A Match of Death

In January, chess.com introduced a whole new level of extreme chess. Dubbed a "deathmatch", 2 players will play 3 consecutive hours of blitz and/or bullet games and whoever wins the most total games walks away the winner, and takes a big stake of the prize. I really enjoyed watching the first 2 matches, Pruess vs Rensch and Shahade vs Sharma, and was looking forward to my own. My opponent was to be GM Robert Hess, a very strong young American Grandmaster who I've tangled with many times before. The match itself was completely exhausting, but a lot of fun and I would love to do another one! Robert and I produced some good games in the 5 1 section of the match, but in the faster time controls (3 1 and 1 1) the  quality dropped a bit, often seeing one side play an excellent game and achieve a great position only to mess it up because the time was so short. But, this created a lot of excitement for the fans! I'll start out by showing what I believe the 2 best played games of the match were, and ironically they were played back to back.

The match was very close throughout, with nobody ever leading by more than 2 or 3 games. With just 3 minutes left in the match, I was leading by one game, but I manged to win the penultimate game (in a far from perfect display) to stretch my lead to 2 games with only time for one more, finally clinching the match at the very end.


I'll give a few more games here, each of which I think was really exciting and fun, with some great play under such short time contraints.

And to keep things fun, to finish off I'll include 1 game from each of us that shows in blitz, even strong GMs can let completely won positions take disastrous turns!

Thanks to everyone who came out and watched, and I hope Robert and I didn't disappoint!


  • 5 years ago


    Thanks Chess.com.

  • 5 years ago


    Money mouth

  • 5 years ago


    great games. thanks to chess.com for bringing to chess a higher level of excitement and entertainment.

  • 5 years ago


    IMHO this was the best one so far ... the game quality was great and the coommentary ... very very good.  It was a lot of fun to watch live on chess.com TV

  • 5 years ago


    It was awsome and Thanks commentators

  • 5 years ago


    nxt time i'll try to watch the live matches

    but these were helpful too

  • 5 years ago


    @THETUBESTER lol that's why they had to say it was on at 12:00--because they were talking on March 31. 12:00 that night would have been...

  • 5 years ago


    @melvinbluestone - your comment just really, really bummed me out

  • 5 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    that was awesome u must do it again !!!!!

  • 5 years ago


    Entertaining! I missed the live matches. Cry

  • 5 years ago

    IM dpruess

    sidgar, you can rewatch the show by going to chess.com/tv and then next to chat in the upper right, click on "videos" and select it from the top of the list.

    ofc we can use larger cash prizes to lure larger fish!

  • 5 years ago


    Is there a link to the video?

  • 5 years ago


    ish was cray. grats both of you for some ill games and thanks danny and david for supremo commentary

    and Hammertime was AWESOME...more cameos next time please! (maybe a Magtown cameo?!)

    @THETUBESTER deathmatch 4 is Kasparov Nakamura can't you read? Cool

  • 5 years ago


    It was just great. Especially the endgames were really fun to watch.

  • 5 years ago


    Really GM level! Very interesting games,many nice tactical and positional ideas! Thanks!

  • 5 years ago


    Loving the death match concept, and both of you did awesome. I was really feeling the excitement. Also an applause to Pruess and papa bear for giving awesome commentary that literally kept me at the edge of my seat. Your excitement was contagious! Can't wait for the next one.

  • 5 years ago


    The blog stated,"...but in the faster time controls (3 1 and 1 1) the  quality dropped a bit..."

    I think it was good and exciting stuff though.  It's surely very very difficult to play that type of match with virtually no breaks.

    Thanks to the two players and to chess.com!

  • 5 years ago


    One of the best things ever happened on this awesome site ! Thanks to everyone involved, specially to Sam & Robert for some exciting games!!

  • 5 years ago

    GM KaydenTroff

    Congratulations Sam! :)

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