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HomeChessSaint Louis College Dominate Collegiate Chess League Remaining

Saint Louis College Dominate Collegiate Chess League Remaining

Saint Louis College (SLU) has received its second straight school title after dismantling The College of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) by an 11.5-4.5 margin within the finals of the 2023 Collegiate Chess League (CCL) fall season.

A 3.5/4 MVP efficiency by GM Benjamin Bok, in addition to a strong 3/4 by SLU’s board-four GM Batsuren Dambasuren ensured victory for SLU and, for his or her efforts, they may obtain a $5,000 money prize because of match sponsor SIG.

The College of Missouri (Mizzou) additionally managed to win third place, beating The College of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) after an anticlimactic semifinal loss towards SLU on Saturday. 

Playoffs Bracket

SLU’s captain Bok was overtly assured about his group’s probabilities proper from the beginning of the season and, after profitable the ultimate by such a hefty margin, he stated the next: “To be honest, I did not anticipate something much less, as a result of our group is the very best within the league.”

Though Bok’s feedback about his group have been supposed as banter, SLU lived as much as the hype in each their semifinal match towards Mizzou and their ultimate match towards UT Dallas. A 3.5-0.5 rating within the opening spherical of the finals towards a GM-stacked Dallas squad was an eye-opener.

“I am not going to be placing any cash on a comeback” — WGM Nemo.

Whereas the rating itself was exceptional, a 16-move win by GM Nikolas Theodorou over GM Balaji Daggupati and a 19-move win by Bok over IM Andrei Macovei, left UT Dallas shocked. This sadly will not go down as Theodorou’s most well-known miniature of late as he additionally beat Tremendous-GM Teimour Radjabov in simply 19 strikes after spending solely two minutes of his time in spherical seven of the 2023 European Workforce Chess Championship.

Spherical two was barely harder for SLU however they appeared to have a really clear match technique in place—holding down the fort towards UT Dallas’ boards one and two GMs Ivan Schitco and David Brodsky, and aiming for decisive outcomes towards Dallas’ decrease boards.

By the conclusion of spherical two, UT Dallas was but to win a recreation!

Macovei and Daggupati put up higher resistance on this spherical although, with a splash of finesse, Theodorou and Bok have been as soon as once more ready so as to add two full factors to the group’s tally together with an extra level from attracts on boards one and two.

Down 6.5-1.5, UT Dallas tried their finest to claw their manner again into the match however luck simply wasn’t on their aspect. Three prolonged attracts on boards one, two, and 4 meant that Macovei-Dambasuren, by far probably the most imbalanced recreation of the spherical, turned essential.

Macovei, on the white aspect of a Caro-Kann Protection, completely wanted to win to keep away from SLU claiming the title with a spherical to spare. The Moldovan IM did find yourself discovering a slicing rook sacrifice that opened up Dambasuren’s king, however the script rapidly flipped after the Mongolian GM went for a swindle for the ages.

Regardless of the fourth spherical being a useless rubber, match-wise, each groups performed combating chess proper till the tip. Bok produced one of the vital stunning video games of the 2023 CCL fall season towards Brodsky and assured his MVP standing within the ultimate. 

From residence, Bok’s digicam high quality is high tier, however he’s at present in Montenegro for the ETCC.

Our Recreation of the Day, which was a scintillating Najdorf Sicilian, has been analyzed by GM Rafael Leitao beneath.

Particular commendation should additionally go to Mizzou, who managed to take the third-place trophy and rout UTRGV by a rating of 10.5-5.5. GM Mikhail Antipov and GM Grigoriy Oparin, who’ve been the spine of their aspect all season, scored 4/4 and three.5/4 respectively, that means they might have probably received the match brief a participant!

Fittingly it was Oparin who took the cake for probably the most picturesque attacking effort, which additionally arose out of a Sicilian Protection.

SLU was not the one group to win cash on this yr’s CCL and due to SIG, UT Dallas obtained $2,500 for second, Mizzou obtained $1,000 for third, and UTRGV obtained $500 for his or her fourth-placed end. 

Bok did point out that lots of SLU’s high gamers (together with Theodorou and himself) could be ending up on the college on the finish of the yr and wouldn’t be obtainable for the following season.  Will probably be attention-grabbing to see which collegiate group rises to the highest and fills the hole.

Video games from the CCL finals might be discovered right here.

The CCL is the world’s premier on-line chess competitors for faculty college students and this season, it’s a group occasion that contains a $25,000 prize fund because of match sponsor SIG. With 5+2 video games making up the majority of the season, anticipate to see loads of pleasure on the board.

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