ago. But generally I find it the most fun portion. I like it much more than 5+1."

Aryan Tari Junior Speed Chess Championship

The following game revealed Tari's hidden talent in bullet. By this point @GMHikaru had joined the chat on Twitch, and he praised the Norwegian's resilience when under pressure:

Tari had a streak of four wins in a row early in the bullet part, and suddenly he was leading the match.

Van Foreest: "After I was down a game with a few minutes to go, I was thinking I was going to lose the match. It was really tough."

The Dutchman approached the next game aggressively, and it worked. Tari was once again resilient, but 30 seconds down on the clock he was never going to make it:

By the way, one other game hasn't been mentioned yet: the second bullet game. It was a draw, but it was still notable because of the second minor promotion in the match:

Both players won one more game, and by then time was running out. The score was level, and one more bullet game would be played—winner take all! That turned out to be van Foreest, after Tari blundered an exchange with a well-known tactical idea in the Sicilian:

The players started one more game, which was aborted because time was up. Tari was not aware of the match clock:

"After the last game I thought it might be the end but I was hoping that it would be one more game," said Tari. 

1|1 section | Scores

# Fed Name Handle Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score
1 Norway Aryan Tari @AryanTari 2325 2807 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 5.5
2 Netherlands Jorden van Foreest @joppie2 2773 2291 1 ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 4.5

The winner of the Junior Speed Chess Championship will qualify for the main 2019 Speed Chess Championship, and in fact Tari still has a chance, if he plays in the qualifier for that event.

"I should play, I guess!" he said, when he heard about this option.

The Norwegian player earned $193 based on win percentage; van Foreest won $400 for the victory plus $207 on percentage, totaling $607. Van Foreest moves on to the next round, where he will play the winner of Wei Yi vs Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, which will be played on May 31.

The next match on the calendar, however, is Alireza Firouzja vs Jose Eduardo Martinez Alcantara on May 21.

Junior Speed Chess Championship schedule

The Junior Speed Chess Championship is sponsored by ChessKid, the world's number-one site for kids to learn and play chess. Sixteen grandmasters age 21 or younger play in a knockout format with 90 minutes of 5|1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3|1 blitz and 30 minutes of 1|1 bullet chess.

You can replay the live broadcast here.

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