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Global Chess League gets into top gear in Dubai

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The Global Chess League (GCL), the world’s first and largest official franchise league of its kind, continued its multi-city celebration tour with a range of activities, including a flash mob, at the famous Times Square Centre in Dubai on Friday. The inaugural edition of the GCL will be held from June 21 to July 2 in the Gold city of Dubai.

Times Square Centre hosted a grand chess celebration with a blitz tournament for 160+ players, an impromptu flash mob, and a chess pop-up quiz to engage fans.

 

A spot blitz chess tournament was held at the Times Square mall in Dubai, which also saw a flash mob grab the audience attention. Supplied

Format and scoring 

The league, which introduces the franchise format to the sport of chess, also brings a completely new mixed-team format to the fore featuring the best from the ecosystem among men, women and U21 players.

Each team will have six players and a manager, who will be competing on six boards which will be played simultaneously.  While each board will be called a game, all six combined boards will be termed one match. Once the board order is decided, it cannot be altered after drawing lots while deciding the run order of play. And in each match, all the players of one team will play with the same colour.

A game won with Black pieces will result in 4 Game Points (GP) to the winning player. A victory for a player with White pieces will see them win 3 GP. A draw will be rewarded with 1 GP, and a defeat gets the player 0 GP. Each players’ GP will contribute to the Team’s total Match Points (MP).

With regards to the calculations on Match Points (MP), a Team which scores more GP than their opposition will be rewarded with a bonus of 3 MP. If both the Teams are level on GP, they will be awarded 1 MP each. However, if a team scores lesser GP than the opposing team, they won’t get any MP for that Match.

 

Scoring System for Game Points (GP) 

4 GP (3+1)

A player wins the Game with Black Pieces

3 GP

A player wins the Game with White Pieces

1 GP

Draw

0 GP

Defeat

 

Scoring System for Match Points (MP) 

3  MP

The team that scores more Game Points

1  MP

If both teams are level on Game Points

0  MP

The team that scores lesser Game Points than  the opponent

 

The Final will be played over best-of-2 matches. There will be a drawing of lots to determine which Team is White in Match 1, this team will then be black in Match 2. The team who wins more matches will be the Champion. In the event of a tie:

  • There will be a playoff blitz fixture, which will be a best-of-2 match. The team that was white in Match 1 and black in Match 2 will play white in Match 3 and black in Match 4. The time limit for each game will be all moves in 3 minutes plus 2 seconds. The Team that wins the most matches in the fixture will be the Champion.
  • If the Teams remain tied, there shall be a drawing of lots to determine a board from 1 to 6. The player from each Team on this board will then participate in a sudden-death blitz game. The time limit for this game will be 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move. The player from the Team who was white in Matches 1 and 3, will play white in this game.
  • If the sudden death blitz game is drawn, then the procedure is repeated except that the colour of the player from each team alternates from the colour the team had in the preceding sudden death blitz game.
  • If the tie remains unbroken, the above procedure is repeated until a sudden death blitz game has a winner.

 

Exciting Contests at Hand:

The Global Chess League kicks off on 22nd June after a glittering opening ceremony on the day before. Triveni Continental Kings will be up against upGrad Mumba Masters, starting the tournament in a grand manner.

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League Cup trophy part of final chapter with Liverpool, says Klopp – ARN News Centre

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AFP / Paul Ellis

Winning the League Cup would be a crucial addition to the final segment of a memoir with Liverpool, the soon-to-depart manager Juergen Klopp said before his side’s final match against Chelsea.

Klopp has announced his decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, citing dwindling energy levels.

The 56-year-old, who is the only Liverpool manager to win six different major trophies, would dedicate the victory to everyone connected to the Merseyside club as part of his trophy-laden nine-year epoch.

“I want to win on Sunday, but not for me or my trophy cabinet,” Klopp said of the League Cup final. “It is for the boys, for the club, for the people. That is much more important.

“We wrote, and we are still writing a wonderful book, and when I leave, we close that book and put it on the shelf and then someone else will write a wonderful book.

“Yes, there is space for some chapters. It is long. I am not there and writing the resume already? Not at all. I am 100% in trying to create a few special memories on top of what we have done.”

Klopp’s side has a lengthy injury list that could hinder their chances of securing a record-extending 10th League Cup triumph at Wembley, with the likes of Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, and Curtis Jones sidelined and forwards Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai doubtful for Sunday.

Liverpool’s most recent triumph came in the 2021-22 campaign when they also lifted the FA Cup and narrowly missed securing a treble as they finished second in the Premier League.

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Last-gasp Casemiro goal sets up United for Liverpool clash – ARN News Centre

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OLI SCARFF/ AFP

Brazilian Casemiro struck late to send Manchester United into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest as teenagers Jayden Danns and Lewis Koumas inspired Liverpool to a 3-0 win over Southampton on Wednesday.

Chelsea overcame second-tier Leeds United 3-2 thanks to Conor Gallagher’s 90th-minute winner, easing the pressure on coach Mauricio Pochettino, and Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 thanks to Mario Lemina’s early goal.

United kept alive their last hope of lifting a trophy in a difficult season for the 12-times FA Cup winners when the 32-year-old Casemiro headed in a low bouncing free kick from Bruno Fernandes from close range, setting up an enticing quarter-final meeting with Liverpool.

United manager Erik Ten Hag and his team held their breath through a lengthy VAR check for offside before the goal was confirmed to the delight of the United fans at the City Ground.

Three days after Liverpool’s young side beat Chelsea 1-0 to win the League Cup final, Danns struck twice with his first goals for the senior side and Koumas scored on his first-team debut.

Koumas, the 18-year-old son of former Wales international Jason Koumas, scored just before halftime, receiving a superb pass from Bobby Clark before shooting into the bottom corner via a deflection off Jack Stephens.

Danns, also 18, netted his first in the 73rd minute when he dinked the ball over keeper Joe Lumley, and scored again 15 minutes later after pouncing on a loose ball.

With injuries to key players including Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp fielded a young team against Southampton — 23 spots below them in England’s football pyramid.

For Chelsea, struggling in mid-table in the league, the FA Cup is their last realistic chance of silverware.

The Premier League side were shocked in the eighth minute when Leeds took the lead after a defensive mix-up playing out from a goal kick allowed Mateo Joseph to score his first senior goal.

Chelsea replied with two goals from flowing moves in the 15th and 37th minutes and fine finishes by Senegal’s Nicolas Jackson and Ukrainian Mykhailo Mudryk.

Leeds upped the intensity in the second half and were rewarded in the 59th minute as a free header from the unmarked Joseph flew past Chelsea keeper Robert Sanchez.

Pochettino brought on Gallagher and Ben Chilwell as well as top scorer Cole Palmer in the second half and the move paid off. With extra time looming, Gallagher latched on to a pass from Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez before shooting home to take Chelsea into the last eight.

Pochettino called the win a “big relief”.

Liverpool travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United over the weekend of March 16, champions Manchester City host Newcastle United, Chelsea play Leicester City and Wolves take on Coventry City.



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Medvedev edges past Sonego to book Dubai quarter-final spot – ARN News Centre

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DDFTC

Reigning champion Daniil Medvedev avoided an early scare to overcome a spirited performance by Lorenzo Sonego and secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

The World No. 4 looked shaky during the opening exchanges, winning just 53 per cent (10/19) of points behind his first delivery as counterpart Sonego took full advantage and deservedly won the first set.

Medvedev, to his credit, recovered quickly and served with far more aggression in the second and third sets, firing off both wings and hitting pinpoint
serves.

The decisive moment came during a tense fifth game in the final set as the No. 1 seed broke Sonego’s serve with a running forehand winner and safely saw out the match thereafter.

Medvedev will face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina after Qatar Open finalist Jakub Mensik was forced to retire through injury early in the second set of their clash.

Hubert Hurkacz will join Medvedev in the last eight after a battling 7-6, 6-4 victory over Australian Christopher O’Connell. The World No. 8 will make his fourth quarter-final appearance in Dubai when he takes to the court to face Ugo Humbert, the French No. 1, on Thursday evening.

One man who will not be competing in the quarterfinals is Karan Khachanov after the No. 4 seed was sent crashing out of the tournament following Jiri Lehecka’s stunning comeback victory (6-7, 7-6, 6-4).

Lehecka, the World’s No36, knelt to the floor in elation after securing a spot in the last eight at the expense of in-form Khachanov, who had come into the match on the back of five straight wins.

The 27-year-old won his sixth-career title in Doha last week and looked on course to continue that momentum after clinching the first set against Lehecka.

Lehecka had other ideas, though, saving five points during a tense second set, coming back from 0-3 in the tiebreak that later followed and from 2-4 in the third decisive set to secure a second top-20 win of the season after a mammoth three-hour clash on Court One.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Korda continues to enjoy his maiden Dubai tournament, needing just 43 minutes to breeze past Botic van de Zandschulp and set up a quarter-final meeting against 2022 winner Andrey Rublev.

Korda, the first son to follow in his father’s footsteps in featuring in the premier tennis tournament of the Middle East, dropped just one game in an emphatic straight sets victory (6-1, 6-0) over the Dutch No. 2.





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