Are you excited for the PRO Chess League qualifier tournament? You should be.
This Saturday, November 3, some of the biggest names in online chess will compete along with a host of PRO Chess League hopefuls for spots in the upcoming 2019 season.
Be sure to watch live on on Twitch.tv/chess.
Where else can you watch the current U.S. chess champion, Sam Shankland, play pros and amateurs alike as he tries to earn his San Francisco Mechanics a spot in the league?
You can read the full details of the qualifier here.
PRO Chess League Qualifier Stars
About 30 teams will try to qualify on Saturday, and all teams have an average rating near the cap of 2500. Here are some of the big chess names and their teams that will play on Saturday:
- Warsaw Fighters: Jan Krzysztof Duda, Kacper Piorun
Duda has been taking #speedchess by storm! Will he do the same to #prochess?
- Kazan Archers: Vladislav Artemiev, Gata Kamsky
- Moscow Phoenix: Daniil Dubov
- San Francisco Mechanics: Sam Shankland
- Malmo Vikings: Nils Grandelius
- Montreal Chessbrahs: Ivan Saric, Robin van Kampen, Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen and the Montreal Chessbrahs were sadly relegated last season. Will they get back in in 2019?
- Tbilisi Gentlemen: Baduur Jobava
- Granada Red Noses: Ruslan Ponomariov, Luis Siles
Francisco Vallejo Pons, Ruslan Ponomariov, and Luis Siles will give Spanish chess fans someone to root for.
- London Towers: Gawain Jones
- Sao Paulo Gorillas: Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian
- Barcelona Stlye: Francisco Vallejo Pons
- Atlanta Kings: Gadir Guseinov, Ben Finegold
- Stockholm Wasabis: Bassem Amin
- Bordeaux Sharks: Arkadij Naiditsch
PRO Chess League Qualifier Format
There will be two groups with 12-15 teams. Four of these teams will qualify for the PRO Chess League.
Stage 1 format:
In the first stage, every team will play a one-game match against every other team. In these matches, board one for each team will play the board one for every other team. Board two will play the board two, and so on. The time control will be three minutes plus a two-second increment.
The scores for this phase are total game points and not match points.
At the end of this round robin, the top two teams from each group (four in total) advance to the PRO Chess League.
Stage 1 tiebreaks:
First tiebreak is board one score. Second tiebreak is board two score. Third tiebreak is board three score. Fourth tiebreak is head to-head. Fifth tiebreak is highest-rated lineup advances.
The 3rd-5th place teams from Stage 1 all advance to Stage 2 in a last chance to earn one of the last four league spots.
The 6th-8th place finishers in each group will head to a Twitter fan vote, which will last for exactly five minutes. The winner of this poll will advance to Stage 2 as well. In case of a tie, the tiebreak is highest finisher during Stage 1.
That leaves eight teams fighting for four spots in Stage 2.
Stage 2 format:
- The teams will be paired off in an all play all PRO Chess League style match, with a time control of seven minutes plus two-second increment. This will be the same format used during the PRO Chess League regular season, but with a faster time control.
- The winner of each match advances to the PRO Chess League.
- If the match is tied, the players play one more round of three minutes plus two-second increment. Board one will play board one and so forth. If that ends in a tie, the match goes to sudden death. Board one plays against board one in one single game, using reverse colors from the previous tiebreak round. If that’s drawn, then board two plays board two. The first team to win a game wins the match.
- The pairings work as follows: The third-place finisher from Stage 1 gets to choose its opponent for Stage 2 from the other three teams in the group. The two unchosen teams then play against each other.