After a tough lose to Levitov Chess Wizards we set out to bolster our middle boards and bolster them we did! Having lost 10-6 while attempting to play a top-heavy lineup we knew things needed to change for a more well balanced Spanish Maniac Shrimps team. Looking to meet them head-to-head we were fortunate to have GM Bela Khotenashvili back from winning her 4th Women’s Georgian National Championship as well as adding the free agent GM Oleksandr Bortnyk.
Along with the introduction of those two we also wanted to introduce GM Abhimanyu Mishra to the Pro Chess League and what an impact he had! Where we found heartbreak on the middle boards last game this time both middle boards went undefeated with 3/4 scores to stand alongside GM Sam Sevian’s monstrous 4/4 day.
Thinks started off perfectly for us as GM Khotenashvili, on board 4, went huge beating the Spanish board 1 GM Jaime Santos!
After getting an advantage out of the opening, GM Khotenashvili mostly kept the game on lock before GM Sants had to concede defeat down a whole piece with no compensation left. Alongside that major win, GM Sevian did GM Sevian things on board 1 for his first win of the day while GM Bortnyk and GM Mishra both drew their games against the opposite middle boards. This left us at a healthy 3-1 scoreline and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Another good round for us saw the pure, absolute fearlessness of GM Mishra! As a viewer on the live stream quipped “kids these days” we got to see GM Mishra sac his queen with only 4 seconds left on his clock against GM Santos! GM Santos did well to navigate the following end game with the help of 5 minutes on his clock before things eventually settled for a draw.
GM Khotenashvili did fall on board 4 giving the Shrimps their first win of the day while GM Sevian’s game was labeled as a “complete and utter massacre” from GM Daniel Naroditsky, whom was co-commentating with GM Robert Hess.
To finish off the 2.5-1.5 round, bringing the team to 5.5-2.5, we saw GM Bortnyk get his first win of the day as well.
GM Mishra once again making headlines as his game against Shrimps’ board 4, IM Karina Ambartsumova, ended in an abrupt fashion with some sharp tactics including an absolutely beautiful 21. Be6!!. After that, the position was too hard to hold for IM Ambartsumova and GM Mishra was able to checkmate only 2 moves later:
Sitting next to GM Mishra we had GM Bortnyk in a wild game against GM Santos that ended with a Rook & 2 Pawns fortress against a Queen:
While GM Alan Pichot made a good practical choice of giving GM Sevian an exchange sacrifice yet GM Sevian was able to overcome GM Pichot in the end while GM Khotenashvili dropped a rook to GM Lance Henderson. This gave us yet another 2.5-1.5 round leaving us going into round 4 needing a single draw as we were up 8-4.
Make or break this was redemption time for the team after last week’s 10-6 loss. Now, with only a half-point needed to get us over the line the Shrimps came out needing wins on all 4 boards. This lead to the Shrimps needing to risk it on all boards yet it looked like GM Sevian had things under control again GM Santos quite quickly as GM Sevian was playing for 2 results; either result giving us the match. Eventually GM Sevian was up a pawn with no compensation and smoothly converted the rook and pawn endgame leading to GM Santos to resign and giving us the match.
Alongside that win we witnessed two more wins as GM Bortnyk went next level making GM Pichot’s king go for a sail. It wasn’t long before the king hit choppy waters and sunk in the middle of the board with mate on the way.
Which also happened at the same time that GM Mishra sent GM Henderson’s king sailing towards disaster!
With wins on the top 3 boards and a loss on board 4 we not only got that single draw yet finished the day just how we started with another 3-1 round! Clean victory overall and no major flaws to be spotted as we have now thrown our name in the heap with that 11-5 victory!
Stay tuned for our next match against the Canada Chessbrahs this Wednesday, March 1st, at 1:00pm ET over at: twitch.tv/Chess and twitch.tv/PassersGG!