Pogchamps 2 action continued on Thursday with three more quarterfinal matchups, including two that came down to blitz tiebreakers to determine a winner.
The day began with a clash between Group C winner TFBlade and Group D runner-up Hafthor “Hafthorjulius” Bjornsson in what many expected to be one of the more competitive quarterfinal matches.
The Mountain Crumbles
Blade came in as the higher-rated player and showed his strength in the first game. While the two found their way into an equal endgame, Blade managed to win an exchange to gain an advantage. While Bjornsson still had chances to put up stiff defense, one more blunder put the game away, and Blade took a 1-0 lead as “The Mountain” allowed his clock to expire.
Bjornsson roared back in Game 2. After Blade gained a huge material advantage and looked to be putting the match away with little issue, a series of tactical errors around Blade’s king gave Bjornsson the edge. While hafthorjuilus missed an immediate checkmate, he still scooped up more than enough material to win, forcing TFBlade to resign.
Blade held the white pieces in the blitz tiebreaker. While the two played evenly through the middlegame, Blade trapped one of Bjornsson’s knights, giving him an advantage that he eventually converted into checkmate and a 2-1 match victory.
— Chess.com (@chesscom) September 3, 2020
“I think this tournament is amazing,” Bjornsson said after his Pogchamps loss. “Chess is a rough game, but it’s a nice game as well, because anyone can play it, and as a player, you can grow so much.”
QTCinderella Advances to Consolation Semifinals
QTCinderella finished last in Group C, but played impressively in her final match, leading many fans to see her as a dark horse to win the Pogchamps consolation bracket. She seemed headed that way after winning material against ConnorEatsPants in their first game on Thursday, but ultimately lost after failing to realize the rising danger to her king as Connor’s pieces set up a checkmate.
There would be no such error in Game 2. QTCinderella controlled the action from start to finish, securing a checkmate in just 20 moves. That momentum carried over into a blitz tiebreaker where Connor simply couldn’t play fast enough to stay in the game. Already up a piece, QTCinderella won the game and the match when Connor ran out of time, once again after 20 moves.
“That was a stupid way to win,” QTCinderalla said afterward. “I feel like I didn’t deserve to win – Connor was just slow.”
Easywithaces Forces Carson to Fold from Pogchamps
Thursday’s final Pogchamps match pitted consolation bracket favorite Easywithaces against CallMeCarson, who made more of an impression with his creative backgrounds and streaming style than through his chess play.
While Carson hung tough in Game 1, he wasn’t able to stop Easywithaces from promoting two pawns in the endgame to find a checkmate. The second game ended quickly as Easywithaces checkmated Carson with Black in just 15 moves.
Only two Pogchamps 2 quarterfinal matches remain. On Friday, Hafu will battle Forsen in one of the most important matches of the championship bracket, as the winner could emerge as the favorite to win the entire tournament. That will be followed by the last consolation bracket quarterfinal, which pits Zexrow against AustinShow.