PRO Chess League - Week 1 Recap: San Jose Hackers vs. Webster Windmills
In Week 1 of the first season of the PRO Chess League the San Jose Hackers (1-0) defeated the Webster Windmills (0-1) by a score of 11-5.
Here was the match lineup, including how each player scored:
|GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 3.0/4||GM Ray Robson 2.0/2|
|GM Daniel Naroditsky 2.5/4||GM Priyadharshan Kannappan 0.0/4|
|GM Cristian Chirila 3.0/4||IM Irene Sukandar 0.0/2|
|NM Christopher Yoo 2.5/4||IM Eric Rosen 1.0/4|
After Round 2 Webster substituted two players (known beforehand) - GM Vasif Durarbayli (1.5/2) and GM Ashwin Jayaram (0.5/2). This dominant performance by the Hackers exceeded the expectations of all five official predictions, despite a forfeit loss by our top board, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in Round 1! For a recap of all Week 1 matches, check out Chess.com's report here.
I streamed our match live on Twitch and had a great time doing it. Feel free to watch the full show to relive all of the ups and downs of the match:
And now for a round-by-round recap:
Two minutes into the season and things started out very rough for the Hackers. As boards 2-4 had already started their games, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was unable to access the Live Chess server and was then forfeited (!) for his first round game against Webster's top seed, GM Ray Robson. This was especially disappointing considering he was online, just unfamiliar with how to get into LIve Chess. We hoped for some leniency but rules are rules, and just like that we were down 0-1. But the team did not get discouraged, and both Chirila and Naroditsky scored big wins to tie the first match 2-2, as NM Christopher Yoo lost against IM Eric Rosen in Round 1.
Check out Naroditsky's big win over GM Priyadharshan Kannappan:
After the initial setback we felt quite good going forward, as now "Shakh" was ready to play, and play he did, as he scored three consecutive wins against Webster boards 2-3-4. Naroditsky fell to Robson's strong attack in the Ruy Lopez, while Cristian found his own decisive attack against Rosen:
With the total score of 11-5, we felt like everything in the match had gone our way (except for the first two minutes, of course). All four players played extremely well, but huge props go to NM Christopher Yoo, who really showed nerves of steel in all his games.