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Armageddon: Americas most memorable moments

The 2023 World Chess Armageddon Championship Series kicked off on March 6th in Berlin, Germany. Eight strong players fought under immense time pressure with Wesley So and Sam Shankland hitting the top and qualifying to the Grand Finale in September 14th.

Wesley So, Sam Shankland, Andrew Tang, Leinier Dominguez, Ray Robson, Eric Hansen, and FIDE Online Arena qualifiers Renato Terry and Jose Martinez competed in a different format for a chance to win €50,000 and two spots in the Grand Finale.

The Armageddon Championship Series has become one of the most attractive and televised chess events of the year, broadcast live on over 16 online and TV platforms, with the highlights being showcased around the world on platforms like CNBC, BeIN Sports and FOX Australia. What made it even more revolutionary were the technological innovations, such as real-time heart rate monitoring, and the visually captivating bespoke studio set.

Here are some of our most memorable moments:

Dominguez-Tang Armageddon game

Andrew Tang, a legend in bullet chess, proved his title right against the five-time Cuban Champion Leinier Dominguez in Day 2. “Can’t count how many pawns Dominguez was up. Can’t count that high!” Simon Williams commented on Leinier’s missed chances against Andrew Tang in their second game which ended in a draw and led the two GMs to the Armageddon.

After this crazy Armageddon game, both players agreed that White has won the game, which meant that Dominguez lost the match with a 2-1 score and will have a second chance tonight against Ray Robson. “It was completely insane. I was unlucky to have to promote 2 queens actually cause it took a few more seconds. Obviously I’m more used to flagging people online, so I think I waited too long to start playing quickly and it just turned to a complete mess!” Tang said about the Armageddon game.

Eric Hansen’s addiction to time trouble

First match of Day 3 was Sam Shankland against Eric Hansen. The intense time format didn’t help Eric to play in his full potential and lost the match with a 2-0 score. “I’ll do almost all my training on classical chess and never been great at rapid and blitz so I was glad I avoided elimination today” Sam Shankland commented on his win, adding: The goal is to play on more day every time!”. On the other hand Eric was really disappointed and wanted to find a dungeon and get spanked (!) for his addiction on time trouble!

When players shared more about their lives

Jose Martinez stopped the clock and called the arbiter

Second match of Day 4 was Andrew Tang against Jose Martinez. The match got to a very intense Armageddon, where both players had seconds and were trying to flag each other. When Tang promoted a queen, Martinez thought that his pawn had made 2 moves instead of one, so he stopped the clock and called the arbiter. After consulting the footage, it was clear that there are no illegal moves, so Martinez immediately lost the game and the match.

Wesley So and Andrew Tang signing autographs

Great interviews

The next stage of the tournament, featuring eight players from the Asia & Oceania region, including Gukesh D (India), Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), Yangyi Yu (China), Daniil Dubov (FIDE), Vidit Gujrathi (India), Vladimir Kramnik (FIDE), Murali Karthikeyan (India), is set to take place from April 3 to 9. With the same dramatic format and immense time pressure, it promises to be another thrilling display of chess at its most exciting.

Watch the Armageddon: Americas again

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