Caruana Perfect, Carlsen Nearly So In Record-Smashing PRO Super Saturday
Super Saturday shattered PRO Chess League viewership records.

Caruana Perfect, Carlsen Nearly So In Record-Smashing PRO Super Saturday

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
Feb 25, 2018, 9:33 AM |
24 | Chess.com News

A PRO Chess League record 20,000 viewers were rooting on Magnus Carlsen as he raced toward a perfect score in the final rounds on Super Saturday. This made chess the sixth-most watched show on Twitch at the time! Some 220,000 unique viewers watched the show at some point. That's almost half as many viewers as the 440,000 viewers that watched the entire inaugural season of the PRO Chess league.

Commentator Danny Rensch used the opportunity to drop a bomb of an announcement on the viewers: the PRO Chess League semifinals and finals will take place live in San Francisco!

All the PRO Chess League finals details will be out Monday. For now, let's dive into all of the exciting chess that was played on Super Saturday

You can find the complete Super Saturday pairings here. To summarize the rules:

  • All teams play one match against eight teams selected from outside their division. The Atlantic and Pacific division teams played Central and Eastern Division teams. 16 teams played early in the day, starting at 7 a.m. PT. 16 teams played later in the day.
  • All matches featured one game between opposing boards: e.g. board one vs board one, board two vs board two, etc. All games were played at a time control of 10+2.
  • For both the late and early matches, the top six scoring teams received a match win in the PRO Chess League, the middle four received a draw, and the bottom six received a loss.

Cast your vote for game and move of the week!

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

Super Saturday Early Event

Final Placement

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Final Scoreboard

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Super Saturday Early Highlights: Perfect Arch Bishops Victorious

Scoring 8/8 in Super Saturday is a very special thing. Having TWO of your players score 8/8 is a mind-blowing achievement. That is exactly what the Saint Louis Arch Bishops did Saturday as first-board Fabiano Caruana and third-board Yaroslav Zherebukh both won all of their games. Unsurprisingly then, the Arch Bishops finished in first place, earning a $500 bonus for their team.

Super Saturday Early Highlights: Hikaru Nakamura Streams

Hikaru Nakamura streamed his play en route to an excellent 7/8 score with many fine wins. Here's one of the best moves he played, one even he called brilliant on stream.

You can watch all of Nakamura's games and commentary on his Twitch channel: Twitch.tv/gmhikaru!

Watch PRO Chess League Qualifier! from GMHikaru on www.twitch.tv

Super Saturday Early Highlights: Chengdu Pandas Craft Perfect Lineup?

The Pandas worked all the angles, with two 2700-plus players in their lineup in Yu Yangyi and Li Chao, and two female players in Ju Wenjun and Chu Ruotong. Chengdu had an average rating of 2560, nearly 50 points higher than any other team, and the highest ever by a PRO Chess League team.

Here's one quick tactical win by GM and Pandas' manager Li Chao.

Ju Wenjun, Chengdu Pandas, PRO Chess League

GM Ju Wenjun scored 6.5/8 on board three.

Super Saturday Late Event

Final Placement

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Final Scoreboard

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Super Saturday Late Highlights: Magnus Carlsen and Nils Grandelius Lead Norway Gnomes To Victory

Last Super Saturday, Magnus Carlsen streamed his play, providing chess players around the world unprecedented access to the world champion's thought processes. Unfortunately, his-first time streaming was not conducive to perfect play, and Carlsen scored only 5.5/8 on the day. This time around, he decided to play while hanging out with some friends in a bar, sharing some pints.

Hanging with my bitches

A post shared by Askild Bryn ( @askildbryn) on

The convivial atmosphere seemed to suit him perfectly as he was devouring his opponents with creative and excellent play including 1.Nh3 and 1.b4.

Possibly Carlsen's best game of the day was his effort against GM Eric Hansen.

Eric Hansen, Montreal Chessbrahs, PRO Chess League

With 7/7 in the last round, he played GM Alexander Shimanov of the Webster Windmills who was also leading among board ones with 6.5/7. With victory in reach, things got dramatic as Carlsen made his first blunder of the day.

Alexander Shimanov, Webster Windmills, PRO Chess League

Fortunately for Carlsen, he was still able to save a draw in mutual time trouble despite the flawed finish. While the world champion stole the show, board two, GM Nils Grandelius (sporting the username Grandelicious), impressed equally, also scoring 7.5/8.

Super Saturday Late Highlights: Brandon Clarke Scores 8/8

The only player in the late event to achieve a perfect score was Brandon Clarke playing for the Australia Kangaroos. The Australian blitz champion scored 8/8, smoothly vanquishing some tough opposition and doing much to secure his team fifth place on the day despite a poor showing with only 1/8 from board two, Zong-Yuan Zhou.

Brandon Clarke, Australia Kangaroos, PRO Chess League

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