PRO Chess League quarter-finals: Archbishops of Saint-Louis dominate

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Chess fans around the world watched the Arena Royale quarter-finals of the Pro Chess League on Tuesday.

Before looking at how the event unfolds, you should be aware of one change: As you may have read, there had to be three arena tournaments and one knockout match, which would have determined the last semi-finalist. However, the format has changed a bit: now a large arena tournament has a total of eight teams and 48 players, of which the top three teams qualified directly, while the fourth and fifth best had to play a knockout. for the last place.

The teams were Archbishops of Saint Louis, Wizards from Russia, Unicorns from California, Indian Yogis, Chessbrahs from Canada, Capybaras from Brazil, Gnomes from Norway and Roosters from France.

Let’s dive in and see how it went!

How to look?
The PRO Chess League Arena Royale takes place September 16-24 and features over $ 100,000 in prizes. Teams compete in a series of club and match arenas to progress and ultimately win the Arena Royale title of the PRO Chess League 2021. Games and commentary will be broadcast on Chess.com/tv.


Arena

Fans were eagerly awaiting the individual results and the team results.

As for the individual results, the GM Hikaru Nakamura, the usual favorite in most online blitz and ball events who represented Brazil’s Capybaras team, dominated the pitch and scored 70 points. In second place, GM Wesley So, playing for his usual Saint Louis team, scored 66 points. General manager Ian Nepomniachtchi finished third with 64 points.

However, because in this event the total individual results of the team members count, it is crucial to point out that the players of the Archbishops of Saint Louis clinched the fourth and fifth places: MI, Nikolas Theodorou (who comes from getting his latest GM Standard) with 60 points and GM Jeffery Xiong with 58 points gave the team a huge boost.

The event produced many interesting games, but you might enjoy a quiet positional encounter. Let’s learn from this one!

As a result, the event was dominated by the Archbishops of Saint Louis with a total team score of 294 points. The team was represented by So, Theodorou, Xiong, GM Hans Niemann and GM Fabiano Caruana. Caruana, one of the best players in the world, scored just 29 points, which earned him 28th individual place out of 30; however, the rest of the team performed spectacularly.

The Russia Wizards placed second with 246 team points, slightly behind Saint Louis. Specifically, much of his success was achieved by Nepomniachtchi, placing third with 64 points. However, GM Evgeniy Tomashevskiy also scored very well (49 points and sixth individual place), while other teammates namely GM Maxim Chigaev, GM Alexey Sarana and GM Vladimir Fedoseev also contributed considerably with 44, 34 and 30 points respectively.

Finally, in third place, the California Unicorns team owes its success to GM Daniel Naroditsky, who got 46 points and ninth individual place, GM Baadur Jobava (42 points), GM Georg Meier (40 points), IM Christopher Yoo ( 38 points), and MI Tuan Minh Le (34 points). In total, the players achieved a team score of 227 points.

Congratulations to all the winners !

The scale

The event format allows the top three teams to qualify automatically, while the fourth and fifth ranked teams must play a ranking match for last place. It was quite disappointing for the India Yogis, who got 224 points, just three points from third place. However, the Canada Chessbrahs, who scored 192 points, may not have much to complain about as they have a chance to advance to the quarter-finals.

Ladder match means that one member of Team A takes on a player from Team B, and by winning they then face another member of Team B and continues until all members of a team are eliminated.

The India Yogis team was represented by GM Nihal Sarin, R Praggnanandhaa, Raunak Sadhwani and Vidit Gujrathi. They played Team Canada chess with GMs Anish Giri, Velimir Ivic, Eric Hansen and Jorden van Foreest.

GM Nihal Sarin PCL Royal Arena
General Manager Nihal Sarin has achieved two crucial victories for the Yogis. Photo: Maria Emelianova / Chess.com.

The match started with Vidit facing and beating van Forest. Then Vidit faced Hansen and beat him as well. In the next meeting, Vidit faced Giri, who managed to avoid the elimination of another member of the Canadian team and dominated Vidit.

Giri also crushed Sadhwani and Praggnanandhaa, when the Indian team appeared to be a big underdog as they only had one player left, namely Sarin. What tension!

However, Sarin managed to turn the tide completely by beating both Giri (take pleasure in analyzing this dramatic encounter) and the last player of the Canadian team, Ivic!

As a result, the India Yogis won the KO to successfully take the fourth remaining place of the semi-finals and make all of their fans extremely happy. It was a truly fascinating event to follow!


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