International Master Benjamin Bok won the 11th Chess.com Blitz Death Match, beating Grandmaster Robin Van Kampen in a thrilling contest by the narrowest possible margin! The final score was Bok 13½, Van Kampen 12½.
The match was held on Saturday, February 2nd, with Bok becoming the first Dutch winner, taking home the larger share of the $1,000 cash prize.
The result was a rating upset, with IM Bok (Elo 2526) a slight underdog against GM Van Kampen (Elo 2596).
The scores were tied 3½-3½ after the opening set of 5/1 games, but Van Kampen edged out to a narrow lead by winning the 3/1 section 4½-3½. As happens so often in Chess.com's Blitz Death Matches, the nerve-jangling 1/1 games changed everything; Bok won 6½-4½ to claim the overall victory!
Here are some of the exciting games from the match. First, an entertaining early win for Bok at the 5/1 time control when Van Kampen's king got caught in a mating net.
Here's a closely fought game from the 3/1 section, where Van Kampen used his passed pawn effectively in a queen and rook ending to claim a 3rd straight win.
Finally, one of the crucial wins for Bok at the frenetic 1/1 time control to take the lead. Van Kampen never managed to equalise the scores after this game.
You can watch a replay of the match, hosted by IM Rensch and The Poet at www.Chess.com/tv!