PRO Chess League Summer Series: Group Of Death Set For Saturday
In their first-ever PRO Chess League match, the Minnesota Blizzard will take on the Norway Gnomes in the Group D opener.

PRO Chess League Summer Series: Group Of Death Set For Saturday

IsaacSteincamp
IsaacSteincamp
|
15 | Chess.com News

Fans have waited weeks for this Saturday's PRO Chess League Summer Series match-ups, as the "group of death" kicks off with the Cannes BlitzstreamsMinnesota BlizzardMontreal Chessbrahs and the Norway Gnomes. With such a tight group, at least one team will have to leave the tournament before the Summer Series Championship begins.

These four teams have recruited fans all summer to play alongside them in Group D's opening week (August 3, 9 a.m. PDT), as getting off to a fast start will be critical on Saturday.

2019 PRO Chess League Summer Series | Group D Standings

Team Points Club
Cannes Blitzstreams 0 Fan Club
Minnesota Blizzard 0 Fan Club
Montreal Chessbrahs 0 Fan Club
Norway Gnomes 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.

Montreal Chessbrahs vs. Cannes Blitzstreams
Saturday, August 3, at 9 a.m. Pacific.

Why Montreal wins: On top of having the biggest fan growth heading into Group D, the Chessbrahs will be represented by GM Eric Hansen. Simply put, this is the safe pick. The tournament's lone Canadian team will be looking to punch a ticket to its first playoff appearance since 2017, and with Minnesota and Norway ahead on the schedule, this already feels like a must-win.

Expect the Chessbrahs to arrive in numbers—this could get ugly.

Is GM Eric Hansen ready to lead the Chessbrahs to PRO Chess League glory?

Why Cannes wins: For the Blitzstreams, this tournament is about redemption. After losing narrowly in a conference semifinal to the Norway Gnomes last March, Kevin Bordi's side is looking to rebound this Summer Series. While pundits have been quick to pass on Cannes in their predictions, this tournament has seen smaller teams thrive in the Live Club Matches, with the Puffins in particular. Watch Cannes closely this week, as this is a true litmus test.

Cannes will need to score points in Saturday's match-up if it wants to silence critics.
Minnesota Blizzard vs. Norway Gnomes
Saturday, August 3, at 11:30 a.m. PDT.

Why Minnesota wins: Remember how close Minnesota was to winning the Pacific Division? If not for a missed win in the final round against Chengdu, the Blizzard would have rivaled Saint Louis for the PRO Chess League crown. For GM Andrew Tang's team, the expectations are sky high—win the group and the Summer Series. While not the favorite in this match, Team Scandi will arrive in full force and test Norway early.

GM Andrew Tang is going to be a dangerous opponent on Saturday in both the Live Club Match and the Knockout Battle.

Why Norway wins: Norway has been a fan favorite so far this Summer Series, with many pundits picking the Gnomes to win their first PRO Chess League title. Leading the way is GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, who has actively been recruiting fans all summer long. Is the Gnomes' fanbase ready to play? If the Gnomes can beat the Blizzard on Saturday, Norway has what it takes to win Group D.

Are the Norway Gnomes title contenders? This Saturday's clash is the first major hurdle for the Norwegians.
Predicting the PRO Chess League Summer Series Champion: Fan Take With IM Danny Rensch

Each week Chess.com will reach out to various guests to make their picks for the Summer Series Championship. IM Danny Rensch (@DanielRensch) is this week's featured guest as one of Chess.com's main hosts for the PRO Chess League.

When asked about his picks for the PRO Chess League Summer Series Championship, Rensch said:

When the Sao Paulo Capybaras reclaimed their lead in Group C, I had to change my bracket! I've got a feeling that three teams will make it out of Group D into the Summer Series Championship, but only one can advance to the semifinals.

But my winner? Still has to be the Chengdu Pandas. I've watched them play live twice now, and both times they were THIS close to winning the PRO Chess League title.

Danny Rensch's Bracket:

Rensch still sees the Chengdu Pandas as the favorite to win the Summer Series Championship.

Disagree with Danny's picks? Make your picks in the comments and play in the PRO Chess League Summer Series this Saturday, August 3 at 9 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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