Vidit Lightning Fast In Bullet, Beats Andriasyan In Speed Chess
Vidit showed his speed in a first-round romp.

Vidit Lightning Fast In Bullet, Beats Andriasyan In Speed Chess

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Aug 31, 2018, 4:37 AM |
19 | Chess Event Coverage

It was the first-ever Speed Chess Championship match that was tied after the two blitz segments. Vidit Santosh Gujrathi then completely dominated in the bullet against Zaven Andriasyan, eventually winning the match 16-9.

The match was part of the first round of the Chess.com Speed Chess Championship (find all info and links to previous matches here). There will be two more matches in the first week of September:

  • Sergey Karjakin vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda: .
  • Anish Giri vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: .

Both will have live commentary on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess.

Thursday's match between Andriasyan and Vidit was expected to be one of the closest in this championship, and that turned out to be true—as far as the blitz was concerned. After the 5|1 and the 3|1 segments the score was 8-8. A tie at that stage hadn't been seen before!

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Our overall SmarterChess prediction turned out to be right, but for the individual segments it was slightly off.

Among the spectators was the Indian prodigy Nihal Sarin, who recently secured his GM title at 14 years old.

Andriasyan, who had entered the stage via the open qualifier, was the one starting off with two straight wins. That was the biggest margin the match would see until game 20. Vidit immediately came back, scoring two wins himself. Later he said he had prepared for setbacks like that: "I prepared for this mentally. If I lose, I take some pause."

In game five we see a queen losing the battle against rook, bishop and knight. Earlier in the game, we saw the Rubinstein maneuver as well.

Andriasyan immediately leveled the score—something that kept on happening in the match! In this particular case Vidit blundered, although it's the kind of check that is easy to miss.

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Andriasyan ended up winning the 5|1 part of the match.

5|1 segment | Score

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score
1 Andriasyan 2897 2923 1 1 0 ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 4.5
2 Vidit 2880 2854 0 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 3.5

Andriasian narrowly won the 5|1 portion 4.5-3.5, but, as you can guess, Vidit made it equal again in the very first 3|1 game. That one was a tough blow for Andriasyan, who was trying to win an endgame a pawn up, and suddenly blundered a full rook.

"That was a huge turning point," commentator GM Robert Hess later said, while it made IM Danny Rensch hurt his back!

The rook blunder during the live broadcast. You'll hear Rensch saying he twisted his back a little when this happened. Chess commentary can be dangerous!

With game 12 Vidit took a slim lead again, this time dominating the game from start to finish. His finish was cute:

Game 16 saw a nasty trick in the endgame by Andriasyan, with which he managed to decide the game. However, Hess and Rensch noticed a better defense for Vidit, and the computer agrees, giving a fantastic drawing line. You'll enjoy this one:

3|1 segment | Score

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Score
1 Vidit 2889 2930 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 1 0 4.5
2 Andriasyan 2887 2846 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 0 1 3.5

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Vidit was in full control in the first bullet game, where Andriasian's King's Indian setup against the Caro-Kann was no problem for the Indian player. He got a bunch of super-strong passers on the queenside that were undefendable.


Andriasyan leveled the score one more time with the following game, which was his last win. It was the also the shortest game of the match, as Vidit blundered twice.

It was perhaps these two terrible oversights that got Vidit to focus more in the remainder of the match. He finished with seven straight wins!

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Vidit finished the match with seven straight wins.

Here's game 21, which saw tactics that were very hard to calculate in bullet. Vidit clearly showed his bullet prowess in this one:

The next one was also very complicated. And, again, Vidit was the one finding the decisive tactic at the end, where he seemed to be blundering a piece but in fact made sure that his pawn was queening.

1|1 segment | Score

# Fed Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Score
1 Vidit 2773 2999 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
2 Andriasyan 2638 2412 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

After the close affair in the blitz, Vidit's dominance in the bullet was a bit of a surprise. The Indian GM often works with super GM Anish Giri, who tweeted about his lightning speed:

In the post-match interview, Andriasyan lamented that he wasn't getting much out of the openings: "I don't know what was wrong with me. I know the positions well, I have a lot of experience." He meant his openings, because a match like this was new to him: "I never had experience to play such a strong opponent for such a long time."

Vidit, who had practiced his bullet quite a bit on Chess.com before the match, said he will need to play more games in the other formats before he faces Wesley So in the next round: "I definitely need to play more games in 5+1 and 3+1. Zaven had the initiative there. I have to work on this. If I practice well, I think I can give a tough fight."

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The updated bracket after yesterday's match. Two new matchups for the next round are known: Nakamura-MVL and So-Vidit.

Vidit earned $1,747.50 and advances to the next round. Andriasyan got $467.50. The Twitch community donated a record $215 that was added to the original $2,000 prize pool.

During the match, a Photoshop contest was held based on the question: Where are you watching? The following tweet earned a one-year Diamond membership on Chess.com:

The first week of September will see the final two matches of the first round:

  • Sergey Karjakin vs Jan-Krzysztof Duda: .
  • Anish Giri vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: .

Both will have live commentary on Chess.com/TV and Twitch.tv/chess.

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