Armenia Eagles, Tbilisi Gentlemen Clash In PRO Chess League Week 8

Armenia Eagles, Tbilisi Gentlemen Clash In PRO Chess League Week 8

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

Week eight of the PRO Chess League will see the Eastern Division's top clash between the Armenia Eagles and the Tbilisi Gentlemen. The Atlantic and Pacific Divisions take off on Tuesday beginning at 1:30 p.m. PT and the Eastern and Central Divisions will play on Thursday beginning at 7 a.m. PT.

After the second Battle Royale last week, where especially the Dallas Destiny and the Amsterdam Mosquitos surprised positively, we'll return to the regular format in what is becoming a crucial phase leading up to the playoffs.

With the regular season lasting just three more weeks, let's have a look at the biggest clashes on Tuesday and Thursday. It's a week we'll see top GMs Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov once again.

Just learning about the PRO Chess League? Visit the site and check out the official information article.

PRO Chess League 2019 standings

ATLANTIC: Montreal Chessbrahs vs New York Marshalls

Despite debuting Anish Giri (5.5/7) on their top board, the Montreal Chessbrahs are looking back at a disappointing Battle Royale. Right now they would even miss the playoffs, but a win against the New York Marshalls, who top the current leaderboard, could change that.

Without Giri, Ivan Saric (16.5/20) returns as the top Brah alongside Eric Hansen (18/30), who will be looking to improve his form and score. The Marshalls are coming with no fewer than three GMs—with Sergey Zhigalko making his debut—and once again with their strong performing board four, Grant Xu (10.5/18).

PACIFIC: Chengdu Pandas vs Australia Kangaroos 

Whereas the new division leaders the Dallas Destiny are playing  the San Francisco Mechanics (currently slated for relegation), the top matchup is between number two Chengdu Pandas and number four Australia Kangaroos.

The latter will be debuting the well-known chess commentator and trainer GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko of Ukraine on top board as well as GM Max Illingworth of Australia, besides the other local, young grandmasters Anton Smirnov (13/23) and FM Raymond Song as a pretty decent board four.

Evgeny Miroshnichenko PRO Chess League 2019

Even without their biggest names, the two GMs and two IMs of the Pandas will be tough opponents for the Kangaroos. IM Bao Qilin is playing for the first time.

EASTERN: Armenia Eagles vs Tbilisi Gentlemen

The Eastern division will see a clash between the top two teams of the current leaderboard, with the title holders the Armenia Eagles taking up the Tbilisi Gentlemen.

This will be a very exciting matchup with both teams bringing three grandmasters. Those from Tbilisi, led by Baduur Jobava, are slightly higher rated but that rating edge is compensated on board four—although the 2100-player Nika Volkov (20.5/34) has been doing quite well.

ENTRAL:  Norway Gnomes vs Baden-Baden Snowballs

Even without the world champion on their team, the Norway Gnomes are doing great so far. As leaders of the Central division, they'll be playing the Baden-Baden Snowballs, currently third. 

Both teams are bringing one 2600 GM. Baden-Baden has Georg Meier, who didn't sit out yet and is on 21.5/34; whereas the Gnomes' top board is Jon Ludvig Hammer (7/11). On the remaining boards, three young IMs from Norway will be facing two GMs and a WIM. 

Georg Meier PRO Chess League 2019

Watch all the PRO Chess League action on,, and on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Atlantic and Pacific Divisions play on February 26 beginning at 1:30 p.m. PT while the Eastern and Central Divisions play on February 28 beginning at 7 a.m. PT.

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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