Another exciting day of PogChamps 4 presented by Coinbase kept viewers glued to their seats as the most unpredictable matches yet happened.
Sapnap defeated a partying JustaMinx with ease while she was distracted partying. The three other matches were much closer: IamCristinini barely beat Rubius, and QTCinderella and 5uppp defeated NickEh30 and Ludwig respectively in tiebreaks.
Focused Sapnap Defeats Partying JustaMinx
An unconventional match marked the beginning of the day. Sapnap, playing quickly and well, capitalized on his opponent’s mistakes. JustaMinx, on the other hand, put all her energy into partying hard.
After Sapnap had made his first move in the first game, it took some time for JustaMinx to get back to her chair and start playing. The highly hydrated Minx was clearly distracted by her vacation and hung her pieces one by one. Sapnap, on the other hand, was so focused he didn’t even realize that IM Danny Rensch tampered with his clock.
The second game also did not go too well for Minx. In a game where her Botez Gambit seemed like just any other of the moves she played, no one was surprised to see Sapnap bring home the win. Except for JustaMinx, of course.
Cristinini Beats Rubius After Upsetting Mouse Slip
No one could predict what would happen in the match between the two Spanish streaming giants. Even though IamCristinini is the lower-rated player, her earlier performance in PogChamps was an indication that it would be a close match.
Rubius tried to go for a quick win in the first game and chose to attempt the Scholar’s Mate. Cristinini didn’t fall for the checkmate trick, but Rubius got a good position anyway and eventually won a piece. It seemed like Rubius would bag the first game until a mouse slip sealed his fate and helped Cristinini checkmate him.
It seemed Cristinini would win the second game after Rubius blundered a bishop during the middle game. The tables turned after Cristinini miscalculated and hung a rook, putting Rubius back. With a huge material advantage, nothing could stop Rubius from taking the decision to tiebreaks—except for himself.
“Who invented that? That doesn’t make any sense!” was Rubius’ comment about stalemate during his post-match interview. A great question posed by a great streamer.
Cristinini was in disbelief about her impressive performance in the event. “I don’t know what happened. I have no idea what was going on in this match,” she said. “I don’t know how I ended up in the championship bracket, but now I’m here.”
QTCinderella Wins, Makes It To Championship Bracket
In true PogChamps fashion, another unbelievable match happened between QTCinderella and NickEh30. Nick showed an impressive understanding of chess concepts even though he just started learning. Sadly for him, his anxiety got in his way and led him to make game-losing blunders, making QT’s job easier.
The first game was quick, as QTCinderella played a genius blunder that worked out in her favor. After giving NickEh30 a free piece, she played well and capitalized on Nick’s exposed kingside to launch an attack on her opponent’s king.
The second game of the match was a wild one. QT managed to get an extra piece in the middle game and had a considerable material advantage. She seemed to have an easy win until she blundered and let Nick promote his pawn. After struggling with a nonexistent threat of a stalemate, Nick proudly delivered his first PogChamps checkmate.
After Nick’s win, the players moved on to decide the match in tiebreaks. QT went for the Botez Gambit, which Nick happily accepted. Under blitz time pressure, Nick hung his queen (twice) and gave away his advantage. QT eventually won an unfavorable endgame to make it to the championship bracket.
“I have to start studying a little more now,” said QT about her future participation in the championship bracket. “Maybe I have some things in my pocket that Levy [Rozman] taught me, so we’re just waiting,” she warned.
Nick was happy about his performance: “I’ve been practicing a lot, doing puzzles and different things like that. I have an amazing coach, and I’ve been really enjoying it. I think when you enjoy something you really want to put that extra effort into learning. So I can’t complain!”
5uppp Edges Ludwig In A Close Match
No one knew what to expect of the 5uppp-Ludwig match. Ludwig’s PogChamps experience seemingly gave him a slight edge, but 5uppp also seemed to be a seasoned player.
Aside from a few inaccuracies by each side, both players did well in the first game. Ludwig, eventually faltering in the endgame, gave 5uppp a comfortable advantage that he had no trouble converting.
In another incredible game, both players made great moves throughout most of it. 5uppp slipped and blundered a piece, giving Ludwig a winning material advantage. Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual served Ludwig well after entering a winning endgame and successfully playing the winning technique that tied the match.
The tiebreak was as thrilling as the previous two games. Both players were eager to play fast and get into an endgame where Ludwig won a pawn and had good winning chances. It was at this point that Ludwig blundered and lost his knight and the match.
Both players made it to the championship bracket but on opposite sides. “Honestly, it feels super stressful; I don’t even know how to process it,” 5uppp commented about winning Group A. “But I’m really happy. Bottom line for me was there were some super fun games.”
“This almost worked out for me in a way,” Ludwig said. “I do think that Fundy is the strongest person in the field right now. I’m excited I’m not on Fundy’s side of the bracket.”
All Games Day 8
You can see all the updated results at pogchampschess.com.
PogChamps 4 started on August 29 and will run through September 12. You can read more information about the event here. Make sure to tune into the action on Chess.com/tv or Twitch, or on our Events platform.
PogChamps 4 is presented by Coinbase. Whether you’re looking to make your first crypto purchase or you’re an experienced trader, Coinbase has you covered. Earn crypto by learning about crypto with Coinbase Earn, power up your trading with Coinbase’s advanced features, get exclusive rewards when you spend with Coinbase Card, and much more. Learn more at Coinbase.com/Chess.
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