Magnus Carlsen Streams PRO Chess Super Sunday
What could make the PRO Chess League's Super Saturday and Sunday, a rapid event with five of the world's top ten players, even more exciting? World Champion Magnus Carlsen streaming his games!
Carlsen decided to stream his play on longtime friend Jon Ludvig Hammer's Twitch channel. Although Carlsen did not have the best day, scoring 5.5/8 and losing to GMs Wouter Spoelman and Luka Lenic (both due to light square attacks), his candor was widely celebrated by chess fans. At various points, Carlsen observed...
- "None of these games are easy at all..."
- "I should stop complaining. I won so who cares... I care; I don't like playing poorly..."
- "Let's see if he's prepared for this. If he has that really sucks for me, because this is not a good opening at all."
- "How can you people even mention the Super Bowl when you're watching what is going on here? It's just so much better."
- "I'm still bummed about the last game... I had a perfect score before that. 10/10. Now... gone! 10/11"
- "That was a TERRIBLE endgame... Awful."
Here's one clip of Carlsen's disappointment after winning (in his opinion) a less than satisfactory endgame against Georg Meier.
In addition to Carlsen, super-GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Hikaru Nakamura, and Yu Yangyi all played for their teams in this inaugural PRO Chess League event.
Full Super Saturday and Sunday rules and pairings are available here. To summarize...
- All teams play one match against the eight teams in the opposing division. The Atlantic and Pacific divisions played each other on Saturday and the Central and Eastern divisions played each other on Sunday.
- All matches featured one game between opposing boards: e.g. board one vs board one, board two vs board two, etc. All games were played at a time control of 10+2.
- For each day, the top 8 scoring teams received a match win in the PRO Chess League, the middle received a draw, and the bottom eight received a loss.
Cast your votes for game and move of the week!
What was the #prochess GOTW?— PROChessLeague ( @PROChessLeague) February 5, 2018
Carlsen vs Spoelman - https://t.co/4MOHZnaGEp
Caruana vs @GMHikaru - https://t.co/K4r4ekQJpR
Iturrizaga vs Mamedyarov - https://t.co/rQU25upTyJ
Izoria vs Bartholomew - https://t.co/dVWtEKTGlO @amspros @SeattleSluggers @SanJoseHackers
What's the #prochess MOTW?— PROChessLeague ( @PROChessLeague) February 5, 2018
Tang's 70...Nc6! https://t.co/xBG3fNJIre
Zwardon's 29...Rxh4! https://t.co/pQj1aLvExz
Mamedyarov's 17.Nc1! https://t.co/xvqsrfpQri
Miroschnichenko's 24.Nxe5!? https://t.co/GjFucsaMsZ @mnblizzardchess @rigamagicians @SanJoseHackers @AusChessKangas
Pacific And Atlantic Division Final Placement
Pacific And Atlantic Division Board Scores
Super Saturday Highlights: San Jose Hackers Really, Really Good
The San Jose Hackers have put together solid lineups each week, but this was the first week that they were able include world number-two Mamedyarov in their lineup. Backed up by Rauf Mamedov and Zviad Izoria, the Hackers had three players who could reasonably be board ones on most teams. Even better, their fourth board, Vinesh Ravuri, scored 5/7! With Mamedyarov back in the lineups after a Tata Steel hiatus, the Hackers look absolutely ferocious. Here's a sample of the many beautiful games they won this week.
Super Saturday Highlights: Chessbrahs Contenders Again With Shiyam Thavandiran?
The Montreal Chessbrahs went all the way to the semi-finals last year and were defeated only in an absolutely epic overtime match with the Saint Louis Arch Bishops. This year, they have struggled to appear the same championship contenders, having lost Fabiano Caruana (to the Arch Bishops) and Li Chao (who founded the Chengdu Pandas).
However, that may have all changed this week as they revealed a new weapon. IM Shiyam Thavandiran scored 7/8 for them on board, the highest score of any player on Super Saturday. Here is one crushing victory he achieved.
Super Saturday Highlights: Pandas And Kangaroos Fearsome PRO Chess Additions
The Chengdu Pandas and the Australia Kangaroos are the two new Pacific Division teams from across the very, very big pond. The Pandas have been eyed as a championship contender from early on as they have fielded elite players like Yu Yangyi on board one. The Kangaroos have bounded slightly below the radar until this week. On Wednesday, they put up a huge match score, and collectively the Pandas and the Kangaroos secured second and third place on Super Saturday. Both teams answered many questions for any doubters unsure where to rank these newer teams.
Here are two fascinating efforts: one from Yu Yangyi (who had his first bad day) and one from Evgeny Miroschnichenko.
Central And European Division Final Placement
Central And European Division Board Scores
Super Sunday Highlights: The "Yans" Are Excellent!
The Armenian Eagles, fielding a lineup exclusively of players whose last name ends in "yan," won the #prochess Super Sunday, making an impressive statement to a league that didn't really know who they were yet. With three strong GMs on the top boards, their consistently impressive results from CM Artak Manukyan on board four, make for a very, very difficult team to defeat.
One of their more fun wins was this victory by the "Yan in Chief," GM Hrant Melkumyan on board one, who exchanged many pieces for his opponent's queen in a tactical flurry.
Super Sunday Highlights: Gnomes Still Seeking Perfect Lineup
Despite an off-day today, Magnus Carlsen seems a relatively good bet to score 4-0 in any given week. Certainly, you'd have to be pretty gutsy to keep him out of your fantasy lineup. However, the World Champion seems to be insufficient to guarantee the Gnomes victories in light of cracks elsewhere in the lineup.
Their talented youngster, Elham Abdrlauf scored 2/8 on the day and had yet to earn a win prior to Super Sunday, but he did finish the day with one. Like the Chessbrahs, the Gnomes are a fan favorite of whom many expect a deep playoff run, but they have yet to capture the lineup magic that took them to the PRO Chess League finals last year.
Despite the many fine wins by Gnomes who finished with a draw, we can't resist showing one of their losses, a very exciting game between World Junior Champion Aryan Tari and GM Levan Pantsulaia of the Stockholm Snowballs, a team that narrowly bested the Norway Gnomes by a half-point.
Super Sunday Highlights: Stormbringers In Form With Andreikin
Last year, the Volga Stormbringers made the playoffs and were only ousted by the Norway Gnomes. This year they have struggled, losing all three matches so far. Super Sunday was their first opportunity to debut their powerful board one, GM Dmitry Andreikin who scored 5.5/8 on board one. He was bolstered by strong performances on all boards. Collectively, the Stormbringers scored +12, finishing only a half-point behind the Eagles!
Here is a barnburner from their board four, Valdislav Chizhikov. Perhaps no part of this game was really "correct," but how often do you see a game with four queen promotions?!?!