Day nine; Global Chess League: An open race for the top as Triveni Continental Kings join the leaders
Dubai, 30th June 2023 – After a spectacular performance on the ninth day of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League, team Triveni Continental Kings joined the top two squads on 15 match points. In a day which saw the favourites and tournament leaders suffer stunning defeats, team Triveni Continental Kings which had a challenging start to the league and had to replace a player mig-league managed to rise to the top. The race for the cup of the first Tech Mahindra Global Chess League is now wide open and heading for an exciting end.
upGrad Mumba Masters vs Ganges Grandmasters (10:4)
The upGrad Mumba Masters were looking for a comeback following a crushing defeat earlier in the day. They had to win the match with as many game points as possible, to rejoin in the race for the top. The tournament leaders, Ganges Grandmasters, had less pressure on them, especially after their immediate competitors, SG Alpine Warriors, lost in the previous match.
Javokhir Sindarov got Mumba off to a good start, defeating Andrey Esipenko. Despite Sindarov allowing black to get into a better position, Esipenko undermined the threats from the two bishops pinning his king and in the end overlooked checkmate.
Although a pawn up, former world champion Viswanathan Anand knew that the position in his game was drawn and there was no need to push it against the likes of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave so the two decided to call it a day.
The match saw a huge upset on board four as former Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan went for a combination which completely overlooked the threat of checkmate from Konery Humpy. Despite her best efforts to find a way out, and with seconds on her clock, Hou Yifan resigned handing another three huge points to upGrad Mumba Masters.
Vidit Gujrathi and Leinier Dominguez Perez drew after reaching an even rook endgame. The game between Harika Dronavalli and Bella Khotenashvili also ended in a draw where Black had more chances but White found a series of endless checks.
Alexander Grischuk was in trouble against Richard Rapport – in a complicated endgame, he was trying to prevent black from advancing his h-pawn towards promotion. Having played the greater part of the endgame in extreme time trouble is commendable for Grichuk, and he held on and drew.
Team upGrad Mumba Masters won the match with 10:4. An important respite for them after two defeats.
Triveni Continental Kings vs Balan Alaskan Knights (10:9)
Buoyed by their success earlier in the day in defeating SG Alpine Warriors, the team of Triveni Continental Kings had a huge opportunity in front of them. If they beat the Balan Alaskan Knights, they would have joined the leaders of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League. With just three victories and five defeats, the team of Balan Alaskan Knights also needed to win.
Triveni Continental Kings started with a lucky break as Sara Khadem defeated Nino Bastiashvili, after she overlooked a piece in an even endgame. Yu Yangyi and Nodirbek Abdusattorov drew their game where both sides managed to hold an even position throughout.
The next game to finish was between Kateryna Lagno and Tan Zhongyi. In an even position, Lagno chose the wrong continuation, giving a huge initiative to Tan. Lagno gave up a rook for a bishop and a pawn, but her position was shattered and eventually lost.
The sharpest game of the match was played between Teimour Radjabov and Wei Yi. Radjabov was defending well in a complicated position. At one point, Wei forced too much and blundered, but in time trouble Radjaov misplayed. Towards the end, White promoted another queen and the game was lost for Black.
In his second win of the day, Levon Aronian defeated the two-time candidate for World Champion, Ian Nepomniachtchi. In an even endgame, Nepomniachtchi lost a pawn but was still in the game. However, in a critical moment, Nepomniachtchi made a huge blunder and ended up with a knight for a rook and completely lost. With this victory, Triveni Continental Kings secured victory in the match.
Balan Alaskan Knights had the final victory of the match, as Jonas Bjerre suffered a loss to Raunak Sadhwani.
Results round-up – 30 June 2023
Chingari Gulf Titans 12-3 upGrad Mumba Masters
Queen of the match – Polina Shuvalova
King of the match – Daniil Dubov
SG Alpine Warriors 8-10 Triveni Continental Kings
Queen of the match – Elisabeth Pähtz
King of the match – Gukesh D
upGrad Mumba masters 10-4 Ganges Grandmasters
Queen of the match – Koneru Humpy
King of the match – Javokhir Sindarov
Triveni Continental Kings 10-9 Balan Alaskan Knights
Queen of the match – Tan Zhongyi
King of the match – Wei Yi