The Chess.com Speed Chess Championship is a knock-out tournament, featuring head-to-head online blitz and bullet matches between some of the strongest players in the world, including last year’s winner, World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Matches for the event will be going on throughout the year with the final taking place on December 21st.
The “Big Three” American players, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, and Hikaru Nakamura, are all competing along with World Junior Champion Jeffery Xiong, who made the cut by winning a qualifier. Test your tactical skills with puzzles from the games of the four American players in the championship.
Hikaru Nakamura at the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz. Photo: Austin Fuller
Tactic # 1
Hikaru Nakamura vs. Sergey Grigoriants
“It is clear that Hikaru is just faster and another kind of processor.”
-Sergey Grigoriants reflecting on the match
White has just captured a piece on e4. How can Black come out ahead?
Fabiano Caruana at the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz. Photo: Lennart Ootes
Hou Yifan vs. Fabiano Caruana
The match between Caruana and Hou was one of the most anticipated, especially since Hou Yifan recently had one of the strongest tournament victories of her career at the Biel Chess Festival with a 2810 performance rating.
Xiong showed great promise during the match and was able to finish the 5 minute blitz portion of the match with an even score against his more experience opponent. However, MVL took over the lead in the 3 minute time control and increased further it in the bullet segment.
Match Winner: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Don’t miss the next Speed Chess match (and final round-one match) of Magnus Carlsen vs. Gadir Guseinov on October 5!
Speed Current Championship Brackets
For more information on the 2017 Speed Chess Championship, visit Chess.com