Nakamura Too Strong For Fedoseev In Speed Chess Match
GM Hikaru Nakamura (@Hikaru) defeated GM Vladimir Fedoseev (@Bigfish1995) 21.5-5.5 in Thursday’s last quarterfinal of the Speed Chess Championship. Nakamura, who started the match with an incredible 9-0, will now face GM Wesley So (@GMWSO) in the semifinals.
How to watch?
The semifinals of the Speed Chess Championship Main Event will be held Dec. 11-13. The games are played on the Chess.com live server. They are also available on our platform for watching live games at Chess.com/events and on our apps under “Watch.” Expert commentary can be enjoyed at Chess.com/tv.
The live broadcast of the match saw two back-to-back matches. Nakamura-Fedoseev starts at 04:16:05.
The Nakamura-Fedoseev match was a repeat of the final of the Super Swiss, our one-day qualifier to the Speed Chess Championship in early October. Nakamura won 7.5-5.5 back then and Fedoseev became the qualifier because the winner was already seeded into the SCC as the reigning champion.
In Titled Tuesdays, Nakamura scored 5-3 vs. Fedoseev between May and September of this year. All in all, he was the favorite but not by the huge margin that came on the scoreboard. He was in brilliant shape, while Fedoseev was not having his day.
Nakamura started with an incredible 9-0, the second-best opening score in Speed Chess history. The games were not that lopsided actually, but somehow things went wrong for Fedoseev time and time again.
Especially game three was dramatic. In a winning attempt, the Russian player blundered a pawn but the position was still a draw and he defended well but then lost on time in what was still a drawn position.
The five-minute segment comprised the first eight of those nine wins for Nakamura, who said: “I played well when I had very little time on the clock, I think that was probably the main thing that I did well in the 5+1.”
After the first break, Fedoseev wasn’t yet allowed a fresh start as he lost another game in equally disappointing fashion. He must have thought “I finally got him,” but not yet…
10-0 would have meant “adoption,” but that didn’t happen as Fedoseev held the 10th game to a draw. After another loss and another draw, he finally managed to score his first win in game 13.
Just as the commentators started discussing the famous Piket-Kasparov game from 20 years ago (in which the Dutch grandmaster beat the 13th world champion in a four vs. three rook endgame), they “jinxed” Nakamura, who blundered into a pin:
Fedoseev promptly won another game, but Nakamura then finished the three-minute segment with three more wins. The score before the bullet was a devastating 14-3.
However, we should honor where honor is due. The Move of the Match came from Fedoseev, who found a brilliant queen sacrifice in the second bullet game. Sadly for him, he couldn’t convert the game later on.
Fedoseev got two wins and a draw in the bullet segment, with seven wins for Nakamura. The latter revealed that before the match he had taken his opponent very seriously:
“Not to discredit my previous opponents, but for all the previous matches I didn’t actually do any preparation whatsoever whereas for this match I did quite a bit of preparation. Credit to Vladimir who is a very strong player and who did beat Alireza [Firouzja] in the first round.”
Fedoseev: “The match started with a huge disconnection from my side and then I tilted. I don’t think that in the world we can name a second player who is so good as Hikaru in the situation when his opponent is tilting and that’s why this match ended how it ended. Also, he was perfectly concentrated till the end of the match. I found many great tactical ideas but he always was better physically and mentally and again and again outplayed me.”
Fedoseev won $611.11 based on win percentage; Nakamura won $3,000 for the victory plus $2388.89 on percentage, totaling $5,388.89. In the semifinals, Nakamura will be playing So (@GMWSO).
Just a week ago, Nakamura lost to So in the Skilling Open. His comment on facing his compatriot again: “I think it’s more of the same, just play good, solid chess. But certainly, it’s payback time. I’m gonna be out for blood, I will say that much!”
The 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event is a knockout tournament among 16 of the best grandmasters in the world who will play for a $100,000 prize fund, double the amount of last year. The tournament will run November 1-December 13, 2020 on Chess.com. Each individual match will feature 90 minutes of 5+1 blitz, 60 minutes of 3+1 blitz, and 30 minutes of 1+1 bullet chess.