IMSCC: ‘Local CrossFit Dad Beats Youngest World Blitz Champ’

IM Danny Rensch eliminated the reigning Women’s World Blitz Champion IM Bibisara Assaubayeva in the quarterfinals of the 2022 IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship on Tuesday.’s Chief Chess Officer Rensch was leading after the 5+1 and 3+1 blitz segments and then managed to tie the bullet portion to set a final score of 12.5-10.5.

The next match in the IMSCC will be the semifinal between Rensch and IM Eric Rosen, which begins on June 8 at 12 p.m. Pacific / 21:00 Central Europe.

Blitz 5+1:  Assaubayeva-Rensch 2-5 

Rensch, at 36 exactly double the age of Assaubayeva (18), owed his victory largely to a splendid start of the match, where he grabbed a three-point margin in the five-minute segment. He won the first game very convincingly as Black but couldn’t avoid complications in a Fianchetto King’s Indian in the second. He somehow survived and then Assaubayeva flagged:

Assaubayeva leveled the score by winning games three and four. Here’s the third, where her play was very straightforward, based on a nice attacking setup on the kingside:

Even more spectacular is that Rensch ended up winning the final three games in this segment, which saw no draws.

Blitz 3+1: Assaubayeva-Rensch 4-3

After both players won their first white game in the 3+1 segment, Assaubayeva brought the margin back to two points as Rensch blundered in a position where he had two minor pieces for a rook but a slightly weak king. It was a matter of mere seconds on the clock for both:

In this “street fight” of a match, also in the 3+1 segment, not a single draw was played. Assaubayeva also won the next game, but then it was Rensch’s turn again, who managed to keep a two-point margin going into the bullet.

Bullet 1+1:  Assaubayeva-Rensch 4.5-4.5

Assaubayeva did win the first bullet game, so everything was still possible in this match. However, what followed in the next two games was an incredible mini-collapse by the reigning women’s world blitz champion who blundered her queen two times. Anything can happen in bullet….

After 19 games, Rensch was leading with 12-7 with 11 minutes to go on the match clock. That proved too much for Assaubayeva, who did score 3.5/4 in the final four games (with, in the end, just one draw in the whole match!).

“I wasn’t holding on to my nerves, to be honest,” Rensch said about the very tense bullet segment. “At some point I looked at the clock, and I was like: ‘Oh, just don’t melt down, and you’re probably OK.'”

Assaubayeva: “I had some chances in the bullet but when I played …Qxe2, Nxe2, resigns, I thought: ‘Oh, my head is not working.”

All Games – Quarterfinal

Rensch on playing Rosen the very next day: “I’d like to say, ‘Oh no, my prep,’ but it doesn’t matter whether I prepare or not. Honestly, he plays stronger chess than I do; he plays a lot more chess than I do. I don’t expect anything but [to be] the underdog and to grovel my way into hopefully not a double-digit deficit loss. So that’s my plan for tomorrow!”

IM Speed Chess Championship 2022 Bracket

The IM Not A GM Speed Chess Championship (IMSCC) is an online event where some of the strongest IMs and other invited players compete in a series of speed 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.

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