PogChamps2: TSM_Zexrow Takes Group C Lead, dogdog 2nd
dogdog 2-0'd tfblade and moves into second place in group C.

PogChamps2: TSM_Zexrow Takes Group C Lead, dogdog 2nd

ColinStapczynski
ColinStapczynski
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8 | Chess Event Coverage

Group C was highlighted during Thursday's round two action. PogChamps is moving closer to the end of the group stage, with only one round in group play remaining. The show was commentated by IM Danny Rensch, Ludwig, and GM Hikaru Nakamura, who began the broadcast by discussing the news of the day: Nakamura has joined TSM, the US-based professional esports team.

The concurrent viewers peaked at over 25,000 on Thursday, and the battles on the board were exciting. dogdog defeated the previous group C leader, tfblade, in a very impressive fashion and moved into second place in group C. In the second match, TSM_Zexrow beat QTCinderalla and took over the first place spot in group C—TSM_Zexrow is in a strong position to reach the championship bracket.

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps on Saturday, August 29 at 11:45 a.m. Pacific (20:45 p.m. Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv. The complete show archives are available on twitch.tv/chess and youtube.com/chess.

dogdog Brutally 2-0s tfblade

dogdog is the highest-rated player in group C, and he showed why against tfblade on Thursday. In the first game, dogdog played like a machine. He used an opening trap to win a piece and then launched an early attack against tfblade's king which resulted in checkmate—an impressive 15-move victory for dogdog, who had an incredible 98.3 CAPS score in this game.

PogChamps
dogdog had a 98.3 CAPS score in game one of the match.

In the second game, dogdog continued his strong play and again won a piece in the opening. He kept up the pressure and won tfblade's queen and then delivered a nice checkmate. 

In the post-match interview, dogdog said that he has been training for about three hours a day and revealed who his secret coach is: a 2100-rated player who also plays hearthstone.

With this win, dogdog moves to second place in the group C bracket. He will face QTCinderella in the last round of group play on Monday, August 31. tfblade will look to bounce back against Nakamura's new teammate, TSM_Zexrow, on the same day.

TSM_Zexrow Beats QTCinderalla 

TSM_Zexrow had a good day. He not only gained a new teammate (his PogChamps coach, Nakamura) but also earned the "W" versus QTCinderalla. In game one, Zexrow played a King's Indian Attack and won a piece in the opening.

After winning a piece, Zexrow patiently maneuvered before trading queens. He stayed vigilant and picked up an exchange, and was up a rook in the endgame. But then it was Zexrow's turn to blunder, and he gave the full rook back to QT, who spotted it at the last second:

After Zexrow's mistake, the opposite-colored bishop endgame looked very drawish, but QT erred again and got her king and bishop forked. Still, with so few pawns left on the board, it was a difficult position to play for both sides. In a tragic comedy of errors, QT actually promoted her pawn to a queen but then lost it on the following move!

This crazy game ended in a draw, a result that both players were probably happy with.

In the second game, QT played the Austrian attack against Zexrow's Pirc Defense and scored a strong position out of the opening. She played extremely well in the middlegame and picked up an extra pawn but then blundered a full rook. In mutual time trouble, Zexrow hung a rook, but QT missed it, and Zexrow picked up another piece and delivered checkmate—a Houdini-like escape for Zexrow.

With this win, TSM_Zexrow moved into first place in group C. QTCinderella will face tfblade in the last round of group play on Monday, August 31. 

Group C Standings

PogChamps

Make sure to tune into Chess.com's daily coverage of the 2020 Chess.com PogChamps on Saturday, August 29 at 11:45 a.m. Pacific (20:45 p.m. Central Europe) on Chess.com/tv.


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