The first few matches ended with the expected easy wins for the much higher-rated Fundy and boxbox, who defeated Tectone and JustaMinx. However, MrBeast fought tooth and nail during the epic third match before eventually succumbing to Ludwig in the second tiebreak game of their PogChamps rematch.
The first match of the day was as exciting as it was fast. Fundy showed he’s one of the Poggers to watch during the event after winning a clean match against Tectone.
Viewers who decided to grab a quick snack to prepare for the second day of PogChamps 4 might’ve missed the first game altogether. Tectone was counting on the solidity of his beloved Hippo defense to face his higher-rated opponent, but his strategy backfired. Fundy delivered checkmate only 11 moves after the game started, making this the second-quickest game in PogChamps history.
“The Hippo, to me… I thought it was an impenetrable defense,” Tectone said in his post-match interview. “Well, today it got penetrated. And that sucked!”
The second game was not as quick, but Fundy still dominated the game. Tectone went for the Hippo with the white pieces, which seemed to confuse Fundy. Still, the Dutch streamer got a good position out of the opening, especially after taking advantage of a well-known Chess.com “glitch.”
Fundy used his positional advantage to win material after spotting a game-winning skewer. After stopping Tectone’s promotion threats, Fundy had no trouble winning the game and keeping his promise to blunder a queen.
During the post-match interview, Fundy said he was slightly perplexed with how the first game ended. “I thought I saw a checkmate, but I spent a minute staring at the screen like ‘Is this actually happening? Am I really sure this is happening right now?'”
Even though JustaMinx was not optimistic about her chances against boxbox, she was making great moves even before the game started. The Irish streamer promised she would make donations to cancer research after each blunder, loss, or if she checkmates her opponent.
My POGCHAMPS game against boxbox is today. I’m rated 250 and I haven’t even won against a beginner bot. Guaranteed loss.
to make the match fun I’ve decided for every L I take I’ll donate to cancer research
Every loss: $100
Every Blunder: $10
If i win with checkmate it’s 1000
— minx (@JustaMinx) August 30, 2021
Boxbox confirmed expectations and made his 1000+ rating point difference show. He took advantage of Minx’s mistakes to checkmate her twice and share Group B’s lead with Sapnap.
The initial stage of the first game surprised everyone as the underdog JustaMinx won a pawn out of the opening. Things got even more unclear after Minx accidentally put her king on f8, which turned out to help her a few moves later. Unfortunately, things went south for her after boxbox tried trading queens—which JustaMinx promptly refused to do.
Minx played well during the opening stage of the second game. She did a good job developing her pieces and keeping her king safe but eventually erred and blundered a knight. Boxbox once more had no trouble using his material advantage to put pressure in the position and checkmate Minx.
After his victory, boxbox seized his opportunity to send his chess nemesis Ludwig a message:
Stakes were high for the last match of the day. The higher-rated player and Pog veteran Ludwig was confident about his chances to win the rematch against MrBeast. Just like in PogChamps 3, Ludwig went to Twitter to propose a bet, which MrBeast accepted:
loser has to post a picture on their instagram in a cat maid outfit
— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) August 30, 2021
The first game of the match was by far the most electrifying of the day. MrBeast showed outstanding opening preparation to get a good position against Ludwig’s Scandinavian. The world stood still after MrBeast shocked everyone yet again by sacrificing his rook to win a queen.
In a game that was full of ups and downs, MrBeast kept pressing his advantage. Ludwig defended well and tried to hold the position to use Beast’s ticking clock as a weapon. After MrBeast fell for a technically failing fork, the players entered a winning but tricky endgame for MrBeast.
Still, MrBeast played excellent chess and managed to promote his pawn to a queen. With the ghost of stalemate looming, tens of thousands of viewers held their breath and watched MrBeast successfully checkmating Ludwig.
Ludwig had an easier time during the second game of the match. After getting a much better position out of the opening, Ludwig put MrBeast under severe pressure. It seemed like Ludwig would casually cruise his way to victory until he blundered his bishop.
MrBeast’s generosity, however, made Ludwig’s life much easier. After the Beast gave his opponent the piece back, Ludwig got a significant advantage in the endgame. Shaken by his defeat, Ludwig took considerable time to win the game, leading MrBeast to call him during the game. The two players eventually connected over the phone during the break for a little more trash talking.
In the first tiebreak of the event, there was no telling who would come out on top. A chaotic blitz game unfolded, with a complicated position where both players missed a few tactical shots. In another game where both players were winning but lost their advantage, Ludwig eventually entered a dominating endgame with three pawns and a knight again.
It seemed like Ludwig was about to guarantee his victory until time pressure got the best of him. In an unimaginable turn of events, Ludwig stalemated MrBeast’s king, taking the match to a second tiebreak blitz game.
In yet another close game, MrBeast made his higher-rated opponent sweat for the win. The players entered a drawn endgame with opposite-colored bishops, making it seem like a third blitz game would have to take place. Sadly for MrBeast, he caved under time pressure and allowed Ludwig to create an unstoppable passed pawn. Ludwig let out a sigh of relief after checkmating his opponent to secure the win.
After the games, MrBeast said that his position as the underdog motivated him to try to win. “Before the match, you guys said they bet 3 million points on Lud and only 100,000 on me? Oh, no! Now I gotta win!” He also pointed out that the secret to his success was his opening preparation: “It’s the same as last year. Lud, you literally do the same thing every single game. I know your first 25 moves like the back of my hand. I’m not going to win a single other match for the rest of this tournament.”
Ludwig commented on MrBeast’s strategy and revealed how he handled it. “I realized pretty quickly that [MrBeast] knew every single thing I was going to do, so then I was like ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, so if I don’t know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what I’m going to do.'”
All Games Day 2
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!
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