Wei Yi Stars, Anand’s Ganges Grandmasters Perfect In Global Chess League

Wei Yi Stars, Anand's Ganges Grandmasters Perfect In Global Chess League


Chinese GM Wei Yi remains the MVP of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023 after scoring a third win in four games. It took his team Traveni Continental Kings up to second place, but five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand’s Ganges Grandmasters still lead with the only perfect match score.  

World number-one Magnus Carlsen’s SG Alpine Warriors also won again to keep up the pressure. The action continues on June 25 from 7:30 a.m. ET / 13:30 CEST.

How to watch?
You can follow the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023 on our events page here. The event is being streamed on numerous TV channels, as well as on the GCL’s YouTube Channel

There were four matches on day three of the Global Chess League—three from round three and one from round four.

Round 3

Round 4

SG Alpine Warriors 8-7 Triveni Continental Kings

Carlsen-led SG Alpine Warriors remain within touching distance of the Global Chess League leaders after a win by the narrowest of margins in round three. About his game against GM Levon Aronian, the world number-one confessed: 

“I think it was not a great game for me. I think I was fine from the opening, and then I just missed his idea of closing the position with d5, completely, and I think after that he had a pretty significant advantage, definitely a lot of pressure there, and I really didn’t have a lot of active play. So I just had to defend, and then he made this one blunder, 28.f5?!

The Alpine Warriors include three Indian teenagers, with Carlsen commenting, “I’m also really happy to play in a team with so many talented youngsters and to see how their minds work.” They had varying fortunes in this match.

GM Gukesh D played the opening brilliantly and was objectively winning against Chinese GM Yu Yangyi, but a few inaccuracies allowed Yu to crash through and win. In the end that didn’t matter, since the opposite scenario played out on the bottom board. This time it was Danish GM Jonas Bjerre who dominated early on, finding a “double-exclam” exchange sacrifice that would have made the ninth World Chess Champion Tigran Petrosian proud.

16.Rd5! was much stronger—and more stylish—than retreating the rook from d6 to d1. Image: Global Chess League.

Later on, however, GM Praggnanandhaa R. gave back the exchange and then ground out a win in what should have been an equal endgame. Since he had the black pieces he picked up a match-winning four points—Yu got just three points for winning with White.

Praggnanandhaa’s win was enough for the Alpine Warriors to clinch the match. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Carlsen was happy with the new scoring system: “I think it’s really good. As you see now, it just means that when it comes down to it, one of the teams has to try and win, nobody can be satisfied with a draw, unless in the unlikely result that all the games are drawn, so I think it’s good.”

Balan Alaskan Knights 6-11 Ganges Grandmasters

That meant that the Alpine Warriors were briefly co-leaders, but then the Ganges Grandmasters, led by Anand, pulled away again by scoring a third win in three matches.

GM Tan Zhongyi had Black and won the battle of the former Chinese women’s world chess champions against women’s number-one Hou Yifan, but those four points were canceled out by three wins with White for the Ganges Grandmasters. The most impressive, perhaps, was by GM Leinier Dominguez, who positionally crushed the Sveshnikov Sicilian of GM Teimour Radjabov.

It would be a tough day at the office for Radjabov.

Chingari Gulf Titans 6-6 UpGrad Mumba Masters

The scoring system makes tied matches unlikely, but on day three we did get our first case of all six games ending in a draw. For most of this match that had seemed an unlikely outcome, with the game of “icons” Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda and French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave the first to catch the eye. 

As so often at the very top level, however, this appears to have been more a test of memory. Duda had been here before, and the spectacular game ultimately featured nothing new.

The longest game of the match saw GM Humpy Koneru let a winning advantage slip before she then tried to win a rook vs. bishop position against GM Alexandra Kosteniuk until move 117.

Humpy Kosteniuk
Humpy Koneru did everything in her power to win the game and match. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

The main drama, however, occurred on the bottom “prodigy” board, where Indian GM Nihal Sarin saw but rejected a fantastic queen sacrifice, before later letting Uzbek GM Javokhir Sindarov escape.

It was good news for GM Alexander Grischuk and the UpGrad Mumba Masters…

…but also not all bad for the Chingari Gulf Titans—they’d picked up their first match point of the event!

Triveni Continental Kings 10-8 Balan Alaskan Knights

This match was about as far removed from a draw-fest as you could get, and again it was decided by who won with the black pieces. There were two heroes, with one a familiar one for the Global Chess League. Wei had made his first draw, against GM Arjun Erigaisi, earlier in the day, but he got back to winning ways with a third win in four games. 

Wei Yi
Wei Yi has conceded just one draw in Dubai. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com

His great battling effort against Azerbaijan GM Teimour Radjabov is our Game of the Day, with analysis by GM Rafael Leitao below.

The other hero was Bjerre, who bounced back from a tough loss in spectacular style. A game that had already featured many adventures turned his way when Indian GM Raunak Sadhwani lost his way in a tricky position. Then things escalated fast.

The win gave the Triveni Continental Kings their second win of the tournament and took them up to second place, though they’ve played one match more than the other team on six points, the SG Alpine Warriors. They get a rest day on Sunday, while Carlsen will play two games—against Duda and Vachier-Lagrave.

Bjerre Raunak
Bjerre and Raunak shake hands after a dramatic game. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Global Chess League Standings After Day 3

# Team Played Wins   Losses Draws Game Pts Match Pts
1 Ganges Grandmasters 3 3 0 0 32 9
2 Triveni Continental Kings * 4 2 2 0 32 6
3 SG Alpine Warriors 3 2 1 0 23 6
4 UpGrad Mumba Masters 3 1 1 1 19 4
5 Balan Alaskan Knights * 4 1 3 0 35 3
6 Chingari Gulf Titans 3 0 2 1 17 1

* Triveni Continental Kings and Balan Alaskan Knights have played one match more than the other teams.

Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023 consists of a preliminary group stage and a final contested by the top two teams. In each match, members of the same team play with the same color. All games are in the 15+10 time control.

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