Collegiate Chess League Round 4: Begim Wins Big

Collegiate Chess League Round 4: Begim Wins Big

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The Collegiate Chess League is officially past the halfway mark, and teams are starting to jock for playoff positions. With only three rounds remaining in the regular season, every point earned could be the difference between being eliminated or not.

How to watch?
Matches are broadcast live at with commentary by the league's commissioner, Joe Lee, with additional guests throughout the season.
Collegiate Chess League

Division 1 Highlight

UC Berkeley and Mizzou are perhaps the two strongest teams in the entire league, and they played again for the first time since last year's finals. On that occasion, Mizzou took home the gold after winning by a score of 11-5. However, Berkeley has come back stronger this season and was looking forward to taking revenge on the powerhouse team from Mizzou. And they did exactly just that in round four by taking down the Mizzou team by a score of 10.5-5.5.

This was the first time Mizzou had lost a match since they lost to SLU in the finals of season one. This strong performance from Berkeley proves they have a serious shot at winning the championship along with the $5,000 prize fund for first place in division one. Mizzou might have lost the match, but they were missing their best player GM Oparin Grigoriy who will be a key component to the team's success once the playoffs start.

Here is a nice game from the match played by FM Roland Feng taking down Mizzou's top board GM Mikhail Antipov with the French Defense. Roland was undefeated in this match with three wins and one draw. 

Division 8 Highlight

Although the lower divisions have smaller prizes, there is still a lot of school pride on the line. Round four saw a big rivalry matchup between UCLA and USC. The two rival schools share four of the five divisions that they are in.

The fourth and final match between these two schools in the regular season happened between both of their D teams in the fourth round of division 8. USC's team won, giving them a 3-1 score in the head-to-head matchup between the rivals for this season. If UCLA is to even the score, it would have to come in the playoffs. 

Here is a 71 move game from the match played by Ingus Stegis with White. Stegis won three out of four of their games in the match.

Player of the Week

Round four had many exciting matches across the league, but perhaps the most exciting happened in a tournament played in St. Louis. It wasn't a Collegiate Chess League match, but rather it was from the U.S. Women's Chess Championship. One of our very own, WGM Begim Tokhirjonova from Mizzou, was invited to compete against the very best women chess players in the country and ended up getting second place overall, only behind the winner IM Carissa Yip. Begim scored seven out of 11 points with five wins, four draws, and only two losses. 

Saint Louis Chess Club

Here is one of Begim's games from the tournament. This was her win over Yip—the international master's only loss in the entire event.

Clip of the Week

This week's clip comes from the Duke D-University of Konstanz match from division six. 

Live broadcast of the Collegiate Chess League is available at; commentary provided by @JoeBruin.

Upcoming Matches

Round five starts this Saturday, October 23.

Division one will have an exciting Ivy league matchup between Yale and Princeton featuring Yale's rookie GM Nicolas Checa and Princeton's veteran GM Andrew Tang.

Division two will have UC Berkeley B vs UCSD A. 

Division four will have two Illinois schools competing, UI Chicago, and UI Urbana-Champaign C. 

Division nine has a match between Texas Tech and Rice University C as well as a match between two schools from India, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and Vellore Institute of Technology Chennai. 

The full list of pairings can be found here, and the full division standings are available here.

For any league-related questions, please email Commissioner Joe Lee at


Joe Lee

Destress and play chess!

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