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



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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