It’s not clear if ItsHafu came into Pogchamps 2 as the strongest player in the field on Day 1, but she finished the online chess tournament as a dominant champion after defeating Gripex in a final match that showed just how far ahead of the pack she stands.

Pogchamps 2 ItsHafu Hafu
ItsHafu finished off Gripex 2-0 in the final to win the Pogchamps 2 championship. (Image: Chess.com)

Hafu beat Gripex 2-0 to cap off an undefeated run through Pogchamps, including three group stage matches and three knockout rounds in the championship bracket.

In fact, Hafu allowed only a single draw in the event, offering up a half-point to xQc in a winning position to clinch a match victory during pool play. She easily won nearly all of her matches, with a time scramble against David Pakman providing the only major moment of doubt early on in her run.

Hafu Dominates Pogchamps from Start to Finish

In Sunday’s final, ItsHafu started with White and opted for an Italian opening. Gripex tried to surprise her with an early pawn push to d4, but Hafu was well prepared, answering back with e5 to put Black on the defensive. Hafu won a piece in the opening, then put the game away by winning Gripex’s queen with a fork. Gripex struggled on for 59 moves, but Hafu eventually got the checkmate to go up 1-0 in the match.

Game 2 provided more tension. Hafu gained a promising position as black, but a slip on the 25th move looked to hand the advantage to Gripex. Unfortunately, he failed to respond properly, and it was instead Hafu who took advantage by winning an exchange. Gripex still held on to some chances thanks to a powerful knight on d6, but it wasn’t enough to stop Hafu from setting up at least a guaranteed draw by perpetual check. With the match already decided, Gripex fell into a mating net, allowing Hafu to claim a 2-0 victory and the Pogchamps title.

Hafu credited her victory to the hard work she’s put in over the past couple of months. In a post-match interview, she revealed that she had an alt account on Chess.com where she played more than 1,000 blitz games and 500 bullet games – in addition to all of the chess she had been playing on her Twitch stream.

“It feels amazing! I cried a little when I won. It feels like a relief,” Hafu said. “I’ve worked really really hard, and by working so hard, I had a lot of pressure to perform, so it’s a huge relief that it paid off.”

Hafu took home $10,000 for winning Pogchamps 2, while Gripez won $6,000 as the runner-up.

Easywithaces Takes Consolation Bracket Crown

The Pogchamps consolation bracket also wrapped up on Sunday, with Easywithaces taking down Cizzorz 2-0. Easywithaces tried a questionable but dangerous sacrifice with Black in Game 1, exposing Cizzorz’s king and eventually winning the material back with interest. Rather than find a checkmate, Easywithaces went into an endgame up a rook and easily converted the win.

Cizzorz missed a golden opportunity to equalize in Game 2. Easywithaces hung his queen in the opening, but a fatigued Cizzorz simply missed it.

The game remained balanced through 20 moves before Easywithaces won a bishop to gain a decisive material advantage. Once again, he converted up a rook in the endgame to clinch the 2-0 victory.

Easywithaces earned $3,500 as the Pogchamps 2 consolation bracket winner, while Cizzorz won $2,500.

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