Anand Leads High-Scoring Indian Contingent In PRO Chess Round 6
Anand scored 3.5/4 this round of the PRO Chess League.

Anand Leads High-Scoring Indian Contingent In PRO Chess Round 6

NM SamCopeland
Feb 16, 2018, 10:30 AM |
21 | News

What do GMs Avital Boruchovsky, Yaroslav ZherebukhOleksandr Bortnyk, and Alexey Dreev have in common? They all scored 4/4 in round six of the PRO Chess League and led their teams to victory.

Both Boruchovsky and Bortnyk, by virtue of the fact that this was their first week competing, are also undefeated. They are the only two undefeated players in the league. In fact, each also picked up game of the week nominations below for their inspired play.

Cast your vote in the game and move of the week polls!

PRO Chess League Round 6 Highlights: Indians Crushing PRO Chess League

This week, the top three players in India—Viswanathan Anand, Pentala Harikrishna, and Santosh Vidit Gujrathi—all played for Indian teams in the PRO Chess League. Collectively, they were undefeated with a score of 10/12. Anand and Vidit both scored 3.5/4 for the Mumbai Movers, who bested a seemingly strong Volga Stormbringers team.

Here's an interesting pawn endgame Anand won, while Vidit got multiple game and move of the week nominations.


Even more impressive were the Delhi Dynamite who defeated the Riga Magicians by a score of 11-5, even getting 3/4 on board four from a player new to this author, Srija Seshadri. Here's one of her two wins in an undefeated day.


PRO Chess League Round 6 Highlights: Favorites Feeling The Heat

With the move from 48 to 32 teams and the addition of a qualification system this year, there are no easy matches and no weak teams. That means that many teams are starting to nervously eye the standings as they flirt with missing the playoffs or even being relegated as the regular season nears its finale in three more weeks.



Teams in green are currently slated for the playoffs. Teams in red are currently facing relegation.

Teams at risk of missing the playoffs include Magnus Carlsen's Norway Gnomes and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's San Jose Hackers.

Two other fan favorites facing relegation are the Montreal Chessbrahs and Hikaru Nakamura's Seattle Sluggers. The Chessbrahs are currently on 2/4 and in a three-way tie among teams fighting to avoid relegation. Yesterday, the Chessbrahs were defeated in a much-hyped stream as GM Eric Hansen scored 3/4, but the rest of the team could only equal his score.

Here are two costly blunders from the match.

Just learning about the PRO Chess League? Visit the site and read the rules!

Eastern Division

Central Division

Atlantic Division

Pacific Division

Delhi Dynamite Take Care of Business Against Riga Magicians

The Delhi Dynamite took care of business today with a decisive performance against the Riga Magicians. Coming into today's match, Delhi was tied for second place in the Eastern Division while Riga straddled the fine line between postseason qualification and elimination. Sadly for Riga, its push for playoff glory will have to wait until next week. Delhi clinched the match in the third round, already achieving a wide margin of 8.5-3.5, and finished with a firm 11-5 final score.

GM Harikrishna Pentala debuted for Delhi today, scoring a solid three points on board one. His teammates did not let him down, scoring 2/4, 3/4, 3/4 on boards two, three, and four respectively.

In round two, board-three GM Vaibhav Suri for Delhi played an exciting game against GM Igor Kovalenko with the black pieces.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Delhi Dynamite vs Riga Magicians

Dynamite Magicians Igor Kovalenko Arturs Neiksans Noel Studer Sergejs Klimakovs 5
Harikrishna Pentala 3
Abhijeet Gupta 2
Vaibhav Suri 3
Srija Seshadri 3
11 2 0.5 2.5 0

Mumbai Movers Storm Past Volga Stormbringers

Led by GM Viswanathan Anand, the Mumbai Movers took down the Volga Stormbringers 9-7. This was an interesting match that paired the 48-year-old world rapid champion against Volga's 13-year-old phenom GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov in a game that lasted only two moves more than their difference in age. Anand won the game quite handily despite playing what looked like a dubious knight and bishop for rook trade on f7. In reality, Anand had other ideas that justified the sacrifice, which led to some interesting trades and a solid win.

Meanwhile, GM Vidit Gujrathi played an excellent match, winning 3.5/4 and taking down Volga's board-one GM Dmitry Andreikin in a third-round clash of the titans. Gujarati blew open Andreikin's kingside on move 17 and wasted no time storming the castle to go up a clean piece for a great victory. While Mumbai sits atop the Eastern Division, Volga is flirting with relegation. 

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Mumbai Movers vs Volga Stormbringers

Movers Stormbringers Dmitry Andreikin Mikhail Demidov Nodirbek Abdusattorov Aleksey Ivlev 7
Viswanathan Anand 3.5
Vidit Gujrathi 3.5
Kulkarni Rakesh 1.5
Kathmale Sameer 0.5
9 2 2.5 1.5 1

Estonia Horses Buck Oslo Trolls With Decisive Performance

The Estonia Horses showed no mercy against the Oslo Trolls today, cruising to a lopsided 12-4 victory. Estonia came into today's match fighting for its playoff chances in the Eastern Division, on the qualification bubble, while Oslo has been wallowing in last place. Sadly, it was not Oslo's day for a division comeback and Estonia clinched the match with a strong 10-2 showing after only three rounds.

GM Avital Boruchovsky led Estonia on board one with a perfect score. In round two, Riga's board two, GM Ottomar Ladva, showed his stuff against FM Johannes Haug with some fiery play in a 25-move miniature.

Play through the game here.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Oslo Trolls vs Estonia Horses

Horses Trolls Frode Urkedal Roeland Pruijssers Benjamin Haldorsen Johannes Haug 4
Avital Boruchovsky 4
Ottomar Ladva 3
Jaan Ehlvest 3.5
Sander Kukk 1.5
12 1 1.5 0 1.5

Armenia Eagles Fly High, Defeat Norway Gnomes

The Armenia Eagles snatched fourth place in the Pro Chess League Eastern Division with an exciting 8.5-7.5 victory over the Norway Gnomes. Playing without GM Magnus Carlsen (currently relaxing after having won the Fischer Random Chess Championship yesterday), the Gnomes suddenly find themselves out of playoff contention. 

This match went right down to the wire when GM Zaven Andriasyan (a top scorer) pulled off a "grandelicious" draw by threefold repetition while defending a clearly lost position against GM Nils Grandelius (game below). Andriasyan had another great day and at one point, to the delight of the commentator GM Simon Williams, even drove "Harry the h-pawn" down the board for a very nice win against GM Evgeny Romanov. As team leader GM Jon Ludvig Hammer suggested during his live Twitch stream, maybe Carlsen can free up his schedule of world domination to help them get back on track.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Armenia Eagles vs Norway Gnomes

Eagles Gnomes Nils Grandelius Jon Ludvig Hammer Evgeny Romanov Elham Abdrlauf 7.5
Zaven Andriasyan 3.5
Samvel Ter-Sahakyan 2
Manuel Petrosyan 1.5
Artak Manukyan 1.5
8.5 2 3 2.5 0

Stockholm Snowballs Ice Marseille Migraines In Cliffhanger

The Central Division was full of drama today. In perhaps the most thrilling match, the Stockholm Snowballs eked out a razor-thin victory vs the Marseille Migraines with a 8.5-7.5 final score. There were so many exciting moments between the teams' superstars GM Georg Meier, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and the inimitable GM Baadur Jobava, it's difficult to select a highlight!

In round three, don't miss the thrilling opposite-color-bishop ending between Meier and Vachier-Lagrave. A sweet victory not only for Stockholm but also for commentator WGM Jen Shahade, who won a bet with fellow contributor (and profligate gambler) IM Lawrence Trent. Two boxes of chocolates in the mail!

A match summary wouldn't be complete without a game featuring Stockholm's board-one spitfire, GM Baadur Jobava, who can always be counted on for sizzling play. However, in the fourth round he faced GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave with the black pieces and ran straight into a beautiful piece sacrifice.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Marseille Migraines vs Stockholm Snowballs

Snowballs Migraines Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Yannick Gozzoli Jules Moussard Marc Andria Maurizzi 7.5
Baadur Jobava 3
Georg Meier 3.5
Vincent Keymer 2
Inna Agrest 0
8.5 3 1.5 2 1

Amsterdam Mosquitoes Fall To Earth, Draw Ljubljana Turtles

After scoring a massive 14-2 victory against the London Towers last week, the Amsterdam Mosquitoes had to settle for a draw against the sturdy Ljubljana Turtles, a team built to get points on all boards. The Mosquitoes went in to the final round with a half-point lead, but the lone victory went to GM Jure Borisek for the Turtles playing GM David Klein.

One of the most surprising match moments was this incredible mouseslip(?) from Borisek against the match's high-scorer, GM Loek Van Wely.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Ljubljana Turtles vs Amsterdam Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes Turtles Luka Lenic Jure Borisek Dusko Pavasovic Luka Skuhala 8
Loek van Wely 3.5
David Klein 2.5
Quinten Ducarmon 1.5
Jasel Lopez 0.5
8 2 2.5 2 1.5

Cannes Blockbusters Take Down Reykjavik Puffins

The Cannes Blockbusters beat the Reykjavik Puffins today with a final match score 9.5-6. The two teams came into today's match tied in the Central Division, each on the cusp of qualifying for the playoffs in March. It was an exciting clash, especially given the fact that Cannes suffered a early half-point penalty right out of the box because of a late lineup change. They had some ground to make up right from the beginning and didn't waste any time.

Cannes' board-one GM Maxime Lagarde led his team with a stellar 3.5/4. However, his board-two compatriot should win the prize for best queen sacrifice. In round three, GM Valentina Gunina played an excellent game against the Reykjavik board-one GM Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson and dropped a bomb on the board with her 39th move.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Reykjavik Puffins vs Cannes Blockbusters

Blockbusters Puffins Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson Hannes Stefansson Bragi Thorfinnsson Throstur Thorhallsson 6
Maxime Lagarde 3.5
Valentina Gunina 2.5
Barseghyan Harutyun 2.5
Flavio Perez 1.5
9.5* 1 2 2 1

London Towers Win Crosstown Match vs London Lions

In a crosstown match between two teams striving to avoid relegation, the London Towers were victorious against the London Lions. GM Jean-Pierre Le Roux scored an excellent 3.5/4 on board one for the Lions, defeating GM Gawain Jones in the final round. Unfortunately, his score was equaled by board three (!) for the Towers. IM Thomas Rendle had an amazing day, carrying the match for his team. Here is a fine win from him.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | London Lions vs London Towers

Towers Lions Jean-Pierre Le Roux James Adair Arslan Otchiyev Lawrence Cooper 6.5
Gawain Jones 3
Peter Roberson 2.5
Thomas Rendle 3.5
Simon Ansell 0.5
9.5 3.5 1 0.5 1.5

Saint Louis Arch Bishops Excommunicate Montreal Chessbrahs

The Saint Louis Arch Bishops handed the Montreal Chessbrahs a painful defeat, putting themselves in a good position to sneak into the playoffs, and placing the Chessbrahs in danger of relegation.

The lone bright spot for the Chessbrahs was GM Eric Hansen who scored 3/4. His teammates collectively earned three points as well, one point each.

For the Arch Bishops, a hero was GM Yaroslav Zherebukh on board three who scored 4/4. Here is a nice endgame swindle achieved against Mr. 2.Bh6, 3.Bxg7, FM Lefon Hua.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Saint Louis Arch Bishops vs Montreal Chessbrahs

Chessbrahs Arch Bishops Vladimir Fedoseev Varuzhan Akobian Yaroslav Zherebukh Forest Chen 10
Ivan Saric 1
Eric Hansen 3
Shiyam Thavandiran 1
Lefong Hua 1
6 3 2 4 1

Miami Champions Beat Buenos Aires Krakens

The Miami Champions defeated the Buenos Aires Krakens by the score of 9-7. Both of these teams were at the bottom of the Atlantic division standings heading into this match, but this victory moves Miami to 2-4 on the season. The Miami Champions are now tied with the Montreal Chessbrahs and the Montclair Sopranos, while Buenos Aires remains scoreless at 0-6.

GM Julio Becerra has been a strong force for the Champions all season, and he didn’t disappoint in this matchup with a 3/4 performance. GM Becerra’s methodical play vs GM Obregon followed many steps: first he offers material for a kingside attack that forces an ugly bishop on h2, then he follows it up with an exchange sacrifice that leads to a wonderful endgame with two advanced passed pawns. A gorgeous game with a picturesque checkmate.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Miami Champions vs Buenos Aires Krakens

Krakens Champions Oliver Barbosa Julio Becerra Rivero Renier Gonzalez Nicholas Rosenthal 9
Andres Carlos Obregon 2
Mario Villanueva 1.5
Maximiliano Perez 0.5
German Della Morte 3
7 2 3 1.5 2.5

Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers Smother Montclair Sopranos

The Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers have proven adept at getting points from all boards in the PRO Chess League. Usually Awonder Liang has delivered a bevy of points on board two, but this week he was a low scorer with a somewhat more modest 2.5/4. Impressive was IM Atyula Shetty's 3/4 on board three. His victory over the Montclair Sopranos' board one was an impressive strangulation.

The Sopranos got their highest score on board four as IM Thomas Bartell notched 2.5/4, including handing the Pawngrabbers' board one, GM Alexander Shabalov, his only defeat as Shabalov beat the top three for the Sopranos.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers vs Montclair Sopranos

Sopranos Pawngrabbers Alexander Shabalov Awonder Liang Atulya Shetty Mika Brattain 10.5
Bassem Amin 1
Anatoly Bykhovsky 2
Raven Sturt 0
Thomas Bartell 2.5
5.5 3 2.5 3 2

Webster Windmills Whip Minnesota Blizzard

The Webster Windmills were able to defeat the Minnesota Blizzard by a 8.5-7.5 in this highly anticipated matchup. This clash of the top two teams in the Atlantic division didn’t disappoint, and the undefeated Webster Windmills retain the top spot in the league and their division while moving to 5.5-0.5 on the season. With this loss, the Minnesota Blizzard drop to 4-2 on the season but still retain a nice position in their division.

The seemingly unstoppable Webster team was led by super-GM Le Quang Liem, who had another brilliant performance scoring 3.5/4. In the following game, we see GM Le Quang Liem defeating the young GM Andrew Tang with an interesting g-pawn push in the queen’s gambit exchange variation.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Webster Windmills vs Minnesota Blizzard

Windmills Blizzard Mauricio Flores Andrew Tang Akshat Chandra Sean Nagle 7.5
Le Quang Liem 3.5
Tamas Banusz 2
Ashwin Jayaram 1
Katerina Nemcova 2
8.5 1 2.5 2.5 1.5

Rio Grande Ospreys Soar Above Seattle Sluggers

The Rio Grande Ospreys dismantled the Seattle Sluggers by winning 11.0-5.5. Seattle faced an uphill battle by starting with a -0.5 score after needing to replace their board four after the submission deadline. Rio Grande is definitely relieved for this win as it is their first of the season.

On board one for the Ospreys, GM Oleksandr Bortnyk dove all over his competition to finish with 4-0, which is definitely the top board-one score of the week. In the game below, he played an interesting exchange sac in the opening and beat GM Victor Mikhalevski in 26 moves!

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | Rio Grande Ospreys vs Seattle Sluggers

Sluggers Ospreys Oleksandr Bortnyk Vladimir Belous Guillermo Vazquez Joshua Ruiz 11
Victor Mikhalevski 1.5
Giorgi Margvelashvili 2
Georgi Orlov 1.5
Anthony He 0
4.5* 4 2 3.5 1.5

San Diego Surfers Trap The Las Vegas Desert Rats

The San Diego Surfers crushed the Las Vegas Desert Rats by a score of 10.5-5.5. Las Vegas found itself trailing from the very first round and never could find its footing. This win keeps San Diego in second place in the Pacific Division.

The Surfers were carried this week by GM Alexy Dreev and IM Michael Brown with scores of 4.0 and 3.5 respectively. Below the commentary team goes wild for Brown's performance.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | San Diego Surfers vs Las Vegas Desert Rats

Surfers Desert Rats Melikset Khachiyan Zbigniew Pakleza Andrey Ostrovskiy Jacek Stopa 5.5
Alexey Dreev 4
Michael Brown 3.5
Keaton Kiewra 2
Craig Hilby 1
10.5 2 1.5 0.5 1.5

Australia Kangaroos Hop Past Dallas Destiny

In a very tight match, the Australia Kangaroos pulled out a win over the Dallas Destiny by a score of 9-7. Despite this loss, Dallas stays in third place just a half-point above Australia in the Pacific Division.

GM Anton Smirnov and IM Timur Kuybokarov both scored three points on boards two and four respectively for the Kangaroos. Kuybokarov completed an amazing feat by going undefeated on board four. Below, a crazy opening lead to a very interesting middlegame and endgame fight.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 |  Dallas Destiny vs Australia Kangaroos

Destiny Kangaroos Alexey Sarana Anton Smirnov James Morris Temur Kuybokarov 9
Julio Sadorra 3.5
Conrad Holt 1.5
Angel Arribas 1
Artur Safin 1
7 2 3 1 3

San Jose Hackers Victorious Over Chengdu Pandas.

In a match unfortunately affected by fair-play violations, the San Jose Hackers were victorious over the Chengdu Pandas. The Hackers scored solidly across all boards and benefited from another very credible performance from their fourth board, Vinesh Ravuri. With a 1900 FIDE rating, he gives the Hackers the flexibility to field a powerful lineup with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Rauf Mamedov, Daniel Naroditsky, and Zviad Izoria rotating on boards one through three.

2018 PRO Chess League | Round 6 | San Jose Hackers vs Chengdu Pandas

Hackers Pandas Wang Yue Ju Wenjun Xu Xiangyu Xiao Junyuan 7
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 3.5
Daniel Naroditsky 2.5
Zviad Izoria 1.5
Vinesh Ravuri 1.5
9 2.5 1.5 3 0
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