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Vlad
06-01-2019, 05:55 PM
Next week we open the season with a match against Dallas Destiny. It will be on the 9th of January at 1.15 pm.

Vlad
07-01-2019, 10:22 AM
The pairings for Wednesday are up. We have a giant killer Aleksey Sarana from Russia on board 1. We have Australian lightning champion Anton Smirnov on board 2. We have Australian Open champion Temur Kuybokarov on board 3. Finally, we have a newcomer Laurence Matheson on board 4.

GM Aleksey Sarana 2634 vs 2364 WIM Zhu Jiner
GM Anton Smirnov 2549 vs 2437 IM Zurab Javakhadze
GM Temur Kuybokarov 2513 vs 2561 GM Conrad Holt
Laurence Matheson 2253 vs 2625 GM Jianchao Zhou

Desmond
07-01-2019, 10:28 AM
Great line-up, good luck.

Is that 1.15pm Sydney time?

Vlad
07-01-2019, 10:29 AM
Yes, it is Sydney time. Thanks.

Metro
08-01-2019, 06:57 PM
PRO Chess League https://www.chess.com/news/view/stronger-than-ever-pro-chess-league-takes-off-tomorrow
The league has $50,000 in prizes and is stronger than ever, with five of the world's top six players and almost half of all 2700-rated players participating

A total of 32 teams is divided into four divisions.

In each of those matches the team consist of four players, with every member playing all four opposing team members.
The time control is 15 minutes plus a 2-second increment.


2019 PRO Chess League | Top Players (January 2019 Ratings)

1 GM Fabiano Caruana Saint Louis Arch Bishops 2827
2 GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov San Jose Hackers 2820
3 GM Ding Liren Chengdu Pandas 2804
4 GM Anish Giri Montreal Chessbrahs 2780
5 GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave Marseilles Migraines 2780
6 GM Wesley So Saint Louis Arch Bishops 2776
7 GM Ian Nepomniachtchi Moscow Wizards 2768
8 GM Yu Yangyi Chengdu Pandas 2765
9 GM Hikaru Nakamura Seattle Sluggers 2763
10 GM Harikrishna Pentala Delhi Dynamite 2743

Vlad
08-01-2019, 11:49 PM
According to the organizers, the league has $50,000 in prizes and is stronger than ever, with five of the world's top six players and almost half of all 2700-rated players participating.

In addition to the Australian team, Justin Tan will be representing London Lions and playing against St Louise Arch Bishops. He will have an opportunity to try his luck against both Caruana and So.

Australians are playing in the toughest group (the group of death), which contains effectively the gold medalists from the most recent Olympiad.

GeelongGrizzle
09-01-2019, 12:28 AM
Do you think they could delay the start by 2 hours because Tomic is playing Kyrgios at 1pm and they ain't exactly the best of buddies? :)

Vlad
09-01-2019, 09:29 AM
Do you think they could delay the start by 2 hours because Tomic is playing Kyrgios at 1pm and they ain't exactly the best of buddies? :)

I agree. Even for me it is very hard to make the right choice.:)

ER
09-01-2019, 07:04 PM
According to the organizers, the league has $50,000 in prizes and is stronger than ever, with five of the world's top six players and almost half of all 2700-rated players participating.

Wow!!!

Vlad
11-01-2019, 10:08 PM
Next week: A match against the Australia Kangaroos. Pruess says that San Francisco may use its “secret player” – whose identity he is not revealing so that Australia can’t prepare against him. I’m not sure if I really believe in such stunts, but I can understand that it’s Pruess’s first year as manager and he wants to manage. So … we’ll see if it works!


Seems like we may have a bit of change too...:) "Secret player" where are you?? Not in Australia and not in Russia. Any good guesses??

ElevatorEscapee
11-01-2019, 10:34 PM
Seems like we may have a bit of change too...:) "Secret player" where are you?? Not in Australia and not in Russia. Any good guesses??

Thanks Vlad, it reminds me of a cartoon from my childhood... Shhh! - Secret Squirrel!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S_F9U9gNEQ

Vlad
11-01-2019, 10:55 PM
This article https://www.chess.com/blog/SFMechanics/strength-of-the-league

suggests that the "secret player" is 2700+ and it is not Schankland.

ElevatorEscapee
13-01-2019, 06:20 PM
I note that Russian GM, Aleksey Sarana, is playing for the Australia Kangaroos as a free agent. Can anyone tell me some more information about this player and why he would want to play for an Australian team?

(Disclaimer: I do a weekly "chess report" on a local community radio show, so when I bring this up, the question will be asked about Sarana's motivation).

Vlad
13-01-2019, 10:01 PM
Wang Hao Signs with San Francisco (our next opponent) and highly likely to play against our team.

Vlad
13-01-2019, 10:15 PM
I note that Russian GM, Aleksey Sarana, is playing for the Australia Kangaroos as a free agent. Can anyone tell me some more information about this player and why he would want to play for an Australian team?


Good question. Probably the simplest answer would be to say that Aleksey is Anton's mate. They used to share the same coach and played huge number of matches against each other. They both also represented the world in the match against the USA.3721

Vlad
14-01-2019, 08:11 AM
Pairings are up:
GM Aleksey Sarana 2634 vs 2248 FM Ezra Chambers
GM Anton Smirnov 2549 vs 2506 GM Steven Zierk
GM Molthun Ly 2486 vs 2612 GM Yannick Gozzoli
FM Raymond Song 2305 vs 2615 GM Daniel Naroditsky

Vlad
17-01-2019, 10:38 AM
Australia defeated San Francisco 11:5 yesterday. A fantastic result by everybody but especially by our board 1 young GM Alexei Sarana who scored a phenomenal 4/4.

There is a twitter vote at the moment and only about 17-18 hours left. Please support our star at

https://twitter.com/PROChessLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Eembe ddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Eprofile%3APROChessLeague&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.prochessleague.com%2F

Vlad
19-01-2019, 09:45 AM
The manager of our opponents is singing about this week's match:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC9y-ihzyog

Vlad
20-01-2019, 09:05 AM
GM Eltaj Safarli 2676 vs 2305 FM Raymond Song
GM Zviad Izoria 2601 vs 2507 IM Bobby Cheng
GM Ioan-Cristian Chirila 2576 vs 2549 GM Anton Smirnov
Vinesh Ravuri 2050 vs 2634 GM Aleksey Sarana

ElevatorEscapee
24-01-2019, 08:24 PM
10-6 over the San Jose Hackers...

Vlad
14-02-2019, 11:40 AM
Support our player Raymond Song.

Please vote at https://twitter.com/PROChessLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Eembe ddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Eprofile%3APROChessLeague&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.prochessleague.com%2F

Vlad
18-02-2019, 08:44 AM
Pairings for round 7 are up... https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lBWZWFN2gcGcHpOgMF8ZYYqoQl8GU3kqYh8nufmQmwI/edit#gid=0

Vlad
25-02-2019, 06:51 AM
A very important match this week against mighty pandas. They did not take us seriously. We might have a chance.

GM Xu Xiangyu 2586 vs 2305 FM Raymond Song
GM Bai Jinshi 2556 vs 2512 GM Max Illingworth
IM Bao Qilin 2434 vs 2549 GM Anton Smirnov
IM Chu Wei Chao 2393 vs 2606 GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko

halfnatty
28-02-2019, 09:49 AM
Unfortunately our board 1 slept through the first two rounds and subsequently forfeited both games against their lower boards :) We still managed to hold them to a 8-8 tie, which was a good result. If we meet them in the finals it should be a very close match if both teams field their best lineups. Next week we face the San Diego Surfers, the worst performing team in our division which could provide us the crucial points we need to secure our spot in the play-offs (we are currently in, but it’s very close).

Vlad
28-02-2019, 10:29 PM
Please support our player Anton Smirnov on twitter. Note that there are two votes. Thanks. https://twitter.com/PROChessLeague

bundys_bro
01-03-2019, 02:00 PM
It seems he won both polls we’ll done Anton!!!

MichaelBaron
02-03-2019, 11:41 PM
It seems he won both polls we’ll done Anton!!!

Yep, Well done! no FB voting unfortunately and I am not on Twitter so could not vote :(. Is it the first time an Auzzie wins the vote?

Vlad
03-03-2019, 12:34 PM
Last year Anton got into all star match through the twitter vote.

Adamski
05-03-2019, 06:56 AM
Anton deservedly win this last Twitter vote with 3.5/4 against strong opposition. I put in my one cent's worth with a vote (also one in the games poll).

halfnatty
05-03-2019, 07:18 AM
Pairings for this week (starts at 1:15PM on Thursday):

GM Aleksey Sarana 2634 vs 2170 Gabriel Sam
GM Max Illingworth 2512 vs 2215 Alex Costello
GM Daniel Howard Fernandez 2472 vs 2524 IM Michael Brown
FM Brandon G I Clarke 2377 vs 2649 GM Alexey Dreev

chess.com/live to follow
twitch.tv/chess for official coverage
https://www.prochessleague.com/detailed-rules.html for rules

Adamski
05-03-2019, 08:42 PM
Next round looks very winnable.

ElevatorEscapee
08-03-2019, 07:17 PM
The Kangaroos beat the Surfers 11-5, and are still in Playoff contention 10 points ahead of of the San Jose Hackers.

There is only next week's final Battle Royal round to go, however the teams seem to have been bringing in their top players for the Battle Royal rounds, so they will still have to play very well to qualify.

Vlad
08-03-2019, 09:42 PM
The scoring system is slightly higher than previous weeks. The scoring is:

1st - 30 pts
2nd - 25 pts
3rd - 20 pts
4th - 16 pts
5th - 12 pts
6th - 8 pts
7th - 4 pts
8th - 0 pts

It means that this round result is extremely important. Almost 3 times as important as a normal round.

Vlad
10-03-2019, 10:12 PM
And this time we take it seriously. Let us see if pigs can fly?!

halfnatty
11-03-2019, 10:10 AM
Pairings for the final week's Battle Royale: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lBWZWFN2gcGcHpOgMF8ZYYqoQl8GU3kqYh8nufmQmwI/edit#gid=1483590378

Vlad
11-03-2019, 01:06 PM
Average performances for submitted teams:

Australia Kangaroos 2572
Chengdu Pandas 2570
Dallas Destiny 2566
Minnesota Blizzard 2539
San Diego Surfers 2343
San Francisco Mechanics 2537
San Jose Hackers 2509
Seattle Sluggers 2572

Adamski
13-03-2019, 12:56 PM
Average performances for submitted teams:

Australia Kangaroos 2572
Chengdu Pandas 2570
Dallas Destiny 2566
Minnesota Blizzard 2539
San Diego Surfers 2343
San Francisco Mechanics 2537
San Jose Hackers 2509
Seattle Sluggers 2572
That is a great achievement by the Kangaroos.

halfnatty
13-03-2019, 05:55 PM
Funny story - I was halfway through my game against John Bartholomew after starting with 4/4. I had about 8 minutes while JB was down to 1, but my position was pretty shaky after I misplayed a promising position. In the heat of the battle, the University of Sydney wifi died (Vlad said this has never happened in his years of teaching there). We try switching to Vlad’s computer to finish the game since he has a cord, but his computer decided to do a windows update at almost that exact time :) So I ended up timing out of the game. Luckily it didn’t affect the standings, so we were able to laugh it off.

The important thing is that we finished second and qualified for the playoffs (!) where we meet the Minnesota Blizzard next week.

Adamski
13-03-2019, 06:14 PM
Well done, guys. And that is a sad way to lose a game, Raymond?

halfnatty
13-03-2019, 06:29 PM
Well done, guys. And that is a sad way to lose a game, Raymond?

Yeah, we’ve had our fair share of bad luck this season but hopefully it is all out of the way now. Besides, I was not a favourite to win that game anyway as JB is a very strong bullet player.

Vlad
20-03-2019, 08:29 PM
We have had a pretty good season. I would like to thank all players involved.

We lost 7.5 vs 8.5 today. I would say it is pretty decent performance. Especially given that our best performer Aleksii Sarana could not play due to the European individual championship. Unfortunately, we also had a force majeure today. In the first round our top board Anton Smirnov was playing against their bottom board. When Anton got a winning position, there was a power outage in the area that we live in. That resulted in Anton losing due to disconnection.

Hopefully we have a luckier season next year!:)

Adamski
20-03-2019, 09:40 PM
Another sad way to lose, one round after Raymond Song's misfortune. Bad luck guys but a good performance nevertheless.

ElevatorEscapee
04-05-2019, 06:28 PM
Just a heads up that the finals start tomorrow morning! (3:00am Sunday May 5th AEST).

Armenia Eagles v St Louis Arch-Bishops
Baden Baden Snowballs v Chengdu Pandas

Winners play off in the final.

Finals preview on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5YxbPu57EY

Games can be viewed on the Pro Chess League Twitch TV channel: https://www.twitch.tv/prochessleague

ElevatorEscapee
05-05-2019, 06:34 PM
Snowballs knocked off the Pandas after an 8-8 tie, and an overtime blitz playoff (eventually won by Georg Meier).
St Louis Arch Bishops (led by Caruana), defeated the defending champions, Armenia Eagles 9-7.

A mishap with an unfamiliar mouse at the start of round 1 made it look like Caruana had played 1 ... f6 in response to 1.d4, (instead of 1... Nf6) - the commentators got all excited and proclaimed he was playing a "Bongcloud" opening (I had to look this one up!) Fortunately for Caruana, he was allowed to restart the game.

Report here: https://www.chess.com/news/view/snowballs-arch-bishops-advance-to-pro-chess-league-finals

The Pandas and Eagles play for third place, which starts tomorrow at 2:30am tomorrow (Sunday) morning our time, followed by the final between the Snowballs and Eagles - (which is fine for insomniacs, fortunately, you can watch a replay of the whole thing once it is finished).