Giri, Ponomariov To Debut In PRO Chess League Week 7

Giri, Ponomariov To Debut In PRO Chess League Week 7

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Anish Giri and Ruslan Ponomariov are among the players to make their debut in the 2019 season of the PRO Chess League. Week seven is another Battle Royale week, played on Tuesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. PT and on Thursday beginning at 7 a.m. PT.

Preview by IM Greg Shahade.

This week marks the second Battle Royale of the 2019 PRO Chess League Season and the first time that all four divisions will be mixed together and be competing with one another. Lots of points will be up for grabs as the teams start their final pushes to qualify for the playoffs and earn a shot at the live eSports final.

Just learning about the PRO Chess League? Visit the site and check out the official information article.

Battle Royale #1 (Tuesday, 8 a.m. Pacific) is the highest rated of the four events, with an average rating of 2490. The defending PCL champions, the Armenia Eagles, will be facing off against stiff competition. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will be leading the Marseille Migraines. The New York Marshalls have won all five of their regular season matches this year. Francisco Vallejo Pons and former FIDE world champion Ruslan Ponomariov will make their debuts for the Barcelona Raptors.

Ruslan Ponomariov PRO Chess League


Battle Royale #2 (Tuesday, 7.30 p.m. Pacific) features some heavyweight board one battles. Fabiano Caruana (Saint Louis Arch Bishops), Hikaru Nakamura (Seattle Sluggers) and Ding Liren (Chengdu Pandas) will all be playing board one for their teams. Even board two features big names, as Wesley So (Saint Louis Arch Bishops), Ray Robson (Webster Windmills) and Wang Yue (Chengdu Pandas) are in action. Meanwhile the Mumbai Movers, San Francisco Mechanics and Australia Kangaroos realized they may be outgunned on the top boards, and have loaded up with strong players on board four.

Wang Yue PRO Chess League


Battle Royale #3 (Tuesday, 7 a.m. Pacific) features the long-awaited PRO Chess League debut of Anish Giri, who will be playing on board one for the Montreal Chessbrahs. Also featured in this Battle Royale are the league-leading Tbilisi Gentlemen. Led by Baadur Jobava, the Gentlemen utilize two blitz specialists on boards 3-4 in Giga Quparadze and Nika Volkov. Both of these players have rapid and Chess.com blitz ratings that are way above what their FIDE ratings would indicate, and the Gentlemen have been riding them to success all season long.

Anish Giri PRO Chess League


Battle Royale #4 (Tuesday, 10.40 a.m. Pacific) marks the 2019 debut of Gawain Jones. Jones played for the London Towers in 2017 and 2018, only to join his old team's biggest rival in 2019 (the London Lions). Meanwhile the San Jose Hackers look for a big performance as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov mans board one, while top league performer Eltaj Safarli is on board two. Also dangerous is the Minnesota Blizzard, who tied for first in their first Battle Royale with a balanced lineup of 2500-rated players.

Gawain Jones PRO Chess League


After this week, the league standings will start to solidify and it will be a lot clearer as to which teams are likely to make the playoffs, and which teams will be facing relegation.

Watch all the PRO Chess League action on Twitch.tv/chess, Twitch.tv/prochessleague, and Chess.com/tv on Tuesday beginning at 8:00 a.m. PT and on Thursday beginning at 7 a.m. PT.


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