Shevchenko Defeats Vokhidov In 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship Round Of 16


GM Kirill Shevchenko advanced today at the 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by SIG with a hard-fought match victory over GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov. Though Shevchenko led throughout, the match reached its climax when he had to overcome a three-game winning streak attempted comeback by Vokhidov late in the bullet segment.

The next match in the round of 16 sees GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa face IM Christopher Yoo on Monday, April 18, at 9 a.m. Pacific / 18:00 Central European.

How to watch?

The Junior Speed Chess Championship presented by SIG features top junior players competing in a series of blitz and bullet chess matches. Each match consists of a 5+1 blitz segment, a 3+1 blitz segment, and a 1+1 bullet segment, with the player who scores the most points winning the match. If there’s a tie, players play a four-game 1+1 match to decide the winner. If the tie persists, an armageddon game with a bidding system decides the winner.

Blitz 5|1: Shevchenko 6, Vokhidov 3

In the early games, Shevchenko and Vokhidov kept the score fairly level, trading wins back and forth. Game two saw a double-edged draw with two rooks vs. a queen and pawn.

Vokhidov consistently showed strong preparation in the opening, gaining great positions and time edges early in the game, such as in game five where Shevchenko seemed to be struggling to equalize with White throughout the game. 

In game six, Vokhidov blundered a piece to an intermezzo tactic, allowing Shevchenko to take over the match lead.

Shevchenko capitalized on the momentum, ending the five-minute blitz segment with a three-point lead.

Blitz 3|1: Shevchenko 4, Vokhidov 4

The three-minute blitz segment began with a close game that traded into a rook and bishop ending with Vokdhidov up a pawn. It looked like Shevchenko was going to be able to hold the draw when he blundered his bishop to a double attack. Shevchenko recovered the next game with a convincing victory with two rooks against a queen. 

Vokhidov brought the match score within one point with his second victory in a row in game four where he outplayed Shevchenko in an Alapin Sicilian.

Vokhidov was on his way to a third victory in a row, which would’ve tied the score, when he blundered to an inference tactic. 

In the last game of this segment, Vokhidov defended well against Shevchenko’s attack and looked to be in the clear—until he blundered his queen.

Bullet 1|1: Shevchenko 5, Vokhidov 5

Although Shevchenko started and ended the bullet portion with a three-point lead, it was a far more topsy-turvy segment than the final score shows. Initially, Shevchenko won the first three games, gaining a six-point lead and making it look like the match result was a foregone conclusion. 

The first game showed a common pattern of the match: Vokhidov gained a promising position out of the opening but Shevchenko fought back resourcefully in the middlegame to take over the position in the critical moments.

Game four was the start of a three-game winning streak by Vokhidov, flipping the momentum to his favor, including a win in a sharp battle with both kings under fire in game five. 

Game seven was a pivotal moment in the match. The players went into the ultra-sharp Silician Richter-Rauzer where Black’s king intentionally stays in the center of the board. Vokhidov, playing White, found a hole in the king’s defenses and created a mating attack but overlooked the finish and ended up blundering his rook. Can you find the checkmate he missed?

Game eight sealed the match victory for Shevchenko when he was able to catch Vokhidov in a zugzwang.

After the match, Shevchenko shared about his efforts along with GM Hikaru Nakamura to help people in Ukraine: “I decided to somehow help our people and thanks to Hikaru Nakamura, he made a very big charity stream, and we raised a lot of money. I hope it went to the right hands and helped a lot of people.”

All Games – Round of 16

Junior Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket

Junior Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket

The 2022 Junior Speed Chess Championship is an online tournament for top junior players. The qualifiers ran March 31-April 8, while the main event began April 11 and will conclude May 13. Players are vying for their share of the $35,000 prize fund and a spot in the 2022 Speed Chess Championship.

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