PRO Chess League Preview Week 9: Strong Performances Needed

PRO Chess League Preview Week 9: Strong Performances Needed

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Week nine of the PRO Chess League will see the last regular round before next week's Battles Royale will close off the season and open the doors for the playoffs. The Atlantic and Pacific Divisions take off on Wednesday beginning at 1:30 p.m. PST (4:30 p.m. EST, 9:30 p.m. GMT) and the Eastern and Central Divisions will play on Thursday beginning at 7 a.m. PST (10 a.m. EST, 3 p.m. GMT). 

Preview by IM Greg Shahade.

With the playoffs just two weeks a way, a few teams have mostly locked up their spots into the postseason, while other teams stand on the edge, needing a strong performance in the last two weeks of the season.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION STANDINGS

PRO Chess League Atlantic standings


In the Atlantic Division, the big match of the week is the Montreal Chessbrahs and Montclair Sopranos.


Montreal is just 3.5 points behind Montclair for the final playoff spot, and with GM Ivan Saric on board one, facing off against four players under 2600, the Croatian GM and the Chessbrahs have a chance for a big score.

PRO Chess League Ivan Saric


PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS

PRO Chess League Pacific standings


The Pacific Division sees four teams fighting for the final playoff spot. Chengdu, Dallas and are looking like they are in great shape, barring disaster in the final two weeks, and Minnesota is also in a great position. But Australia, San Jose and San Francisco are only separated by seven points in the standings. Meanwhile even the Seattle Sluggers are just 12.5 points away.

EASTERN DIVISION STANDINGS

PRO Chess League Eastern standings


The Eastern Division is the one with the clearest-looking playoff picture. The fourth-placed Mumbai Movers have a 22-point lead over the Delhi Dynamite for the fourth and final playoff spot. But with a Battle Royale looming on the final week of the season, it's not clinched just yet.

CENTRAL DIVISION STANDINGS

PRO Chess League Central standings


The Central Division is the tightest division in the league with the most impactful week-nine matches. Just 13.5 points separate the second and sixth place team. Only the leaders, the Norway Gnomes, look assured of a playoff berth.


GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
will attempt to lead Marseille in a late-season comeback to grab one of the last playoff spots. But it's facing a rejuvenated Berlin Bears team that is coming off two strong performances. Meanwhile Cannes plays Amsterdam and Baden-Baden plays Barcelona, with all four of these teams fighting for playoff berths.

PRO Chess League Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


Watch all the PRO Chess League action on
Twitch.tv/chess, Twitch.tv/prochessleague, and Chess.com/tv on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Atlantic and Pacific Divisions play on March 6 beginning at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time while the Eastern and Central Divisions play on March 7 beginning at 7 a.m. Pacific time.


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