GCL Day 3: Ganges Grandmasters remain invincible, Continental Kings climb up

by Shahid Ahmed
6/24/2023 – Ganges Grandmasters maintain their sole lead by beating Balan Alaskan Knights 3-0 (11-6). Leinier Dominguez's win over Teimour Radjabov certainly set the tone for the team. Bella Khotenashvili and Andrey Esipenko ensured the team gets some more valuable game points. Triveni Continental Kings started the day by losing their match against SG Alpine Warriors 0-3 (7-8). However, they bounced back by finishing the day with a victory over Balan Alaskan Knights. Both TCK and SGAW have the same match points (9) currently, the former having one more match played than the latter. The week ends with four matches tomorrow, starting with upGrad Mumba Masters vs Ganges Grandmasters from 3 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST. | Photo: Maria Emelianova

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upGrad Mumba Masters and Chingari Gulf Titans battle the first draw of the event

The first match draw of the event happened between upGrad Mumba Masters and Chingari Gulf Titans on Match #9. All six games ended up in draws, although both teams had a member each who could have won the game - Koneru Humpy for uMM and Nihal Sarin for CGT had the best chances. While Nihal's chance was much closer than Humpy, it's the time scramble which played a spoilsport for both players' path to victory.

Triveni Continental Kings bounced back well after starting the day with a loss against SG Alpine Warriors | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Triveni Continental Kings - SG Alpine Warriors: 0-3 (7-8)

The first result of the day was a fighting draw between Wei Yi (TCK) and Arjun Erigaisi (SGAW). The next two draws were between Nana Dzagnidze (TCK) and Levon Aronian (TCK) against Elisabeth Paehtz (SGAW) and Magnus Carlsen (SGAW) respectively. Yangyi Yu (TCK) scored the sole win for his team over D Gukesh (SGAW). It was R Praggnanandhaa's (SGAW) win over Jonas Buhl Bjerre (TCK) which helped the team score a victory.

Levon Aronian (TCK) and Magnus Carlsen (SGAW) had a well contested draw | Photo: Maria Emelianova

At one point, Gukesh had the upper hand in the middlegame. However, in the endgame, things turned around when he made a positional mistake 37...Nf3 38.Nxe5 Nxe5 39.Bb2 Rd5 40.b4 Qf7 41.Rh6+ Kd7 42.Qh1 Yangyi managed to get through the h-file and won the game in the next six moves as checkmate seemed unavoidable.

Irina Krush (SGAW) was winning the endgame against Kateryna Lagno (TCK) — however, she repeated moves as her team already had won and there was no need to take any unnecessary risks | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Jonas (TCK) made an interesting exchange sacrifice 16.Rd5 which Praggnanandhaa (SGAW) decided to take: 16...a6 17.Qe1 Bxd5 17.exd5 Nd8. Black returned the exchange after a few moves and eventually reached an almost balanced rook endgame.

Black has the plan to run the passed h-pawn down the board. White needed to find a way to stop it. He couldn't, and Praggnanandhaa went on to win the game, which turned out to be crucial for his team to win the match.

R Praggnanandhaa's (SGAW) technical finesse in the endgame against Jonas Buhl Bjerre (TCK) proved very crucial for his team's victory | Photo: Maria Emelianova

Triveni Continental Kings - SG Alpine Warriors: 0-3 (7-8) | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Replay TCK vs SGAW games

Why is Magnus Carlsen running to the playing hall? | Video: ChessBase India

Ganges Grandmasters - Balan Alaskan Knights: 3-0 (11-6)

Vishy Anand (GG) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (BAK) had a quiet and quick draw as the first result of the match. Andrey Esipenko (GG) and Leinier Dominguez (GG) won their respective games against Raunak Sadhwani (BAK) and Teimour Radjabov (BAK). Zhongyi Tan (BAK) scored the sole win for her team against Yifan Hou (GG).

A fast and forgettable draw between Anand and Nepomniachtchi | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Radjabov (BAK) sacrificed one pawn too many and never got enough compensation out of it. 29...Rfc8?? gave White a substantial advantage 30.Rxc8 Rxc8 31.Qxf7 h6 32.h5 Ra8 33.a6! deflecting the queen to free up his rook Qxa6 34.Rf1 Qc8 35.Qg6 d5 36.Rf7 Qg8 37.Bxd5 Rb8 38.b4 Rc8 39.Rc7 Qf8 40.Qf7 Black resigned immediately.

Richard Rapport (GG) had some chances in the endgame, but he allowed his opponent Nodirbek Abdusattorov (BAK) to escape with a draw | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Nino Batsiashvili's (BAK) ambitious rook sac in the final moments did not pan out against Bella Khotenashvili (GG) | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Ganges Grandmasters - Balan Alaskan Knights: 3-0 (11-6) | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Replay GG vs BAK games

Why are Pragg, Gukesh, and Arjun shocked? | Video: ChessBase India

upGrad Mumba Masters - Chingari Gulf Titans: 1-1 (6-6)

GM Swapnil Dhopade, Captain of Chingari Gulf Titans, opted for their team's Black pieces. The Icons encounter between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (uMM) and Jan-Krzysztof Duda (CGT) ended up in a draw as the first result of the match. The remaining five games also ended in a draw. Nihal Sarin (CGT) had the best chance to score a win against Javokhir Sindarov (uMM). Unfortunately, he missed his chance. Koneru Humpy (uMM) had a complicated chance in the endgame, which is certainly quite difficult to figure out in time trouble — although she managed to test the reigning Women's World Cup winner, Alexandra Kosteniuk's (CGT), till the very end.

MVL (uMM) and Duda (CGT) had an exciting draw | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

The photo describes the game aptly | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Humpy's (uMM) knight wrecked havoc and Kosteniuk (CGT) decided to give up an exchange 39...Qe6 40.Nxf8 Qxg4 41.Kh1 Kxf8 42.Qf3 White should have kept the queens on the board and tried to finish with the pieces present. Liquidating into a rook vs bishop endgame helped Black to salvage a draw.

Humpy was determined to avenge her loss against Kosteniuk earlier this month at the Cairns Cup | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Nihal (CGT) had a great opportunity to beat Sindarov (uMM). His best chance was after 36.Bh1 when he needed to go Qe2+. It is easier to find it when the clock is not ticking down. In time trouble, it becomes that much difficult and Sindarov escaped with a draw via perpetual check.

Grischuk must be relieved to see his teammate Sindarov saving a lost game against Sarin | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

upGrad Mumba Masters - Chingari Gulf Titans: 1-1 (6-6)  | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Replay uMM vs CGT games

Balan Alaskan Knights - Triveni Continental Kings: 0-3 (8-10)

Wei Yi (TCK) and Jonas Buhl Bjerre (TCK) picked up their respective wins next to each other against Teimour Radjabov (BAK) and Raunak Sadhwani (BAK) respectively. Nino Batsiashvili (BAK) and Nodirbek Abdusattorov (BAK) scored the wins for their team against Nana Dzagnidze (TCK) and Yangyi Yu (TCK) respectively.

Radjabov (BAK) sacrificed an exchange and then he took a bold approach 34.Nf6+? which did not pay off against the sharp Wei Yi (TCK). 34...Kf8 35.d5 Bxf6 36.dxe6 Qxe5 37.Qxh6+ Bg7 38.Rxe5 Rxd1+ 39.Kh2 Bxh6 White is down by a rook and it's over.

Balan Alaskan Knights - Triveni Continental Kings: 0-3 (8-10) | Photo: Tech Mahindra Global Chess League

Replay BAK vs TCK games

Official Commentators

IM Sagar Shah, GM Peter Svidler and WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili | Photo: Sudhir Baliga

IM Tania Sachdev and FM James Canty with guest GM Leinier Dominguez Perez (GG) | Photo: WIM Jesse February

Standings after Day 3

Ganges Grandmasters maintain sole lead 9/9 | Photo: Official site

Day 4 matches

  • upGrad Mumba Masters vs Ganges Grandmasters from 3 p.m. local time, 4:30 p.m. IST
  • Chingari Gulf Titans vs SG Alpine Warriors from 4:30 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. IST
  • Balan Alaskan Knights vs Chingari Gulf Titans from 5:45 p.m. local time, 7:15 p.m. IST
  • SG Alpine Warriors vs upGrad Mumba Masters from 7 p.m. local time, 8:30 p.m. IST

What is the Scoring System?

Each team will have six players and a manager, who will be competing on six boards which will be played simultaneously. While each board will be called a game, all six combined boards will be termed one match. Once the board order is decided, it cannot be altered after drawing lots while deciding the run order of play. And in each match, all the players of one team will play with the same colour.

A game won with Black pieces will result in 4 Game Points (GP) to the winning player. A victory for a player with White pieces will see them win 3 GP. A draw will be rewarded with 1 GP, and a defeat gets the player 0 GP. Each players’ GP will contribute to the Team’s total Match Points (MP).

With regards to the calculations on Match Points (MP), a Team which scores more GP than their opposition will be rewarded with a bonus of 3 MP. If both the Teams are level on GP, they will be awarded 1 MP each. However, if a team scores lesser GP than the opposing team, they won’t get any MP for that Match.

Scoring System for Game Points (GP)

4 GP (3+1) 

A player wins the Game with Black Pieces 

3 GP 

A player wins the Game with White Pieces 

1 GP 


0 GP 


Scoring System for Match Points (MP)

3  MP 

The team that scores more Game Points 

1  MP 

If both teams are level on Game Points 

0  MP 

The team that scores lesser Game Points than  the opponent 

The Final will be played over best-of-2 matches. There will be a drawing of lots to determine which Team is White in Match 1, this team will then be black in Match 2. The team who wins more matches will be the Champion. In the event of a tie:

• There will be a playoff blitz fixture, which will be a best-of-2 match. The team that was white in Match 1 and black in Match 2 will play white in Match 3 and black in Match 4. The time limit for each game will be all moves in 3 minutes plus 2 seconds. The Team that wins the most matches in the fixture will be the Champion.

• If the Teams remain tied, there shall be a drawing of lots to determine a board from 1 to 6. The player from each Team on this board will then participate in a sudden-death blitz game. The time limit for this game will be 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move. The player from the Team who was white in Matches 1 and 3, will play white in this game.

• If the sudden death blitz game is drawn, then the procedure is repeated except that the colour of the player from each team alternates from the colour the team had in the preceding sudden death blitz game.

• If the tie remains unbroken, the above procedure is repeated until a sudden death blitz game has a winner.


Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.