International Chess Federation
Saturday, 01 Jul 2023 21:25
GCL Day 10: Triveni Continental Kings to face upGrad Mumba Masters in the finals

Dubai, 1st July 2023 – It was yet another day of huge upsets at the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League as all the event favourites lost their final matches. In a shocking outcome, two of the teams which dominated the Global Chess League from the beginning – Ganges Grandmasters and SG Alpine Warriors – were knocked out of the race for the top two places in the finals.

Instead, it will be Triveni Continental Kings and upGrad Mumba Masters who will fight out for the coveted crown in the finals of the first edition of Tech Mahindra Global Chess League.

Triveni's journey to the top was the most unlikely. Despite setbacks and a rocky start, they made a triumphant comeback with four consecutive wins. Meanwhile, upGrad Mumba Masters consistently hovered near the top but struggled in the latter part of the event. Nonetheless, they rallied in the final two rounds, eliminating the tournament leaders, Ganges Grandmasters and SG Alpine Warriors. They also had a stroke of luck on their side—had Chingari defeated Balan Alaskan Knights in the last match, they would have been the ones reaching the finals. Nevertheless, fortune favours the bold, and the outcome feels well-deserved.

Everything is now set for the finals of the first edition of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League which takes place on Sunday, July 2nd, at 5:30 PM local time in Dubai.

Triveni Continental Kings vs Ganges Grandmasters (11:6)

This match was the last chance for Triveni – if they have lost, they would have been out of the tournament. For Ganges, this was their final chance to score points and secure the top place in the round-robin part.While a draw was enough for team Ganges, Triveni had to win and that put them in a psychological mindset to do it.

In the Caro-Kann defence, Aronian grabbed initiative and posed serious threats to Anand. Unphased, the former World Champion got his knight and rook to the bottom of the board and found a perpetual check to hold a draw.

In the meantime, Sara Khadem scored a huge victory for Triveni as she defeated Bella Khotenashvili in a sharp battle. By this point, Triveni team was dominating on three of the four remaining boards. Wei Yi struck on board three against Leinier Dominguez. Despite being in a weaker position, Kateryna Lagno managed to draw the game with Hou Yifan. Triveni was on the edge of a historic victory.

In a complete twist – Yu Yangyi of Triveni lost against Rapport despite dominating the game from the beginning. The result was 8:5 for Triveni – Ganges had to win on the prodigy board to take the win. However, Esipenko was losing to Jonas Bjerre who took the initiative early on and forced a winning rook endgame. Esipenko tried his best and delayed resigning, but he couldn’t escape defeat. The final result was 11:6, for Triveni.

A crushing loss for the Ganges and an amazing step up by Triveni. With this victory, they have taken the top of the scoreboard with 18 match points and have become the first team to reach the finals. Triveni, who have been struggling since the outset and had to replace a player, have won four straight matches to reach the top. A spectacular success!

“We came back from the dead. We’ve gone so far and we have one more match to go. We were just focused and playing for a win”, said icon player Levon Aronian.

The team also praised Sara Khadem who came in as a replacement after Nana Dzagnidze left the tournament for personal reasons. “Sara really changed the atmosphere in the team – she helped team moral and here we are”, said Levon Aronian.

Team manager Loek van Wely said that he was proud of his team, “We din't care much about the results, we feel we had a slight psychological advantage. Most important for us was to get the first win after the round of losses to get a sweet taste of victory once again and get it going from there. We have to wait and see who we play in the finals first, I think we lost twice to upGrad and Alpine looks strong on paper but in the finals its anybody's game so we will prepare accordingly.”

SG Alpine Warriors vs Chingari Gulf Titans (7:8)

The Warriors and the Titans were the only remaining teams to play two matches on the final day. SG Alpine Wariors have been in strong contention for first place since the start of the league. Given the open race for the top, the outcome of this match could prove crucial (or fatal) for either teams’ ambitions to reach the finals on Sunday.

The Warriors started with white pieces. Both sides played cautiously and steadily – avoiding risk but after about 45 minutes of play, the positions began to unravel.

Magnus Carlsen won his game after Jan-KryzstofDuda misplayed approaching the endgame, overlooking a piece. Team Chingari struck back on board two when Shakhriyar Mamedyarov got the upper hand against Gukesh D in the endgame.

An unusual game took place between Irina Krush and Titans’ player and former Women’s World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. While Kosteniuk got some initiative in the opening, she misplayed in the middlegame, allowing white to take over the advantage. In a game which saw a lot of twists and turns, Kosteniuk obtained a significant material advantage, but Krush found a way out with perpetual check to save a draw. With two more games endindg in a draw the result was: 7:6 for the Titans.

Everything was hanging on the last game between Wariors’ Elisabeth Paehtz and Titans’ Polina Shuvalova. In the Sicilian, White gained some initiative early on but then overstretched allowing Black to counter. The two transpired into an even rook endgame but Shuvalova made a mistake bringing White to the crisp of victory. However, Paehtz dropped the advantage and it was even again. Paehtz knew her team needed her to win so she was desperately trying to complicate things and score but it was futile. In the end, having exhausted all the options, Paehtz agreed to a draw.

Having the world’s highest rated player in the team isn’t always enough for victory. Despite winning the last three games, Magnus Carlsen’s team lost the last three matches.

Chingari Gulf Titans’ important victory by a minimal score. With 13 points, they were still holding on in the race for the top, while SG Alpine Warriors remain on 15.

SG Alpine Warriors vs upGrad Mumba Masters (2:18)

Following a loss in the previous round earlier in the day, the team of SG Alpine Warriors needed to win this match to secure first place. With the advantage of the first move, they needed to push hard.

However, things started to go more in the direction favouring Mumba Masters thanks to the top two Indian women players in the team. On board five, Harika Dronavalli dominated Elisabeth Paehtz and then executed a mate in three. On board four Humpy Koneru was significantly better against Irina Krush and was the first one to win, scoring important four points for upGrad Mumba Masters. The storm on these boards was just an announcement of the tsunami which was about to hit SG Alpine Warriors and sweep them off their feet.

On the prodigy board, Mumba’s Javokhir Sindarov managed to stop Praggnanandhaa – the top-performing player in the league - and hold him to a draw, with black pieces.

In the meantime, Magnus Carlsen drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrove, despite having a slight advantage. Just as Carlsen was getting up, Harika Dronavalli converted her advantage against Paehtz which meant that upGrad Mumba Masters have won the match. The World No.1 player could not hide his disappointment once he realised what just happened.

Even worse for the Warriors, the upGrad Mumba Masters were not done. Once he saw that the match is effectively lost, Gukesh resigned to Alexander Grischuk having ended up in a significantly weaker position, thus handing over another four points to Mumba. The last game to finish was on board five where Vidit Gujrathi converted his advantage against Arjun Erigaisi, and secured the most convincing victory any team in the Global Chess League has achieved so far: 18:2, propelling upGrad Mumba Masters to the top of the scoreboard.

The SG Alpine Warriors had two chances and but lost in both games. A shocking end to what was a great performance of the Warriors’ team. The upGrad Mumba Masters were now on the brink of entering the finals, but all depended on the outcome of the next match: If the Chingari Gulf Titans win the next match with at least a seven-game points difference, they would be the ones in the finals. If they win with a smaller margin, draw or lose, the Mumbas are through.

Chingari Gulf Titans vs Balan Alaskan Knights (4:12)

The Chingari Gulf Titans had destiny in their own hands and were playing with white pieces. They were ahead of the Balan Alaskan Knights and needed to win. However, the omens of the day were more in favour of the underdogs, judging by the outcome of previous matches.

The first game to finish was on the icon boards, between Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Ian Nepomniachtchi. The game was largely calm and followed well-known theoretical waters, finishing in an even endgame.

However, on board two Shakhriyar Mamedyarov had a huge advantage over the 2021 World Rapid Champion, Nodirbek Abdusattorov.

In the meantime, the second game finished: Daniil Dubov and Teimour Radjabov drew. In a Four Knights Game, the two quickly exchanged pieces on the board and headed for a drawn rook endgame where neither side had any chances. While things were even on board four, the situation on the boards five and six was more in favour of Chingari. On board four, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Tan Zhongyi were locked up in a queen's endgame with four pawns each.

Then the tables started to turn on Chingari: In a completely dominating position, Mamedyarov made an error and ended up significantly weaker. Mamedyarov completely lost the thread  and in the end, threw in the towel.

As Nihal Sarin and Raunak Sadhwani drew their game, Chingari’s Polina Shuvalova lost to BAK’s Nino Batsiashvili. Approaching the endgame, Shuvalova made a mistake and gave an exchange up to Black, finishing in a completely lost position. This was a second board victory for Balan Alaskan Knights which gave them a lead of 11:3.

The game between Kosteniuk and Tan dragged on and ended in a draw. Either way, the outcome would not have changed anything.

A heartbreaking end for Chingari as Balan Alaskan Knights sign out with a victory, ultimately making upGrad Mumba Masters the second finalist for the first edition of the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League.

Match results - 1 July 2023

Match 27

SG Alpine Warriors 7-8 Chingari Gulf Titans

Queen of the match–IrinaKrush

King of the match–ShakhriyarMamedyarov

Match 28

Triveni Continental Kings11-6 Ganges Grandmasters

Queen of the match – SaraKhadem

King of the match – WeiYi

Match 29

SG Alpine Warriors  2-18 upGrad Mumba Masters
Queen of the match – Koneru Humpy
King of the match – Vidit Gujrathi

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