Shanghai Tigers Rout Indian Yogis; Gotham Knights Crush Team MGD1, Setup Finals Clash

Shanghai Tigers Rout Indian Yogis; Gotham Knights Crush Team MGD1, Setup Finals Clash


The Shanghai Tigers convincingly routed the Indian Yogis with a strong 9-7 score in spite of off-the-board inconveniences, while the Gotham Knights crushed Team MGD1 in just three rounds to move into the Finals of the 2023 Pro Chess League.

It was a poor day at the office for both all-Indian teams, who will now clash against each other to decide third place.

GM Xu Yi sizzled for the Tigers with a score of 3.5/4, which included memorable wins against GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and GM M Pranesh. Both GM Vladimir Fedoseev and GM Shamsiddin Vokhidov excelled for the Knights scoring 3/3.

The top four placings will be decided on Sunday, May 14, starting with the Indian Yogis vs. Team MGD1 for third place at 6:30 a.m. PT / 15:30 CEST, followed by the finals with Shanghai Tigers vs. Gotham Knights at 9:00 a.m. PT/18:00 CEST

Shanghai Tigers 9.0 – 7.0 Indian Yogis

Just as the first round of the match got underway, commentator Sachdev pointed out two awesome facts about the Yogis: GM Raunak Sadhwani has the coolest chess tattoo in the world, and the Yogis’ average age for the round was just 19, with IM  R Vaishali being the oldest player on the team at 21.

To the Tigers’ dismay, IM Lou Yiping was declared a forfeit for his game against Praggnanandhaa because he wasn’t able to connect to the server. And almost immediately, Sadhwani’s early blunder meant that Xu had scored the first of his wins very quickly:

With Pranesh’s crucial victory over GM Wei Yi, the Yogis won the first round 2.5-1.5.

Xu scored an important win over Praggnanandhaa with impressive play in the second round, which is our Game of the Day, annotated by GM Rafael Leitao below. 

Wei scored a grinding technical win over Vaishali for the Tigers, thus ending the round with a combined score of 5-5. From the beginning of the second round itself, spectators could observe that Lou was playing with an iPad instead of a laptop, and it was unclear if he could play at the same speed with lesser time in a rapid game as effectively.

The third round was the most pivotal of the entire match, which started off with a brilliant tactical win by Xu with black pieces over Pranesh involving a queen sacrifice:

Fittingly, Canty came up with delightful epithets for Xu’s play:

It was a colorful spectacle to watch Xu spring up from the chair and celebrate his brilliant win with unrestrained zest.

With fortune smiling on either of the teams at various times, Praggnanandhaa and Sadhwani finally cracked under pressure, the latter even losing a rook endgame with one pawn against two in the final seconds of play:

This enabled the Tigers to win the round with a 3-1 score and take a commanding 7-5 lead in the match.

The Yogis seemed to put up a good fight in the fourth and final round, as Sadhwani scored a grinding win from an impressive endgame. Thus, it boiled down to the final game of the round between Praggnanandhaa and Wei, but the Indian even ended up losing after overpressing an equal endgame. Thus, the Tigers won the match with a final score of 9-7.

All games | Semifinal 1

Results | Semifinal 1

Gotham Knights 9.0 – 3.0 Team MGD1

The Knights were always the dominating team of the match, and they were helped by the first-round game between Vokhidov and GM Baskaran Adhiban, where the latter tripped while pressing for a win in a rook endgame with an extra pawn:

This enabled the Knights to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the match, from which the MGD1 never recovered.

Nakamura had drawn all his four games in the Knights’ quarterfinal clash against the Arch Bishops. He produced a much better result on Saturday, as he scored two brisk wins and showed good form:

GM Dronavalli Harika seemed to have developed a good advantage against Fedoseev, only to blunder it away in the second round:

After the second round, the Knights shot into a commanding lead of 6.5-1.5, and they wrapped up the match easily with a 2.5-1.5 win in the final round, thus registering a thumping 9-3 victory in just three rounds and rendering the final round unnecessary. 

All Games | Semifinal 2

Results | Semifinal 2

Playoffs Bracket

The Pro Chess League (PCL) is the number-one online global chess league for teams from all over the world. The Playoffs feature eight teams playing rapid games for their piece of the $150,000 prize fund.

Eight teams compete in a single-elimination knockout. The time control is 10+2. The first team to score 8.5 points wins the match.

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