IM Minh Le Wins October Bullet Titled Arena


The October Lichess Bullet Titled Arena was won on Saturday by IM Minh Le from Vietnam. A very solid performance put him 9 points clear of US Grandmaster Andrew Tang, who is a legend for his bullet and hyper bullet speed. In the end, Tang was just one point ahead of former European Blitz champion GM Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus, who won 3rd on tiebreak with FM Dinçer Taşdöğen.

Aligning to prize winner positions, let us check out three key games from the winner, two from the runner up, and one from the 3rd placed prize winner. Also, let's show a "quick-win" bonus from each for fun.

IM Minh Le

In this game against GM Oleksander Bortnyk, perhaps d5 is a bit dodgy allowing white an aggressive pawn formation and forcing the poor knight back to g8. Le won in only 24 moves.

Here IM Cem Kaan Gokerkan missed that Bxe6 is possible, winning a piece.

GM David Paravyan thought that this discovered attack on the queen won a pawn, but he missed the intermezzo Rxe8. The bishop can desperado on f2 to get another pawn, but Le is still winning easily.

GM Andrew Tang was within striking distance with only a few minutes to go in the event when he played the unfortunate Qxe3 allowing Bd4, which wins the queen.

GM Andrew Tang

The London system torture prevails in this game. After Bc7, a5 will fall. Tang converted the extra pawn easily.

GM Haik Martirosyan's king is just too exposed. A brutal final attack finished the game quickly.

GM Max Warmerdam missed the threat of Nc6 and allowed a nasty fork.

GM Sergei Zhigalko

White perhaps feels a slight panic and plays b4 weakening c3 and allowing a fatal double-attack.

GM Amin Tabatabaei played Nf6 here, missing a game-winning tactic.

Takeaway points

  • Very solid tactical and positional play at high speeds!
  • The use of the dreaded London system by Le and Tang.
  • It is often the "weakness of the last move" that wins at bullet chess!
  • The Blunders are all there waiting to be made - especially in bullet chess.

Giving commentary for the Lichess Youtube/Twitch channels was IM Alex Astaneh:

Enjoy a puzzle pack from the event:

The next Titled Arena is on November 6th.