In the third match of the 2020 Speed Chess Championship Main Event the Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev (@Bigfish1995) scored an upset victory against Iranian-born teenage star GM Alireza Firouzja (@Firouzja2003). Fedoseev ended up winning the match in overtime.
There have been quite a few epic matches in the history of the Speed Chess Championship but the Firouzja-Fedoseev match was something special. Co-commentator GM Anish Giri couldn’t hide his excitement and even admiration for his fellow St. Petersburg-born grandmaster Fedoseev.
It was a clash between two of the most active online players these days. „I was playing online from eight years old. I guess I’m just a little addicted, I think, and I am good at it,“ said Firouzja.
Fedoseev: „I play a lot of online blitz because I see it as good practice. You can play a lot of good players and spend a good time.“
The first upset result of the championship was a combination of Firouzja not finding his top form and Fedoseev playing some very impressive chess, even when under huge psychological pressure during the playoff as he failed to decide matters earlier.
The match saw a shocking start as Alireza lost three of the first four games, with one draw. Especially the second game strongly suggested that the Iranian-born prodigy did not come to the battle in his best form – Firouzja simply overlooked the opponent’s obvious threat.
It took seven games and more than an hour of play before Firouzja finally scored his first win. Two draws followed and so it was Fedoseev who was leading by a two-point margin going into the three-minute segment. Except for a draw in the first, all three-minute games ended decisively. Alireza won that segment 4.5-3.5 to narrow the deficit to just one point before the bullet.