Speed Chess Championship Final Presented By OnJuno Preview
The stage is set for the 2020 Speed Chess Championship Final presented by OnJuno. GM Hikaru Nakamura will be facing GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on Saturday, December 12 at 9 a.m. Pacific, 18:00 Central Europe.
On Friday, Vachier-Lagrave shocked the world by defeating GM Magnus Carlsen 13-11 in their semifinal match to earn his spot in the final. Nakamura earned his seat by beating GM Wesley So 13.5-12.5 in the other semifinal match.
How to watch?
The Speed Chess Championship 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.
One of the themes throughout the 2020 Speed Chess Championship has been “Is the rematch inevitable?” This was referencing the potential rematch between the top two seeds (Nakamura and Carlsen) who have met not only in past Speed Chess Championships but also in three top-level online events this year.
However, Vachier-Lagrave had his own answer to the question about the “inevitable” rematch: a resounding “No!”
It has been a long and winding road to this year’s Speed Chess Championship Final presented by OnJuno. There have been many fantastic battles and matches, but it all comes down to the one-seed Nakamura, the top-ranked blitz player in the world, and the three-seed Vachier-Lagrave, the top French player and current leader of the 2020 Candidates Tournament.
- December 12, 2020 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central Europe
Nakamura vs. Vachier-Lagrave
Vachier-Lagrave (@LyonBeast) has clearly been working on his online chess recently, and it seems like his over-the-board success in 2020 is starting to show in his online play.
These two players met in the 2018 Speed Chess Championship when Nakamura defeated MVL 21.5-13.5 in the quarterfinals. They also met in the 2020 Magnus Carlsen Invitational preliminaries, where Nakamura won by a score of 3-2. When it comes to classical chess, Nakamura has five wins against MVL with the rest of their 17 games being drawn.
The last time they met was in the Skilling Open on November 22, 2020, when their game was drawn.
Nakamura won his first two matches by impressive margins. First, he defeated GM Haik Martirosyan 21-5, and then he beat Fedoseev by an almost identical score of 21.5-5.5. His semifinal match with So was much closer, winning by only one point against his American compatriot.
Vachier-Lagrave defeated GM Nihal Sarin 16.5-11.5 in the Round of 16 and then GM Levon Aronian 14.5-12.5 in the quarterfinals. After performing the seemingly unthinkable task of defeating Carlsen in the semifinals, it is crystal clear that MVL wanted to let the world know that dismissing him is a huge mistake.
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