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China Pandas Clinch 3rd Place In PRO Chess League

China Pandas Clinch 3rd Place In PRO Chess League

PeterDoggers
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12 | Chess.com News

The China Pandas defeated the Canada Chessbrahs with 10.5-5.5 in the consolation match of the PRO Chess League. The final between the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and the Armenia Eagles will be played on Sunday.

The final will start Sunday, September 27, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time / 19:00 Central Europe. The games of the PRO Chess League Finals are played in Live Chess. You can also watch them here as part of our live games platform. The broadcast is on Chess.com/tv with commentary by GM Maurice Ashley, GM Robert Hess, IM Anna Rudolf, and IM Danny Rensch.


The match didn't start well for the Pandas, who lost 2.5-1.5 in the first round. Somewhat surprising was GM Ding Liren's crushing defeat vs. GM Aryan Tari. The world number-three said: "I think today we were in a very relaxed mood. My first game was a total disaster, so maybe I was a bit too relaxed!"

Ding bounced back wonderfully and finished his day with three straight wins. First, he crushed GM Ivan Saric where Black had a surprisingly strong possibility early in the game, missed by both players.

Ding Liren pro chess league
As GM Yu Yangyi beat Tari in this round as well, the Pandas took over and were leading by a point halfway. With two more wins in round three, they dealt another blow to the Chessbrahs and took a big step towards their victory.

GM Wei Yi, who had struggled so far in the finals, saved the best for last as he finished with two wins against Tari and Saric. 

Wei Yi pro chess league

Ding didn't leave Giri a chance in a Closed Catalan in what was a strategic masterpiece in the style of GM Ulf Andersson:

The Pandas went into the final round with a 7.5-4.5 lead and needed just one board point to clinch third place. To the commentators' surprise, Giri went for a quick draw—his second in the match—with the white pieces.

 

Soon after, GM Li Chao drew with Tari, and it was all over. Wei then beat Saric and to make matters worse for the Chessbrahs. GM Alexander Grischuk, who had been playing a fantastic game vs. Ding, lost on time in a winning position:

The China Pandas won $6,000 for finishing third while the Canada Chessbrahs earned $4,000. On Sunday, the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and the Armenia Eagles will be fighting for a $20,000 first prize and $10,000 for the runner-up.

Match for 3rd place | All games

The PRO Chess League finals are the culmination of the fourth season that began on January 6, 2020, followed by the playoffs held in March. The final four teams are bringing top grandmasters to fight for a $40,000 total prize fund, with $20,000 going to the winning team.


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