Day four; Global Chess League: SG Alpine Warriors in the lead
Dubai, 25th June 2023 – The heroes of the day are the team of SG Alpine Warriors who won both of their matches to emerge at the top of the scoreboard of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League. After a tough start, the Chingari Gulf Titans scored their first victory, giving them a chance to reach the finals.
The second two matches of the day saw the Chingari Gulf Titans win their first match convincingly, despite playing with black pieces.
Balan Alaskan Knights vs Chingari Gulf Titans (3:15)
This was the first time in the Global Chess League that a team was playing a round back-to-back. The Balan Alaskan Knights won the coin flip and decided to play as White. Both the Titans and the Knights suffered three defeats in four matches; while the Knights managed to win one team encounter, the Titans were yet to bag their first match victory.
The Titans came out swinging from the start – both Mamedyarov and former women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk gained a decisive advantage in their matches, raising hopes for a first victory for the Chingari Gulf Titans. Also, Polina Shuvalova secured an edge against Nino Batsiashvili. The Knights were in trouble as the only board where they achieved some advantage was in the game where Teimour Radjabov was slightly better against Daniil Dubov.
In the match of the women’s World Champions – Kosteniuk, playing as Black, forced Tan Zhongyi to surrender. Moments after, Mamedyarov, also as Black, defeated the 2021 World Rapid Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov giving more wind to the Titans’ sails.
Duda and Nepomniachtchi agreed on a draw, but then also Teimour Radjabov (the only player with a more promising position in this match in the Knights team) drew with Dubov. Things were definitely going south for the Knights. The final blow came when Sadhwani misplayed and allowed Nihal Sarin to score – a third black victory for the Knights!
Despite creating a better position, Polina Shuvalova wasn’t confident in the endgame and allowed Nino Batsiashvili to bring the game to a draw.
The final score was 15:3 for the Chingari Gulf Titans. A critical victory for the Titans keeping their hopes alive in the Global Chess League. The defeat leaves the Balan Alaskan Knights at the bottom of the table.
“We have a very good team spirit and this is a great boost for us,” said Chingari captain Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
SG Alpine Warriors vs upGrad Mumba Masters (8:7)
This was an encounter between the winners in the first two rounds, earlier in the day.
upGrad Mumba Masters team played with white pieces. Despite having the highest-rated chess player in the world in their squad (Magnus Carlsen) SG Alpine Warriors were evenly matched with the team of upGrad Mumba Masters who showed strong resilience. For a long time, neither side managed to take the initiative as all the boards remained even. However, as the time on the clocks was running out, the players became more tense and opportunities to err started to multiply.
In time trouble, Magnus Carlsen made a fatal move towards the end directly enetring a lost position. Magnus was in disbelief as he shook his head after the loss. The game on board three brought some calm as it ended with a draw, although Alpine Warriors’ Vidit Gujrathi had a winning endgame against compatriot Arjun Erigaisi.
Irina Krush made a huge blunder against Koneru Humpy, giving her victory on a plate but the upGrad Mumba Masters player missed the opportunity and the game ended in a draw. However, the upGrad Mumba Masters were still in the match, pushing on the last two boards. In the end, Harika Dronavalli drew with Elisabeth Paehtz, but Praggnanandhaa was confident and won against Sindarov, securing four game points for SG Alpine Warriors.
The outcome of the match was now hanging on the board two game, between Alexander Grischuk and Gukesh. Gukesh needed to hold a draw for his team to win, while Grischuk had to push. Despite the best efforts, Grischuk could not breach Gukesh’s defences and the game was drawn.
The final score of the match went in favour of SG Alpine Warriors, who defeated the upGrad Mumba Masters by 8 to 3. With their second match victory of the day, the team SG Alpine Warriors have come to the top of the scoreboard in the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League, with 12 match points and 42 game points. They are followed by the team of Ganges Grandmasters who are on nine match points with a match in hand and upGrad Mumba Masters are in third place.
Day round up – 25 June 2023
Ganges Grandmasters 6-11 upGrad Mumba Masters
Queen of the match – Harika Dronavalli
King of the match – Viswanathan Anand
Chingari Gulf Titans 6-11 SG Alpine Warriors
Queen of the match – Elisabeth Pähtz
King of the match – Praggnanandhaa R
Balan Alaskan Knights 3-15 Chingari Gulf Titans
Queen of the match – Alexandra Kosteniuk
King of the match – Nihal Sarin
SG Alpine Warriors 8-7 upGrad Mumba Masters
Queen of the match – Elisabeth Pähtz
King of the match – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave