PRO Chess League Summer Series: Europe Joins The Fray In Group B
Group B of the PRO Chess League Summer Series will introduce the tournament's first European teams.

PRO Chess League Summer Series: Europe Joins The Fray In Group B

IsaacSteincamp
IsaacSteincamp
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13 | Chess.com News

This Saturday, Europe will make its debut into the PRO Chess League Summer Series, as three Central Division sides look to make their impact in Group B. The "group of life" nickname means that any of the four teams can find themselves in the next round, so fans will likely play a big factor.

Baden-Baden, the Central Division champion and PRO Chess League finalist, is certainly the favorite to win the group, but bitter PRO Chess League memories from the Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers, Barcelona Raptors and Reykjavik Puffins could quickly cause Summer Series chaos.

2019 PRO Chess League Summer Series | Group B Standings

  Team Points Club
Barcelona Raptors 0 Fan Club
Baden Baden Snowballs 0 Fan Club
Reykjavik Puffins 0 Fan Club
Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers 0 Fan Club

While teams will be counting on their star players, they will also be counting on you, the fans, to help them progress to the Summer Series Championship! To help your favorite teams make the cut, make sure to join their clubs and play in this Saturday's Live Club Matches.

Barcelona Raptors vs Baden Baden Snowballs
Saturday, June 22 at 8 a.m Pacific

Why Barcelona wins: The Raptors don't need to be reminded how their 2019 PRO Chess League debut season ended. After a painful final-week relegation, general manager FM Jose Herrera has been planting the seeds for a Raptors qualifying bid. Barcelona enters the opening week of Group B in first with its fans' support, and will now look to GM Daniel Forcen Esteban to beat the Snowballs. Welcome to Jurassic Park, Baden Baden.

GM Daniel Forcen Esteban was the Raptors' most reliable weapon in 2019. Can he lead Barcelona to a winning start in Group B?

Why Baden Baden wins: The Snowballs beat the Raptors 12-4 last March en route to a deep playoff run, so GM Dmitrij Kollars should be confident heading into Saturday's match-up. The 19-year old scored 3/4 in his performance against the Spanish side, including a win against Forcen Esteban as Black. Expect Baden Baden's fans to arrive en masse, as the Snowballs plan to melt away their competition from week one.

GM Dmitrij Kollars had a 2600+ performance rating last season for the Baden Baden Snowballs.
Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers vs Reykjavik Penguins
Saturday, June 22 at 10:30am Pacific

Why Pittsburgh wins: Just like the Raptors, the Pawngrabbers are looking to make an offseason statement after being relegated from the Atlantic Division last season. This week, GM Awonder Liang will lead the black and gold against the Puffins in their second-ever PRO Chess League encounter. Expect Pittsburgh to be in its best form on Saturday to impress new general manager NM Grant Xu.

GM Awonder Liang has been a fan favorite for the Pawngrabbers since his 2018 debut.

Why Reykjavik wins: It has been 471 days since the Puffins played in the PRO Chess League, and the Icelandic side is ready to be back. After being relegated in 2018, GM Bragi Thorfinnsson has since earned his grandmaster title, and looks to give the Puffins a much-needed boost this Summer Series. An opening-week match against Pittsburgh is a perfect litmus test for FM Ingvar Johannesson's side, as an early win can launch them to the top of Group B.

A lot has changed for GM Bragi Thorfinnsson since he last played in the PRO Chess League.
Predicting the PRO Chess League Summer Series Champion: Fan Take With Helmsknight

Each week, Chess.com will reach out to streamers to make their picks for the Summer Series Championship. "Helmsknight" is this week's featured streamer after participating in Chess.com's Stream Squad Coverage of the event last week.

Helmsknight is consistently one of the top Doubles Chess players on Chess.com, holding a 2600+ rating. Helmsknight streams her favorite variant regularly:

When asked about her picks for the PRO Chess League Summer Series Championship, Helmsknight gave us her insight:
"I'm rooting for GM Jon Ludvig Hammer and the Norway Gnomes, but it's hard seeing them getting past the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and GM Fabiano Caruana. Sao Paulo should win Group C backed by GM Krikor Mekhitarian, but a tough pairing against the Montreal Chessbrahs should see them out of the Summer Series."

Helmsknight's Bracket:

Helmsknight sees the Saint Louis Arch Bishops as an early favorite to win the Summer Series Championships.

Disagree with Helmsknight's picks? Make your picks in the comments and play in the PRO Chess League Summer Series this Saturday, June 22 at 8 a.m. PDT. To watch the official coverage, visit Twitch.tv/chess and follow the channel to get notifications for the Summer Series.

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

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