International Chess Federation
Friday, 30 Jun 2023 20:40
GCL Day 9: 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 – which had a challenging start to the league and had to replace a player mig-tournament 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.

The famous Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi, a long-time friend of Vishy Anand, visited the event and made a ceremonial first move in the match between SG Alpine Warriors and Triveni Continental Kings.

Chingari Gulf Titans vs upGrad Mumba Masters (12:3)

The upGrad Mumba Masters were going into the match as slight favourites. The team led by Maxime-Vachier Lagrave was always around the top but slipped in the final days. Chingari Gulf Titans were on the bottom of the board and struggling. Still, they had the advantage of white pieces.

The first good sign for Chingari occurred early on as Vidit Gujrathi made a blunder giving an overwhelming advantage to Dubov, who soon converted this into a victory after just 23 moves. Before that game ended, two heavyweights, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk, drew their encounter. By this point, the result was 4:1 for the Titans.

More bad news followed for team Mumba as Alexandra Kosteniuk and Polina Shuvalova defeated their opponents, adding another six points to the Titans’ scoreboard. Leading by 10:1, the Tinas had the match in the bag as, even if Mumba had scored victories on the remaining two boards, that would have changed the result. Despite the best efforts by team Mumba, the remaining two games ended in draws.

Chingari Gulf Titans have staged a huge upset, wrecking the hopes of upGrad Mumba Masters to reach the finals.

SG Alpine Warriors vs Triveni Continental Kings (8:10)

It was the second match to end in a huge upset as Triveni Continental Kings – who played with black pieces - defeated one of the top teams in the league, SG Alpine Warriors, knocking them off course to the finals.

In their second game of the league, Magnus Carlsen again lost to Levon Aronian! Magnus opened with 1.b3 and gained some initiative but, in a relatively stable position, committed a blunder leading directly into defeat. He laughed it off but was clearly unhappy.

Meanwhile, Warriors’ Gukesh D managed to grab the initiative against Yu Yangyi. The Chinese Grandmaster was hardpressed, trying to fend off checkmate. Despite avoiding the direct threats, he found himself in a desperate position and resigned. Triveni Continental Kings quickly hit back with a victory on board three, where Wei Yi outplayed Arjun Erigaisi in a queen and rook endgame.

In a duel of youngsters between Praggnanandhaa R and Jonas Bjerre, the talented player from India scraped up a win in what was a completely lost position. After misplaying in the middlegame, Praggnanandhaa put up a stubborn defence, took over advantage in a queen and rook endgame and came out victorious. With seven wins and two draws, Praggnanandhaa is continuing his amazing run in the league.

Elisabeth Paehtz and Sara Khadem made a relatively quick draw in 36 moves, as did Irina Krush and Kateryna Lagno.

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, scoring as many game points as possible, to rejoin 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 the Mumba off to a good start, defeating Andrey Esipenko. Despite Sindarov’s allowing his opponent to obtain a superior position, Esipenko miscalculated and underestimated 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 against Konery Humpy, but it was flawed and cost her a piece. 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 ending. The game between Harika Dronavalli and Bella Khotenashvili also ended in a draw. 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, Grichuk deserved full credit for holding on and securing a draw.

Team upGrad Mumba Masters won the match by a score of 10:4. An important step forward 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, Triveni Continental Kings had a huge opportunity in front of them. A victory over Balan Alaskan Knights meant joining the leaders of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League. With just three victories and five defeats, Balan Alaskan Knights also needed to win.

Triveni Continental Kings started with a lucky break as Sara Khadem defeated Nino Bastiashvili after the latter blundered 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 the encounter between Kateryna Lagno and Tan Zhongyi. In an even position, Lagno chose the wrong continuation, giving a huge initiative to Tan. The Chinese GM took total control over the proceedings and forced Kateryna’s capitulation on move 51.  

The sharpest game of the match was played between Teimour Radjabov and Wei Yi. Yi exerted some pressure, but Radjabov was defending well in a complicated position. At some point, Wei overstretched and blundered, but in time trouble Radjabov returned the favour and made a mistake that cost him the game. Towards the end, White promoted another queen, and Black conceded defeat.

In his second win of the day, Levon Aronian prevailed over 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 down an exchange and went down quickly. 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 at the hands of Raunak Sadhwani.

Match results - 30 June 2023

Match 23

Chingari Gulf Titans 12-3 upGrad Mumba Masters
Queen of the match – Polina Shuvalova
King of the match – Daniil Dubov

Match 24

SG Alpine Warriors 8-10 Triveni Continental Kings
Queen of the match – Elisabeth Pähtz
King of the match – Gukesh D

Match 25

upGrad Mumba masters 10-4 Ganges Grandmasters
Queen of the match – Koneru Humpy
King of the match – Javokhir Sindarov

Match 26

Triveni Continental Kings 10-9 Balan Alaskan Knights
Queen of the match – Tan Zhongyi
King of the match – Wei Yi

Text: Milan Dinic

Photos: Global Chess League

For more match pictures, please click here 

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About Tech Mahindra Global Chess League:

The Global Chess League is the world's first and largest official franchise league of its kind, with chess players from all over the world competing in a unique joint team format. It is a joint venture between Tech Mahindra, a part of the Mahindra Group, and FIDE. The league will feature male and female chess champions competing in the same team. Playing on the popular Rapid format, the league's joint male-female teams will have the rare distinction of being a unique multiplayer team in the world of professional sports. In addition, the League will be the first ever Live televised chess event of its kind that will help offer fans a unique viewing experience. Tech Mahindra and FIDE will explore innovative ways to promote the game through interactive technology-enabled platforms by leveraging next-generation technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, among others.

For more information on Tech Mahindra Global Chess League, please visit:


Abhilasha Gupta, Global Corporate Communications and Public Affairs