Collegiate Chess League Round 5: Berkeley, Warsaw Undefeated

Collegiate Chess League Round 5: Berkeley, Warsaw Undefeated

| 2 | News

The Collegiate Chess League only has two weeks left in the regular season, and teams are starting to face must-win situations on the brink of elimination. Other teams are starting to clinch playoff spots, most notably division one teams UC Berkeley and University of Warsaw—the only division one teams with flawless 5-0 records. 

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 Highlights

In round five, UC Berkeley continued their dominant performance from last week's win over the defending champion Mizzou team by beating the UT Austin A team led by GM Ruifeng Li. The grandmaster from Texas went 2-1-1 with their only loss coming from Berkeley's captain IM Josiah Stearman. The exciting game saw Li give his queen for a rook and bishop after Stearman's sharp knight sacrifice on move 22. In a time scramble, Josiah was able to lure Ruifeng's exposed king into the middle of the board, which led to checkmate. 

In the other division one group, the University of Warsaw is also 5-0 following an impressive win over Harvard. Warsaw made swift work of the Ivy League team, which was unfortunately missing a player. Warsaw's top board GM Bartlomiej Macieja won every game they played in dominant fashion. One example would be the nice queen-winning tactic to finish this game against Harvard's top board. 

Rival Highlights

Round five had quite a few rival matches. The two Missouri schools Mizzou and Washington University in St. Louis played a lopsided match in division one. The Mizzou team was back to full strength after their loss to Berkeley last week and won 15-1, one game away from a full sweep.

There were too many games worth highlighting in this match, but this game in particular had a very nice tactic worth sharing. Mizzou's board two GM Antipov Mikhail found the brilliant Nf5!! on move 16. The point is if Black takes, White can win the material back and gain the initiative after Bf4.

Division two saw UCSD A take down Berkeley's B team 9.5-6.5. UCSD A has sole possession of the first place in their group, just one point ahead of UCLA's A team. These California schools will face off in the final round of the season in what will likely be a fight for first. 

Division four had a close match between the two University of Illinois schools with Urbana-Champaign's C team edging out the Chicago A team by a score of 9-7. 

The match between the two Indian schools Kalinga and Vellore in division nine ended 11-5 in favor of Kalinga who remains undefeated in their group. 

Move of the Week

The move of the week comes from another one of Antipov's games from his match against Wash U in St. Louis in division one. Try to find a good move for Black in this position:

The Mizzou player found the beautiful shot 24...Qxc3. This removes the defender of the e1-rook allowing for back rank tactics, and after 25...Nf2+ White cannot take the knight. Black wins the queen back and ruins White's pawn structure in the process. Switching the move order and starting with Nf2+ first and only then taking on c3 with the queen would have won more material, but the idea is the same. Mikhail went on to win this game smoothly. 

Clip of the Week

This week's clip comes from the Washington University in St. Louis C team against the University of Southern California D team in division 8. 

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

Upcoming Matches

Round six is packed with exciting matches set to start Saturday, October 30.

Division one will see GM Awonder Liang from UChicago take on GM Grigoriy Oparin from Mizzou. 

Harvard and Yale will have their B teams play in division three. Earlier this season, Yale's A team beat Harvard's A team in division one by a convincing score of 10-6, so Harvard's B team will seek to get revenge on their rivals in round 6. 

The California schools will be busy this weekend with seven matches happening between them. UCLA A and UC Davis play in division two, USC A plays UC Berkeley C in division four, division six has Santa Clara-UC Riverside and UCSD B-UCLA C, division eight has UCLA D-Caltech B and USC D-Cal Poly Pomona B, and finally, division 10 has UCLA E-UC Berkeley F. 

Texas schools UT Austin C and Rice University B play in division five. 

UChicago's C team will play the University of Illinois at Chicago's C team.

Division nine has another match between two schools from India, this time between Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College and Vellore Institute of Technology Chennai. 

Many of these matches will be streamed live over on Twitch, so be sure to check them out!

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


More from JoeBruin
Collegiate Chess League 2023 Summer Season: Bullet and Bughouse Championships

Collegiate Chess League 2023 Summer Season: Bullet and Bughouse Championships

Sign Up For The 2022 Collegiate Chess League Fall Season

Sign Up For The 2022 Collegiate Chess League Fall Season