PRO Chess League Summer Series: Montreal A Lock As 3 Teams Vie For Last Playoff Spot

PRO Chess League Summer Series: Montreal A Lock As 3 Teams Vie For Last Playoff Spot

IsaacSteincamp
IsaacSteincamp
|
10 | Chess.com News

The PRO Chess League Summer Series group stage comes to an end on Saturday, and with the Montreal Chessbrahs clinching first place in Group D, the Minnesota BlizzardNorway Gnomes and the Cannes Blitzstreams enter the fight for the group's final automatic qualifying spot in the Summer Series Championship.

Fans will get their last chance to play in the Summer Series in Saturday's Live Club Matches (August 17, 8 a.m. PDT) to compete for the final $250 best fan prize of the summer.

2019 PRO Chess League Summer Series | Group D Standings

Team Points Club
Montreal Chessbrahs 11 Fan Club
Cannes Blitzstreams 5 Fan Club
Norway Gnomes 4 Fan Club
Minnesota Blizzard 4 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.

Norway Gnomes vs. Cannes Blitzstreams
Saturday, August 17, at 8 a.m. PDT.

Why Norway wins: Who thought the tournament favorites would have lost both of their Live Club Matches heading into the final week? Luckily for GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, the stars seem to be aligning for a second-place finish. The Gnomes play their biggest obstacle, the Blitzstreams, to start the day, while Minnesota has to fend off the unstoppable Montreal Chessbrahs.

We have seen Norway thrive in the PRO Chess Leaguecan it do it again in crunch time?

A win over Cannes and a strong knockout battle showing from GM Jon Ludvig Hammer should be enough for the Gnomes to clinch the fifth seed in the Summer Series Championship.

Why Cannes wins: This is the moment the Blitzstreams have waited for all summer. After a painful playoff loss to the Gnomes last year, the Blitzstreams have a chance to eliminate Norway from Summer Series Championship contention with a win. This week, the Blitzstreams are bringing GM Fabien Libiszewski to the match, and are counting on another impressive turnout. After narrowly beating Minnesota last week, Cannes has this...right?

Cannes has a GM on top board, but if Cannes is going to beat Norway, it will need Bordi's fans to turnout en masse.

Minnesota Blizzard vs. Montreal Chessbrahs

Saturday, August 17, at 10:40 a.m. PDT.

Why Minnesota wins: GM Andrew Tang is back, and the team's destiny lies in his hands on Saturday. The Blizzard will need its local players to return to action once again if it hopes to beat the Chessbrahs. While Minnesota has not had the same fan turnout as their Group D opponents, its grassroots recruiting efforts have set it apart this summer. A one-point loss to the Blitzstreams was a setback last week, but do not forget that the Blitzstreams nearly beat the Chessbrahs!

GM Andrew Tang is going to be a dangerous opponent on Saturday in both the live club match and the knockout battle.

Why Montreal wins: Already having won Group D and clinched the second seed in the Summer Series Championship, Montreal did not need to send its strongest player in the group's final week. But the Chessbrahs squashed any sign of relenting when they registered GM Ivan Saric for Saturday's action. For the Chessbrahs, this week is about silencing critics heading into the Summer Series Championship. The last time Montreal played in the PRO Chess League Playoffs? The 2017 semifinals.

GM Ivan Saric makes his Summer Series debut on Saturday. With a quarterfinals berth clinched, Saric will be attempting to lead the Chessbrahs to the summer's record point total.
Voting For Your Favorite Teams on Twitch

With the fan tiebreaker closing last Wednesday, the Mumbai Movers are the third team to earn their spot in the Summer Series third-place vote.

Who will claim the final two spots in the PRO Chess League Summer Series Championship? The ninth and 10th seeds will be awarded in the third-place vote on the PRO Chess League Twitch channel. To qualify for the vote, teams had to finish in third place in their respective groups, meaning the San Francisco MechanicsPittsburgh Pawngrabbers and the Mumbai Movers have already clinched their spots in the vote. Group D's third-place finisher will be determined on Saturday.

The third-place vote will start shortly after Group D play concludes, and will last exactly four hours. The top two teams will advance to the play-in round on Sunday, August 19. Anyone with a Twitch account can vote, so make sure to support your favorite teams one last time!

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 for his thoughts about the upcoming playoffs, Danny made some major changes to his bracket:

Really surprised to see Montreal clinch the "group of death" so early. Norway was definitely the favorite, and frankly, it may not make the playoff at all if it can't get it together on Saturday. But the biggest winner of Group D might be the Baden Baden Snowballs.

I'm looking at my bracket and seeing Saint Louis, Montreal and Chengdu all on the same side—someone is going to exit the tournament early. Meanwhile, if Baden Baden can get by Norway, it has a clear path to the title. Who is going to stop Baden Baden? An unproven Sao Paulo Capybaras team? A relegated Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers team? I'm on the GM Georg Meier bandwagon this week. 

Danny Rensch's Bracket:

Danny sees the Baden Baden Snowballs as a new favorite to win the Summer Series on August 31.

Disagree with Danny's picks? Make your picks in the comments and play in the PRO Chess League Summer Series this Saturday, August 17 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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