PogChamps 3: 100,000 Watch xQc Sweep Group Stage

PogChamps 3: 100,000 Watch xQc Sweep Group Stage

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30 | Chess Event Coverage

On a four-match day in PogChamps 3, xQc won two of them to complete a perfect group stage as he becomes one of the favorites in the championship bracket. The day peaked at over 100,000 live viewers in the final game.

Pokimane showed great form in beating Rubius for her first match win, xQc was also on top of his game to deliver Daniel Negreanu's first match loss, and Rainn Wilson and Logic both ended the group stage on seven points after Wilson's armageddon win. The day ended with xQc completing a nine-point group stage with two wins over Pokimane.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6 at 12:05 p.m. Pacific (21:05 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv, with expert commentary by GM Hikaru Nakamura, IM Danny Rensch, IM Levy Rozman, IM Anna Rudolf, and more. 

During PogChamps 3, Chess.com will match up to $100,000 in donations to the participants’ favorite non-profit organizations. Please read this article to see how PogChamps is supporting charities and how you can help yourself!

Pokimane Wins Her First Match Of PogChamps

Two of commentator IM Anna Rudolf's PogChamps 3 students opened the day with a fun and friendly match won in an upset by Pokimane over the higher-rated Rubius.

Pokimane opened their first game with her favored London system and very quickly found a nice tactic, but Rubius recovered and Pokimane soon lost a rook. However, she still had chances and took advantage by winning Rubius' queen with a discovered check. As the game continued, Rubius managed to set up a mate-in-one threat, and Pokimane missed her own, but she saved her king, captured everything, and avoided stalemate to take the 1-0 lead.

Pokimane played Rudolf's suggested French Defense in the second game, and Rubius quickly got in trouble. Except for a very brief moment when Rubius could have won a piece with a hard-to-see tactic, Pokimane cruised to a 2-0 sweep.

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xQc Deals Loss To Negreanu

For the second straight match, the lower-rated player swept to victory as xQc delivered previously unbeaten Daniel Negreanu his first match loss of PogChamps 3.

In game one, xQc took a lot of time in the opening against Negreanu's Danish Gambit but got a great position for it and eventually won a knight. Negreanu soon blundered even more material and with just two minutes for the rest of the game, xQc converted easily.

Game two featured some very complicated tactics that ultimately resulted in a material advantage for xQc. He later gained an even bigger one with a queen fork, and it was all over. Daniel eventually resigned.

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Rainn Wilson Wins Another Armageddon

It was another day at the office for Group C's championship bracket representatives, Rainn Wilson and a Dwight Schrute-costumed Logic. Playing for seeding, Wilson won in armageddon for the second time in PogChamps 3.

Game one mostly featured heavy maneuvering instead of fireworks. The quieter game seemed to be favoring Wilson, but after Logic doubled his rooks, the game was even, and Wilson soon hung a bishop. Mate came shortly, to applause from Wilson.

A different opening produced the same style of maneuvering in the second game, but tactics quickly showed up. This time Wilson won the piece and was also way up on the clock. After he trapped Logic's rook and converted checkmate—with only a brief moment of drama—the match was level.

That meant armageddon, where Wilson chose the white pieces for extra time but needing to win. Pawns were the story early: an extra one for Wilson; three of Logic's tripled. That gave Wilson a super-comfortable position that he converted to victory.

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xQc Wraps Up Undefeated Group Stage

A postponement Wednesday meant an extra match on Saturday. Both playing their second match of the day, xQc beat Pokimane as live viewership topped 100,000.

Game one continued the trend of the previous match with a maneuvering game until xQc tried to get tricky and sent the game into a tactical struggle where both players reached time trouble. It was Pokimane who missed a pin and lost her queen, and she soon resigned.

xQc's openings finally caught up to him in game two where he fell into a fork early, apparently on a misclick, and dropped behind on the clock. But he got the piece back and then gained a clock advantage himself. Pokimane let her time run down to six seconds at one point and fell into a lost position. xQc effusively celebrated the completion of a +6 group stage.

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PogChamps 3 Group Standings
Group standings of PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6 at 12:05 p.m. Pacific (21:05 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.


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