Antipov Perfect In Mizzou’s Dominant Victory Over UChicago

Antipov Perfect In Mizzou's Dominant Victory Over UChicago


A destructive performance by the University of Missouri (Mizzou) in the 2023 Collegiate Chess League (CCL) has placed the three-GM team atop the lead after two weeks of play. Board two GM Mikhail Antipov surged to 4/4 while Mizzou’s board one GM Grigoriy Oparin scored 3.5/4 as their team confirmed an 11.5-4.5 result over GM Awonder Liang‘s University of Chicago (UChicago).

In the other broadcasted match of the day, Columbia University (CU) posted a 10-6 victory against Yale University (YU), with famed blitzer GM Brandon Jacobson (4/4) being the standout for his team

Week three of the CCL will commence October 7 at 2:00 p.m. ET / 20:00 CEST / 11.30 p.m. IST.

Week one’s report highlighted how the CCL’s fall season is littered with top chess players and how holding the event online means that teams are not restricted by geographical barriers. In terms of the format, the 5+2 time control creates the potential for major upsets and fast-paced action.

On Saturday, the top division continued with four matchups, two of which were broadcast live on’s YouTube channel thanks to tournament sponsor SIG.

YU 6 – 10 CU

After losing their match against Saint Louis University by a hefty score in week one, CU regrouped and bounced back to dispatch YU, keeping their season alive. The teams looked relatively equal on paper, with GM Nicolas Checa and Jacobson representing YU and CU respectively on board one. NM Linden Lee and FM Aristo Liu were destined to clash on board two.

A 3-1 score in round one gave CU a head start with the decisive upset occurring in the game between Lee and Kevin Xu. Lee, the brother of the 13-year-old prodigy IM Alice Lee, was unable to repel Xu’s kingside attack in the King’s Indian Defense without losing a pawn.

Round two saw several games with rating mismatches transpire, and there were no surprising results as YU and CU drew 2-2. CU’s Akash Kumar came within a whisker of confirming another 3-1 result for his team but suffered an unfortunate mouse slip with 20 seconds on the clock, allowing Lee to snap up his rook and win the game.

Kumar found himself in an excellent position against Lee before disaster struck. Image:

A second 2-2 result in the next round meant that the score heading into round four was 7-5 in favor of CU; thus each team was still able to win. With both team’s megastars having pulled their weight and sitting firmly on 3/3, it was time for the board-one showdown between Checa and Jacobson.

A complex King’s Indian Defense was the battlefield for the GM duel and, suffice to say, the game was packed to the brim with thematic ideas and tactical wizardry. Our Game of the Day has been analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao below.

Upon Checa’s resignation, the board-two pairing between Lee and Liu finished simultaneously in favor CU, thereby confirming its victory. The final score stood at 10-6, but the match overall was closer than the scoreline suggests.

UChicago 4.5 – 11.5 Mizzou

Following a strong start against the University of Virginia in week one, Mizzou continued to assert themselves as one of the season favorites, this time scoring a convincing win over UChicago. With three titled players on their team—GM Liang, GM Praveen Balakrishnan, and FM Kapil Chandran—it seemed unlikely that UChicago would be on the receiving end of any big scores; however, Mizzou showed little mercy to the former CCL champions.

Lee: “Awonder is probably my favorite player to watch in the whole CCL because his openings are so crazy. Image:

Wins for each of Mizzou’s three GMs in round one got them off to a 3-1 start, with the key clash between Balakrishnan and GM Raja Harshit being won by Mizzou’s board three. An ominous sign for UChicago was Balakrishnan’s inability to win a piece up against a resilient Harshit, who, thrust his king up the board and bamboozled his opponent in the endgame.

Meanwhile, Antipov stunned Chandran with a move-17 bishop sacrifice which secured an early lead for Mizzou.

Round two was the tightest of the match, and the teams split the points 2-2, with both team’s boards one and two picking up respective wins against their opposition’s boards three and four. For Antipov, the second round was an opportunity to show off his positional prowess, and he was able to completely paralyze Miles Brown on the white side of the Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon, Maroczy Bind Formation.

Looking to ramp up the intensity in round three, Mizzou produced a “knockout” round, dispatching UChicago by the maximum score. WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova picked up her first point of the match for Mizzou with a splash of hope while down a piece to commence the bloodshed.

Not even Liang could put a stop to the demolition as he fell at the hands of Antipov while UChicago’s other GM, Balakrishnan, was ground down by Oparin.

For Oparin, this was his most clinical game of the match. When his opponent waved the white flag,’s Game Review was quick to highlight his 98.3 CAPS score and a 3700-performance rating!

No mistakes, blunders, or inaccuracies for Oparin. Image:

With the result of the match wrapped up at 9-3, team Mizzou was able to relax in the fourth round and coast to an 11.5-4.5 result but not before a distressing mouse slip, 22.Re6??, befell Harshit and prevented him from finishing on a high.

The moment when Lee and Nemo realized that 22.Re6?? had been played. Image:

Despite the slip, Harshit could take solace in the fact that his team had won the match by such a convincing margin and propelled themselves to the top of the leaderboard. Mizzou is sizing up to be a top contender in Division One thus far and is certainly a team worth watching.

All Games | Week Two

The CCL is the premier online chess competition for college students. The CCL Fall Season is a team event that started on September 23 and features a $25,000 prize fund.

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