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GG maintain stronghold halfway into Global Chess League

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Ganges Grandmasters regained the lead in the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League halfway point from SG Alpine Warriors at Le Meridien hotel, Dubai, on Monday.

After the first match out of the two scheduled for the day, Vishwanathan Anand’s Ganges Grandmasters beat Triveni Continental Kings 14:2 to go on top. The Grandmasters reached 12 points from five games. The Warriors had a chance to go back into the lead – in their sixth game though – but they lost to bottom table Balan Alaskan Knights.

After this match, the teams start the second phase of the round-robin, where those who have been white in the first encounter now play black, and vice versa.

Hou Yifan, right, defeated Kateryna Lagno to play a part in Ganges Grandmasters taking the top spot on Day 5. Courtesy GCL

 

Ganges Grandmasters vs Triveni Continental Kings

This was a day of big hope for Triveni Continental Kings. The team which features top-world players such as Levon Aronian, Yu Yangyi, and three-time women blitz champion Kateryna Lagno had high hopes ahead of the match with Ganges Grandmasters. With two victories in four matches, they needed to win to stage a rally.

The final coin toss was won by Ganges Grandmasters who, after three successive victories, suffered a defeat in the fourth round which removed them from the lead in the League. Grandmasters took the early initiative early thanks to Georgian GM Bella Khotenashvili who achieved a strong position against compatriot Nana Dzagnidze. Her win was quickly followed by Hou Yifan’s victory over Lagno. Then, on board three, Leinier Dominguez was better against China’s Wei Yi.

Birthday boy Jonas Buhl Bjerre (who turned 19 today) did a good job for the Kings holding a level position against the very strong Andrey Esipenko. But former five-time world champion Anand got the upper hand against Levon Aronian despite his best efforts to finish last of all boards. Grandmasters have four victories as white and two draws.

Loek van Wely, manager of Triveni Continental Kings was blunt after the game: “It was a crushing defeat for us. I think the rest day and the visit to the Dubai Mall, was a bit overwhelming for some of the team and they still haven’t recovered. We will seriously need to think about what to do next.”

 

Balan Alaskan Knights’ position did not justify their position given the team’s composition heading into a match against the Warriors. The two sides were evenly matched at the outset. Knowing they need to make a push, the Knights opted for more sharp play, avoiding lines for a draw.

On board five, Knights’ Nino Batsiashvili created a winning position against the strongest German woman player Elisabeth Paehtz and won. On board four, Tan Zhongyi had more initiative over America’s eight-time women’s champion, Irina Krush.

On board two, 2021 world rapid champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov was pressing hard against Gukesh D and managed to win. One of the top performers in the BAK team, Praggnananadhaa scored another important victory for his squad, against Raunak Sadhwani.

Ian Nepomniachtchi tries to look at signs of pressure in the demeanor of his rival Magnus Carlsen. Courtesy GCL

Some glimmer of hope for SG Alpine Warriors came with a draw on board three between Radjabov and Erigaisi. The victory for Knights depended on what Zhongyi does against Krush. Despite entering time trouble, the former women’s world champion from China managed to win against Krush. It was noticeable that Tan was shaking after the game from the excitement.

The match was already decided as the board one game was still going on. Ian Nepomniachtchi was playing against Magnus Carlsen. The two know each other well and Dubai was the home of their 2021 match for the World Championship title, which Carlsen won. Nepomniachtchi gave up a pawn early to get more initiative, however, Carlsen coordinated his pieces well and as they were moving towards the endgame he started raising the pressure on White.

Nepomniachtchi was on the back foot and gradually started to fall behind. By the end, he was lost and Carlsen scored another victory but that wasn’t enough to change the outcome of the match. The final result was 10:9 for the Knights.

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Rublev defaulted as Bublik reaches Dubai final – ARN News Centre

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Friday, 1 March 2024 20:30

By Reuters

RYAN LIM/ AFP

Second seed Andrey Rublev was defaulted from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals on Friday after yelling at a line judge in the final set of his clash with Alexander Bublik.

In a chaotic match where both semi-finalists fumed at the officials, Rublev was defaulted by the chair umpire for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Bublik, who clawed his way back from a set down to lead 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-5, was awarded the win.

The result ensured there would be no repeat of last year’s final where Rublev lost to Daniil Medvedev.

The top seeded Medvedev is playing against fifth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the other last-four clash.

 





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Ronaldo’s Al Nassr sets up ACL clash with Al Ain – ARN News Centre

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FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr will lock horns with UAE side Al Ain in the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League (ACL).

The Riyadh-based side beat fellow Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Fayha 2-0 on Wednesday to complete a 3-0 aggregate victory.

Portugal winger Otavio scored in the 17th minute to build on last week’s 1-0 win before Ronaldo added a late second.

Elsewhere, Al Ain saw off Uzbekistan’s Nasaf 2-1, thanks to Soufiane Rahimi’s injury-time winner.

Following a scoreless first leg, Al Ain came back from going a goal behind to Akmal Mozgovoy’s close-range strike in the 51st minute to level through Kodjo Laba’s acrobatic effort four minutes later.

The game looked to be heading for extra time when Rahimi capitalised on a poor attempt to punch clear by Nasaf goalkeeper Abduvohid Nematov to slot home the winner for the hosts two minutes into added time.

South Korea’s Ulsan Hyundai also confirmed their progress to the next round with a 2-1 victory over Japanese second division side Ventforet Kofu to complete a 5-1 aggregate win.

Meanwhiel, Anderson Lopes’ 122nd-minute penalty earned Yokohama F Marinos a last-gasp 1-0 win over Bangkok United to seal a 3-2 victory that sets up a quarter-final meeting with China’s Shandong Taishan.

On Thursday, Saudi champions Al Ittihad will meet Navbahor from Uzbekistan in Jeddah following a scoreless draw in their first clash and Al Hilal take a 3-1 lead into their second leg against Iran’s Sepahan in Riyadh.

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Inaugural edition of Lanka T10 to kick off in December 2024

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The inaugural edition of the Lanka T10 League will be held from December 12 to December 22, 2024.

The tournament, which was initially planned to be held in June 2023, was shifted to December, as SLC deemed the ‘December window’ as the most appropriate to conduct the league, as the timing will complement Sri Lanka’s Domestic and International Cricketing Calendar.

Lanka T10 League, Sri Lanka’s newest addition to its annual cricket calendar will feature some of the finest international stars along with Sri Lanka’s top international stars.

The action-packed competition will also provide opportunities for the brightest young talents in the country to mix, mingle, and play along with international stars.

” I have full confidence that this tournament will be a resounding success, contributing to Sri Lanka Cricket’s ability to stay current with the evolving trends in the game.,” said Shammi Silva, President, Sri Lanka Cricket.

Adding more thoughts on the Lanka T10 December tournament, Mr Shammi Silva added, “We foresee that this event will not solely captivate cricket enthusiasts, but also serve as a catalyst for popularizing the tournament broadly.”

Mr Anil Mohan, Founder and CEO, IPG Group shared, “This is a great stepping stone for us as we get to organise another exciting chapter in Sri Lankan Cricket. Our league unites the top international stars and local talent on an exciting platform for cricket enthusiasts worldwide. Together, we aim to make history and elevate the game with every thrilling match.”


The tournament will feature six men’s teams covering regional cricket picenters, with each team consisting of a squad of 16 players, along with six foreign players.

“We’re thrilled to bring T10 cricket to Sri Lanka, and we’re grateful to SLC for their support. This league holds added significance as it is formally endorsed by esteemed members like SLC, highlighting the credibility and excitement surrounding this new era in Sri Lankan cricket.” Shaji ul Mulk, Chairman of TTen Global Sports, representing the Event Rights Partner.

The matches will be played in some of Sri Lanka’s top international cricket venues and under lights.

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