Saric Still Perfect In PRO Chess Week Two
Ivan Saric only player to score 8/8.

Saric Still Perfect In PRO Chess Week Two

SamCopeland
NM SamCopeland
Jan 18, 2019, 7:16 PM |
14 | Chess.com News

After two weeks, only one player, GM Ivan Saric, has a perfect 8/8 score in the PRO Chess League. His dominant performance (as well as GM Eric Hansen's) have made the Montreal Chessbrahs look like one of the teams to beat early in the PRO Chess League season. Also greatly impressing are the Saint Louis Arch Bishops and the relatively unheralded Barcelona Raptors who scored a double-digit victory once again.

Cast your vote in the game and MVP of the week polls!

PRO Chess Dream Teams Stream

It's difficult to draw major conclusions about the PRO Chess League after only two weeks, but one thing that is VERY clear is that 2019 is the season in which streaming has arrived. Here are some of the PRO Chess League stars that streamed in week two to hundreds and even thousands of viewers on their channels.

PRO Chess League 2019, Hikaru Nakamura

PRO Chess League, MVL

Want to follow your team's personal stream? Be sure to check out their team page to see if they have a Twitch channel!

Chessbrahs Have Best Top Three?

Different teams favor different lineups depending on their available talent and strategies, but one of the most popular lineups is a stacked top three balanced with one talented or underrated player on board four. The Montreal Chessbrahs arguably have the best version of this lineup so far as GM Ivan Saric has scored 8/8 and GM Eric Hansen has scored 7.5/8. If the Chessbrahs continue to deliver performances like this, they will be tough to stop.

PRO Chess League 2019 Leaders

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

Atlantic Division

Pacific Division

Eastern Division

Central Division


Sevian and Sopranos Outshine Harvey and Lions

Sam Sevian scored 3.5/4 and was critical to the Sopranos narrow victory over the Londion Lions. Interestingly, his only draw was against the Lions, board four, Marcus Harvey. Harvey has long been a bright spot for the Lions, and is a surefire fantasy starter most weeks.

Here is Sevian's prettiest win, an e6-sacrifice which soon leads to devastation.

2019 PRO Chess League | Montclair Sopranos vs. London Lions

Sopranos Lions Romain Edouard Ravi Haria Peter Roberson Marcus Harvey 7.5
Sam Sevian 3.5
Aleksandr Lenderman 3
Michael Rohde 1
Thomas Bartell 1
8.5 2 1.5 1.5 2.5

Arch Bishops Win Big On Top Boards

The Arch Bishops could easily have monopolized the game of the week nominees this week. Caruana, So, and Ali Marandi all won beautiful games. Ultimately Ali Marandi and So received noms for these two games with So eventually winning the contest.

PRO Chess League, Wesley So

2019 PRO Chess League | Webster Windmills vs. Saint Louis Arch Bishops

Windmills Arch Bishops Fabiano Caruana Wesley So Cemil Can Ali Marandi Josh Bloomer 11
Ray Robson 2.5
Illia Nyzhnyk 1
Emilio Cordova 1
Thalia Cervantes 0.5
5 3.5 4 3 0.5

Marshalls Take Advantage Of Erenburg's Poor Form

The Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers improved their lineup by adding Sergey Erenburg on board one this week. Unfortunately, in his PRO Chess League debut, he struggled considerably and was only able to score a half-point. His most painful loss was this defeat by Djurabuk Khamrakulov. The Marshalls' inform me that it was a travesty that this game was not nominated for game of the week.

2019 PRO Chess League | New York Marshalls vs. Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers

Marshalls Pawngrabbers Sergey Erenburg Awonder Liang Tuan Minh Le Jennifer Yu 7
Wojciech Moranda 3
Sergei Azarov 2.5
Khamrakulov Djurabek 2.5
Aaron Jacobson 1
9 1 3 2 1

Chessbrahs Secure Two Perfect Scores

Both Ivan Saric and Eric Hansen won all four of their games to aid the Chessbrahs to another monster score and a shared lead with the Arch Bishops in the Atlantic Division.

There were lots of great wins to pick from, but Ivan Saric's pawn endgame win against Pavel Eljanov was probably the most instructive.

2019 PRO Chess League | Montreal Chessbrahs vs. Miami Champions

Chessbrahs Champions Pavel Eljanov Daniel Fernandez Alexander Katz Tianqi Wang 5
Ivan Saric 4
Robin van Kampen 3
Eric Hansen 4
Eric Kurtz 0
11 1 2 1 1

Dallas Destiny Overpower Seattle Sluggers

Two seasons of the PRO Chess League have shown that Hikaru Nakamura is not strong enough to carry a team to victory by himself. This week's match was another case in point as the deeper Destiny squad convincingly defeated the Sluggers. Jeffery Xiong equaled Nakamura's score with 3.5/4 and won a GOTW candidate with a great #puzzlerush finish.

PRO Chess League, Jeffery Xiong

2019 PRO Chess League | Dallas Destiny vs. Seattle Sluggers

Destiny Sluggers Hikaru Nakamura Victor Mikhalevski Roland Feng Alikhan Irgaliyev 6.5
Jeffery Xiong 3.5
Conrad Holt 2
Razvan Preotu 2
Zhu Jiner 2
9.5 3.5 2 1 0

Hot Start From Hackers Cooled By Blizzard

The San Jose Hackers started excellently, even achieving a fine upset from America's newest IM, Christopher Yoo, against Andrew Tang, but they stalled later on as the Blizzard came back to tie the match. One of the most exciting wins of the match was this one by perfect-scorer Rauf Mamedov.

2019 PRO Chess League | San Jose Hackers vs. Minnesota Blizzard

Hackers Blizzard Fidel Corrales Andrew Tang Thomas Beerdsen Nikola Mitkov 8
Rauf Mamedov 4
Zviad Izoria 1.5
Christopher Woojin Yoo 1
Vinesh Ravuri 1.5
8 1.5 2 2.5 2

Sarana MVP Candidate In Kangaroos Win

Last week, Alexey Sarana scored 3.5/4 and narrowly missed an MVP nomination. This week, he could not be denied as he scored a perfect 4/4 and helped the Kangaroos to a truly dominant victory over the San Francisco Mechanics. I'm no knight endgame expert, but I'm fairly certain that no human should be able to entomb Black's king on h8 as Sarana did to Naroditsky in this position.

PRO Chess League, Aleksey Sarana

2019 PRO Chess League | San Francisco Mechanics vs. Australia Kangaroos

Mechanics Kangaroos Aleksey Sarana Anton Smirnov Molthun Ly Raymond Song 11
Daniel Naroditsky 2.5
Yannick Gozzoli 1
Steven Zierk 1.5
Ezra Chambers 0
5 4 3 1.5 2.5

Pandas Win Against Norm-Rich Surfers

IMs Michael Brown, John Bryant, and Keaton Kiewra have seven grandmaster norms between them. Despite their depth, they could not overcom  the Pandas squad who were lead by Yu Yangyi and Li Chao. The Pandas always seem to be able to balance two elites players with two under-rated players, and they did it again in this match. It's clearly a formula destined for success.

2019 PRO Chess League | San Diego Surfers vs. Chengdu Pandas

Surfers Pandas Yu Yangyi Li Chao Chu Wei Chao Gu Xiaobing 9
Alexey Dreev 3
Michael Brown 2
John Daniel Bryant 1
Keaton Kiewra 1
7 3.5 3 1.5 1

Eagles Win Big On Board Four To Defeat Movers

The Armenia Eagles have always scored well on board four, but it's usually been Artak Manukyan playing the role of spoiler. This time they debuted Anna Sargsyan who scored an outstanding 2.5/4 in her first outing. As impressive as her result was, the best game in the match might have come from World Junior Champion, Parham Maghsoodloo, who won nicely against the Movers' board four Aakansha Hagawane.

2019 PRO Chess League | Mumbai Movers vs. Armenia Eagles

Movers Eagles Parham Maghsoodloo Zaven Andriasian Vahe Baghdasaryan Anna Sargsyan 9
Adhiban Baskaran 2.5
Surya Shekhar Ganguly 2
Raunak Sadhwani 2.5
Aakansha Hagawane 0
7 2.5 2.5 1.5 2.5

Dynamite Defeat Horses In Close Match

The Delhi Dynamite squeaked by the Estonia Horses in an exciting match in which the normally impressive Jaan Ehlvest had a poor day. Although she couldn't pick up the slack, the Horses did benefit from a good result from board four, Mai Narva. She scored 1.5/4 and even let some excellent positions like this one and an exchange up position against Harikrishna get away.

2019 PRO Chess League | Delhi Dynamite vs. Estonia Horses

Dynamite Horses Nikita Meshkovs Jaan Ehlvest Ottomar Ladva Mai Narva 7.5
Harikrishna Pentala 3.5
Abhijeet Gupta 3
Sahaj Grover 2
Srija Seshadri 0
8.5 3.5 1 1.5 1.5

Stormbringers Add Junior To Best Phoenix

The Volga Stormbringers have benefited this year and last year from their junior Abdusattorov's excellent play. This week they added another junior to their squad, Bibisara Assaubayeva. She impressed on board four in her first match by scoring 1.5/4. Her following win in the last round was critical to the Stormbringers' narrow victory against the Phoenix.

2019 PRO Chess League | Moscow Phoenix vs. Volga Stormbringers

Phoenix Stormbringers Dmitry Andreikin Nodirbek Abdusattorov Aleksey Ivlev Bibisara Assaubayeva 8.5
Pavel Ponkratov 3.5
Dmitry Kryakvin 2
Nikita Afanasiev 2
Konstantin Novikov 0
7.5 3 2 2 1.5

Quparadze's Bishops Defeat Wizards

Three points on board three from GM Quparadze's bishops (often the decisive factor in his games this week) was the key to the Gentlemen's victory against the Moscow Wizards. Here is one of his wonderful wins, an exchange sacrifice that is nominated for game of the week.

2019 PRO Chess League | Moscow Wizards vs. Tbilisi Gentlemen

Wizards Gentlemen Baadur Jobava Davit Jojua Giga Quparadze Nika Volkov 8.5
Sanan Sjugirov 3
Boris Savchenko 3
Vlad Dobrov 1.5
Dinara Dordzhieva 0
7.5 1.5 1.5 3 2.5

Gnomes Win Another Match In Front of Home Crowd

The Norway Gnomes have won both of their matches by a narrow 8.5-7.5 margin. These exciting matches have been played live in "The Good Knight" pub in Oslo. The energy of the home crowd has really added to GM Jon Ludvig Hammer's stream. Here is one great clip from the show.

2019 PRO Chess League | Norway Gnomes vs. Amsterdam Mosquitoes

Gnomes Mosquitoes David Klein Miguoel Admiraal Liam Vrolijk Jasel Lopez 7.5
Aryan Tari 3
Johan Salomon 2
Kristian Stuvik Holm 2.5
Torbjorn Ringdal Hansen 1
8.5 1.5 2.5 2 1.5

Raptors Crush The Blitzstreams

The Barcelona Raptors seem to smell blood in the Central Division. They've butchered two teams by amassing gaudy double-digit scores. This week the big performer was GM Daniel Forcen who scored a perfect 4/4.

PRO Chess League, Daniel Forcen

2019 PRO Chess League | Cannes Blitzstreams vs. Barcelona Raptors

Blitzstreams Raptors Daniel Forcen Esteban Hipolito Asis Gargatagli Miguel Munoz Alejandro Alvarado Diaz 11
Maxime Lagarde 2
Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian 0.5
Paul Velten 1
Deimante Cornette 1.5
5 4 2.5 2.5 2

Berger's Bears Beat The Turtles

Steve Berger received a game of the week nomination last week, and this week he again performed well for the Bears, scoring 3/4 on board four. The Berlin Bears let their opponents slip away last week, but this week, they finished strong and reached a 10-6 score. This leaves the Turtles in last place in the division, struggling to regain their form from last year. #WheresLukaLenic

2019 PRO Chess League | Ljubljana Turtles vs. Berlin Bears

Turtles Bears Arik Braun Michael Bezold Marco Baldauf Steve Berger 10
Jure Borisek 1.5
Dusko Pavasovic 1
Boris Markoja 2.5
Laura Unuk 1
6 3 3 1 3

Central Powerhouses Split Point

The Marseille Migraines and the Baden-Baden Snowballs have consistently been the strongest teams in the Central Division in the last two years. This year, they split their hard-fought match. One of the prettiest wins was this smashing assault from Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

2019 PRO Chess League | Baden-Baden Snowballs vs. Marseille Migraines

Snowballs Migraines Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Etienne Bacrot Alban Delorme Stephane Regoli 8
Georg Meier 3
Kirill Alekseenko 2.5
Dmitrij Kollars 2.5
Inna Agrest 0
8 3 2 2 1
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