PogChamps 3: Sardoche Advances, Michelle Khare Shines

PogChamps 3: Sardoche Advances, Michelle Khare Shines

PedroPinhata
PedroPinhata
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19 | Chess Event Coverage

Another exhilarrating day of chess happened as PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6 entered its first day of the semifinals.

Sardoche won a close match against PogChamps veteran Ludwig, and Michelle Khare stole the show after winning two matches to advance to the finals in the consolation bracket.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's coverage of PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6 on February 27 at 11:45 a.m. Pacific (20:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv, with expert commentary by GM Hikaru Nakamura, IM Danny Rensch, WFM Andrea Botez, IM Anna Rudolf, WFM Anna Cramling, 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!

Sardoche Sends Veteran Ludwig Home

Sardoche prevailed and advanced to the semifinals despite Ludwig's inspirational pre-match speech.

The first game of the match was an exciting one, with a balanced position that could go either way up until the end. Sardoche found a fork to win an exchange, but Ludwig found another one to equalize the material. Ludwig had a better position in the endgame but made a decisive mistake that cost him the game. Sardoche showed great endgame technique and scored the first point of the match.

PogChamps 3 semifinals
Ludwig let Sardoche's king infiltrate the queenside.

The second game was also a close one, with Sardoche playing precise opening moves and getting a slight advantage. The French streamer had a good position but missed a critical knight maneuver to bring his piece back into the game.

Ludwig's rook eventually penetrated Black's position and took Sardoche's important queenside pawn and then swung over to capture a valuable kingside passed pawn. Ludwig's more active knight decided the game, taking the remaining pawns and forcing Sardoche to resign.

After two close games, no one could confidently predict who would win the match. Things went south for Ludwig after he blundered his knight while trying to put Sardoche under time pressure. Sardoche managed the position well, taking all of Ludwig's remaining pieces before delivering checkmate.

In the post-game interview, Sardoche showed relief and complimented Ludwig on his game. Ludwig confessed he was sad, but also took the time to express happiness with his improvement and compliment GM Robert Hess for his work as his coach.

All Games

PogChamps 3 Championship Bracket
PogChamps 3 championship bracket.

Shocked Michelle Beats The Beast

Michelle Khare's hard work paid off as she defeated MrBeast in the first of her two matches of the day.

In the first game, Michelle and MrBeast had a balanced position until the HBO presenter found a knight fork and won the exchange. Michelle had to give back material when MrBeast went on the offensive, and the players entered a rook and pawn endgame. Michelle eventually won Jimmy's rook and took all of his pawns, which made the time-troubled MrBeast resign.

The second game did not start well for Michelle after she mouse slipped and lost a pawn in the opening. To make matters worse, Jimmy spotted a tactic to win her knight. However, Michelle shocked the world (and even herself) after launching a queenside attack and checkmating MrBeast. With her victory, Michelle earned the right to face Pokimane in the semifinals of the consolation bracket.

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Michelle Accepts Challenge And Defeats Favorite Pokimane

A more confident but still tense Michelle defeated Pokimane twice and won her second match of the day to advance to the consolation bracket finals.

Michelle had a great start when she won a pawn in the opening during the first game. Things turned bleak for her after she blundered a critical pawn and then a piece a few moves later. It looked like Pokimane had it all under control until she blundered a rook.

Michelle gave back the extra rook, but Poki missed it. After the dust settled, Michelle was an exchange and a pawn up, and Pokimane resigned.

Pokimane tried a different strategy for the second game of the match, playing fast to put pressure on Michelle. The TV host only slipped once when she blundered her rook, but Poki failed to take advantage of it. Michelle found a winning tactic to deliver checkmate and move on to the finals.

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PogChamps 3 Consolation Bracket
PogChamps 3 consolation bracket.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6 on February 27 at 11:45 a.m. Pacific (20:45 Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.


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