Speed Chess: Vachier-Lagrave beats Carlsen, reaches final

by Klaus Besenthal
12/12/2020 – Hikaru Nakamura qualified to the final of the Speed Chess Championship on Wednesday with a narrow victory over Wesley So. On Friday, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave became the other finalist. The Frenchman defeated none other than world champion Magnus Carlsen with a 13:11 score after playing 24 blitz and bullet games (which were played with three different time controls). The final will be played today (Saturday) at 18:00 CET, Noon ET. | Image: chess.com

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Speed Chess Championship 2020

Each duel in the Speed Chess Championship consists of 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz games, 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz games and 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet games.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave emerged from the 5+1 blitz section with a +1 lead. This was the game that allowed him to go into the remaining sections up on the scoreboard:

 

In the 3+1 blitz section, seven games favoured the player who had the white pieces, which were followed by a single draw — in which Carlsen had white! Vachier-Lagrave was thus able to extend his lead.

Eight games were also played in the bullet-chess final section. Magnus Carlsen almost mounted a comeback in the end, but he could not overcome the two-point deficit. Vachier-Lagrave had knocked out the world champion.

Magnus Carlsen is not invincible, after all!

All games

 

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Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.

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