Samay Raina Wins Comedians On Board All Stars!
Winner of COB All Stars

Samay Raina Wins Comedians On Board All Stars!

FM NiranjanNavalgund

Samay Raina clinched the Comedians On Board All stars event after beating Biswa Kalyan Rath in the finals.  The tournament was held on during March 22-30. It featured 8 popular comedians, as well as special guests for exhibition matches. 

The total prize fund of this unique event was ₹ 10 Lakhs and was sponsored by Newton Schools (title sponsor), Frontrow, Fastrack, Mama Earth and In addition to the top 4 prizes, there were some interesting categories of prizes which have become a trend in Samay Raina's events. 


Director of India - Rakesh Kulkarni announced a giveaway contest before the event and also gave the preview of this star studded event. 

Eight players played a double round-robin with a time control of 15+10 and the top 4 qualified to the next stage. 

Day 1 & Day 2  
There couldn't have been a better matchup than Yashraj vs Bhuvan Bam to kickstart the event.  

Our pick of the day was a game in "Baka Mitai" style between Angad Singh Ranyal and Sumit Sourav:

In comparison with COB 2 and COB 3, this event witnessed a lot of maturity and progress in terms of the chess strengths displayed by the comedians.  I did an overview of their Rd 1 and Rd 2 games and also introduced chess terms as I touched upon these games. 


Day 3 
Biswa Kalyan Rath stole the show on Day 3 with his inspiring preparation in the Morra Gambit. The trojan horse jump is a typical theme in morra, but Biswa chose the wrong moment to play it. The knight sacrifice was immediately accepted and that is where the danger started booming. At the end, Biswa was not able to keep the balance in time scramble and lost in a rook endgame. He did not win the game, but certainly won many hearts.  

By sheer coincidence, I had published a video on the same opening and was immediately interested to cover the game on the day it was played. 

Day 4, 5 and 6
Samay continued his fine run as he beat Tanmay Bhat, Joel D'Souza and Angad Singh Ranyal. One of the exciting moments was his game over Joel who he is usually considered to be one of the strong contenders for the top place. Samay started off with 1.f3 and 2.Kf2 and went on to win the game. 

Day 7 & Day 8
Sagar Shah and Alexandra Botez played an exciting exhibition match to start off Day 7 and there were more than 25000 people watching the game LIVE. Botez held the advantage for a few moments but then let it slip and Sagar was able to win in the endgame. 

In round 7, Samay suffered a hiccup as he lost the first game to Sumit, won the second game and eventually clinched the armageddon with the black side. 

Joel D'souza picked up the poisoned pawn on b2 and had to give up his queen and the game. The twist in the story came after Joel forced an armageddon after beating Samay in the second game with the white pieces. 

In the Armagedon, Joel came very close to ending Samay's chances. Qxf8 would have lead to a checkmate on the next move!

We can sum up this portion by sharing Samay's tweet:


The chess fans got what they wanted - Armageddon Drama! Biswa won the first game and was also close to winning the second until he blundered the rook:

Samay kept his cool in the armageddon and won a clean game that involved a deadly discovered check at the end that got him the queen and the game. 

Final standings:
1. Samay Raina
2. Biswa Kalyan Rath
3. Vaibhav Sethia
4. Joel D'Souza

The event ended on a high as it attracted a huge gathering of 50,000 people watching the finale! It is very difficult to predict the moves of these players and that added up the overall excitement of the event. Borrowing the title from Anupam Kher's autobiographical play, This is #COBAllStars and Yahan Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai [Anything can happen].

Rakesh Kulkarni has chosen a few unique names for the comedian stars and also announced the winners of the giveaway. Do watch:

Find all the streams pertaining to COB All Stars here: Playlist