Over $150,000 Raised For Charity As Sardoche Wins PogChamps 3

Over $150,000 Raised For Charity As Sardoche Wins PogChamps 3

Dave
Dave
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50 | Chess Event Coverage

The final of PogChamps 3 presented by GRIP6 brought all the excitement—and many charities—with viewers blowing past the original $50,000 goal. Chess.com decided to double its match, which brought the total for charity to over $150,000.

Sardoche takes the title and the GRIP6 championship belt in a tiebreaker victory over Rainn Wilson. Neeko takes the consolation bracket with cool, solid play. 

During PogChamps 3, Chess.com had planned to 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 Wins It All

In a tense set of games, Sardoche took the victory and won PogChamps 3 in the blitz tiebreaker. 

In game one both Rainn and Sardoche played very solid openings. But Rainn steadily, bit by bit, got the advantage. As the time dwindled, so did Sardoche's options until under severe time pressure, he blundered a rook. Wilson stayed steady and took it to victory. 

In game two Sardoche took control of the center in the opening versus Rainn's two fianchettoed bishops. The French streamer kept pushing his pawns and eventually hung one, but it ended up being advantageous by opening the c-file for him. Sardoche pressed the attack, and Rainn blundered a rook. Sardoche did not miss the opportunity to take the match to a tiebreaker!  

In the blitz tiebreaker, Rainn used a lot of time in the opening, ending up over a minute down on the clock in the middlegame. He mounted a comeback, and it seemed things were falling apart for Sardoche. But a single move changed the game, and Sardoche took the tournament with a sudden knight, bishop, and rook checkmate.

Although Sardoche took the win, both players raised a lot of money with an estimated $22,500 going to Sardoche's charity, Secours Populaire, and $11,500 to Rainn's charity, Lide Haiti.

Sardoche plans to keep playing chess and says this win means more to him than any other tournament he's played in. Expect to see more of him in the chess world. 

All Games

PogChamps 3
PogChamps 3 championship bracket.

Queen Neeko Takes Her Throne

Neeko dominated the consolation final, taking both wins in what commentators described as nearly flawless play. 

Neeko startled Khare in game one by switching from her usual Bird's Opening. Both played quickly at first, but Neeko really pressed for speed and ended with more time than she started with in the middlegame.

Khare got a strong attack on Neeko's king, but Neeko protected well. After a quick series of exchanges, Khare was down a bishop. Neeko was able to keep her huge time and material advantage and push her passed pawn up the board. The game ended soon with a queen-and-rook checkmate. 

Khare opened with the London, and Neeko answered with King's Indian Defense. Michelle struggled to find any weaknesses to exploit with Neeko refusing to make any mistakes. The commentators felt that Neeko played a "master-level game" with nearly zero mistakes. She kept it strong and solid to the end with a convincing, undoubtable victory. 

Michelle was congratulatory to "Queen Neeko," who described how she knew she needed to switch from her usual Bird's Opening in order to win. 

Neeko raised an estimated $15,000 for UNICEF and Michelle $11,500 for FACE Africa. Thanks to all the contestants for helping to raise over $150,000, which will go to all the charities represented in this tournament.

Pogchamps 3
PogChamps 3 charities.

All Games

PogChamps 3
PogChamps 3 consolation bracket.


GRIP6 is an American manufacturing company dedicated to making the best belts, wallets, and wool socks. Visit GRIP6.com/PogChamps to enter into the ultimate PogChamps giveaway. GRIP6, Built to wear, not to wear out.

As Guayakí celebrates 25 years of regenerative yerba mate, they want to thank YOU for being a part of their mission achievement to steward and restore over 200,000 acres of rainforest by sharing cases during PogChamps 3. Come To Life at Guayaki.com/chess.


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