Gentlemen Dominate As Battle Royales Shake Up PRO Chess
The Tbilisi Gentlemen scored 20.5/28 in their Battle Royale!

Gentlemen Dominate As Battle Royales Shake Up PRO Chess

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The PRO Chess League debuted its new Battle Royale format in week four. The different format and large number of points available significantly shook up the standings in most divisions. Some teams like the Webster Windmills and the Baden-Baden Snowballs leapt to the top of their divisions with big results while other favorites like the Montreal Chessbrahs and the Marseilles Migraines faltered.

The shake-ups were fueled by the large number of points available. First place was worth 24 points PLUS the total game points the team accumulated in the competition. For the league's top scorer, the Tbilisi Gentlemen, this meant earning a whopping 44.5 points and establishing a big lead in their challenging Eastern Division.

Battle Royale Format

PRO Chess League Standings

PRO Chess League 2019, Standings

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Dallas Destiny, Minnesota Blizzard Succeed with Balanced Lineups

The Dallas Destiny and the Minnesota Blizzard each reached 18/28 points, securing 1st place in their Battle Royale and a total of 40 points in the season standings. Because they tied, they split the first and second place points available.

In the direct clash between the two teams, Zhu Jiner (an MVP nominee) came out ahead in a thrilling game against John Bartholomew. Bartholomew was an excellent sport about the attractive finish.

The Royale's top-scorer was Daniel Naroditsky of the San Francisco Mechanics. He secured an impeccable 6/7 points on board two. Had Sam Shankland not been struggling with jet lag, the Mechanics probably would have fared far better. Naroditsky won this beautiful GOTW nominee.

Finally, sad mention should be made of the Montreal Chessbrahs, the previous division leaders under-performed slightly on all boards and lost two spots on the leaderboard. They did have an incredible final round though as they swept the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and Salem Saleh defeated Fabiano Caruana.

Webster Windmills Win As Grabinsky Stars

Aaron Grabinsky provided the strong polar vortex needed to get the Windmills moving as he scored 6/7 on board for for the Webster team. Here is one of Grabinsky's many wins.

The second-placing San Jose Hackers (tied with the Chengdu Pandas) drew attention all day long as Eltaj Safarli scored 6.5/7 (the best of any Battle Royale player) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov scored 5/7 and played brilliantly both when he won and lost.

Mumbai Movers Win Big Thanks To Young Stars

When you have Vidit Gujrathi on board one, you have to have some lower-rated talent on the lower boards. This did not seem to trouble the Mumbai Movers as youngsters, Raunak Sadhwani and Aditya Mittal (the popular blogger @vinniethepooh) scored excellently for the Mumbai Movers and helped them to first place. Here's a fine win by the promising Sadhwani.

Viewers were also excited to see Jan-Krzysztof Duda make his first appearance. He scored 5/7 and earned an MVP nomination. His win against Vidit was a very classy achievement.

One of the funniest finishes of the day again involved Vidit as Zaven Andriasyan escaped his clutches with the famous and funny roving rook trick.

Tbili Gentlemen Thrash Competitors

20.5! The Tbilisi Gentlemen achieved a monster score and two MVP nominations as they outscored their peers by five points. Jobava shared a top score on board one with 5/7 while Volkov scored 6/7. Volkov is getting a lot of attention and looks to be the key to a lineup that looks to be the league's best. Here is one of his games which featured a beautiful mate.

The previously leading Norway Gnomes had a solid result although they did humorously drop the following half-point due to being unable to turn off autoqueen.

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