GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave convincingly gained his spherical of 16 match in opposition to GM Ian Nepomniachtchi by the best margin but in Chess.com’s 2022 Speed Chess Championship on Monday after an distinctive run within the bullet portion.
MVL’s play was electrical en path to a 19.5-11.5 drubbing and his kind signaled that he shall be a critical contender within the SCC, in addition to the upcoming FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship the place he’ll goal to defend his title in Almaty, Kazakhstan in December.
Monday’s match was clearly one of many hardest to foretell within the bracket and an educative endgame win for Nepomniachtchi within the first sport had his backers sitting up of their seats instantly. Having gained a pawn early on in opposition to Vachier-Lagrave’s King’s Indian Defense, Nepomniachtchi confirmed exemplary method within the knight and bishop endgame and strangled the Frenchman’s items.
A Berlin draw within the second sport favored Nepomniachtchi as Vachier-Lagrave did not trigger any bother with the white items; nonetheless, in sport three the world blitz champion tied up the match in a messy double rook endgame. A second win for Vachier-Lagrave adopted in sport 4, ending with a stinging tactical sequence.
Nepomniachtchi tried each trick within the e-book to tie up the match and his ambitiousness paid off when Vachier-Lagrave made an error that noticed his rook get trapped deep in enemy territory.
— ChesscomLive (@ChesscomLive) November 28, 2022
With the scores locked at 3-3, each gamers regarded for methods to throw their opponent off steadiness and Nepomniachtchi took this to the subsequent stage in sport seven, choosing a King’s Gambit. The aggressive opening was efficiently countered by Vachier-Lagrave’s Abbazia Defense and the ensuing rook endgame was gained by the reigning world blitz champion.
The rook ending wouldn’t be the final that Vachier-Lagrave would win within the match.
Clearly content material with transferring on to the three+1 section, the gamers took few dangers within the remaining two video games aside from Vachier-Lagrave’s enthusiastic try to checkmate Nepomniachtchi in a seemingly balanced rook and bishop endgame.
Following the attracts, MVL completed the 5+1 section forward with a rating of 5-4.
The 3+1 portion of the match was refreshingly decisive, with seven out of the 9 video games ending in a win for one of many combatants. Vachier-Lagrave struck first after the break, punishing Nepomniachtchi for seeing ghosts and blundering away a comparatively equal place.
Brilliant strikes had been aplenty within the 3+1 video games and Nepomniachtchi’s easy, elegant rook sacrifice in sport 13 was the primary of many.
In the very subsequent sport, Vachier-Lagrave scored a win with Black which was definitely a contender for one of the best sport of the match. Using his trusty Sicilian Najdorf, he turned up the warmth with the ruthless 29…Qd2!, providing up his queen for a wide range of checkmate threats.
GM Fabiano Caruana, who has been actively commenting on SCC matches on Twitch quipped, “that is so good,” in response to this gorgeous transfer.
Though his barnstorming victory within the thirteenth sport was flashy, the sport that actually tightened his vice on the match and allowed him to increase to a three-point lead was undoubtedly sport 17. Having traded right into a barely worse rook and pawn endgame, MVL performed with scientific precision to steal the purpose away from Nepomniachtchi, showcasing how greatest to make use of an remoted pawn within the course of.
The world-class conversion, analyzed by GM Dejan Bojkov, shall be added quickly.
After the powerful defeat, Nepomniachtchi did bounce again with a win of his solely. however staring down a two-point deficit heading into the 1+1 part. he was left with loads of work to do.
Nepomniachtchi, whose Chess.com bullet ranking peaked at an astronomical 3168 in 2020, is without doubt one of the greatest fast chess gamers on the earth, however he merely couldn’t sustain with a rampant Vachier-Lagrave on Monday.
Consecutive wins for Vachier-Lagrave firstly of the bullet portion all however sealed the match because the French GM stretched his lead out to 4 factors and a scrappy win for Nepomniachtchi within the third bullet sport offered little solace.
Vachier-Lagrave would go on to attain 3.5/4 within the subsequent video games and switch the match right into a blowout. Vachier-Lagrave, who has spent extra time taking part in the three-check variant of chess on Chess.com than practising his bullet, confirmed outstanding consistency below time stress and even confirmed off his increasing repertoire, taking part in the Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation and the Caro-Kann Defense as he closed out the match.
— Chess.com (@chesscom) November 28, 2022
Despite a powerful efficiency in his spherical of 16 match, Vachier-Lagrave has a troublesome street forward and can face the winner of the match between GMs Wesley So and Nodirbek Abdusattorov within the quarterfinals. Should he progress past that match, a showdown with GM Magnus Carlsen might await him.
Vachier-Lagrave took house $3,258.06 for successful, whereas Nepomniachtchi earned $741.94 for his efforts.
All Games – Round of 16
Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket
The 2022 Speed Chess Championships Main Event begins on the twenty first of November and concludes on the sixteenth of December. Top speed-chess gamers will compete at three totally different time controls in a 16-player knockout as they vie for a share of the $100,000 prize fund together with probably the most prestigious title in on-line chess.
The likes of GMs Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Ding Liren, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, and plenty of extra will battle it out to find out the 2022 pace chess champion.