GM Parham Maghsoodloo narrowly beat GM Jeffery Xiong in Monday’s quarter-finals of the Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by ChessKid. The Iranian general manager came back from a three-point deficit and decided the game in the last ball games.
The next quarter-final match will be GM Haik Martirosyan vs GM Arjun Erigaisi which will be played on Tuesday August 3 at 11:00 am Pacific / 8:00 pm Central Europe.
Live broadcast of the match.
Like the first quarter-final, this match between Maghsoodloo and Xiong was very close. The shorter the time control, the better Maghsoodloo began to play. In the end, he won with just one more victory.
The five-minute game was anyone’s game until Xiong finished with two wins to put the score at 6-3. The last move of the first game is nice:
Maghsoodloo came back straight away winning the first two 3 | 1 matches, but Xiong recovered and that segment ultimately ended in a 4.5-4.5 draw. This meant that Xiong was still three points ahead in the ball segment.
Still on the ball, Maghsoodloo started with two wins. After two draws, Xiong fought back to further extend his lead to two points but, after a draw, Maghsoodloo went on to win three games in a row to take the lead for the first time. He then held the final match to a draw to win the match.
The very first ball game saw Xiong goof with a complete bishop but miss out on a win anyway. There was a fun tactic noticed by commentators but not gamers, who both smiled when FM Mike Klein told them about it:
“I think I was more motivated than him because he already beat me last time in the Junior Speed Chess Championship,” said Maghsoodloo, referring to their match two years ago. “I really wanted revenge!”
Although he has been leading in points for a long time, Xiong said he feels a bit lucky during blitz matches. “I think I stole more points in this section. I felt really lucky to have the three point lead in the ball.”
Xiong won $ 361.61 based on winning percentage; Maghsoodloo took home $ 750 for the win plus $ 388.39 in percentage for a total of $ 1,138.39. He advances to the semi-finals where he will face GM Raunak Sadhwani.
All the games
The 2021 Chess.com Junior Speed Chess Championship is an online competition for top junior players. Qualifiers for the event took place June 7-21, while the main event runs from July 1 to August 8. Players are vying for their shares totaling $ 35,000 and a spot in the Speed Chess Championship later this year. More info here; live games here.