Indian League: Superkids, Chess Gurukul to clash in Superfinal

Superkids pipped top seed Chess Gurukul to head the points-table as the two rating favourites in the Indian League made Sunday’s Superfinal.


Superkids and Chess Gurukul have made it to the final of Indian League.   -  Getty Images

Superkids pipped top seed Chess Gurukul to lead the points-table as the two rating favourites in the Sukooon Resorts Indian League made Sunday’s Superfinal in style on Saturday.

Starting the day two game-points behind Gurukul, second seed Superkids surged half-a-point ahead after the seventh round. Unfazed, Gurukul drew level in the eighth before the youngsters topped the table.

For some strange reason, the organisers chose to go with the aggregate of game-points for the purpose of standings, as against the more preferred match-points. In fact, match-points come into play only to break the ties.

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Game-points are the aggregate of points scored by a team in each match. On the other hand, winning a match is worth three match-points, drawing one, and a losing, none.

As a result, the margin of victory assumes more relevance and renders the higher number of victories less meaningful. It is pertinent to know that in all major team championships, including Chess Olympiad, match-points decide the final placings.

As it turned out, Chess Gurukul despite posting most number of wins and being the only unbeaten combination in the 10-team competition, finished behind Superkids.

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In fact, the suspense over the finalists virtually ended in the eighth round after Chess Pathshala stunned third seed and close contender Desi Boys 4.5-0.5.

Chess Pathshala’s triumphs on the top four boards against Desi Boys marked the biggest upset of the competition.

Rising talent Mrudul Dehankar, played black and stunned GM Vaibhav Suri, while S. P. Sethuraman overpowered Abhijeet Gupta, Swapnil Dhopade drubbed Debashis Das and Sankalp Gupta added to the woes of Tania Sachdev, who lost seven games.

The results:

Ninth round: Superkids bt Chess Gyaan 3.5-1.5; Chess Gurukul bt Five Fighters 3-2; Cheeky Cheetahs lost to Desi Boys 1.5-3.5; United India bt Undercover Agents 3-2; Chess Pathshala lost to Chess Thulir 1.5-3.5.

Eighth round: Undercover Agents lost to Chess Gurukul 1.5-3.5; Five Fighters lost to Superkids 2-3; Desi Boys lost to Chess Pathshala 0.4-4.5; Chess Thulir lost to United India 1-4; Chess Gyaan drew with Cheeky Cheetahs 2.5-2.5.

Seventh round: Chess Gurukul bt United India 3.5-1.5; Superkids bt Undercover Agents 4-1; Desi Boys bt Chess Thulir 4.5-0.5; Cheeky Cheetahs lost to Five Fighters 3.5; Chess Pathshala lost to Chess Gyaan 1-4.

Sixth round: Chess Thulir drew with Chess Gurukul 2.5-2.5; Superkids bt United India 4.5-0.5; Undercover Agents drew with Cheeky Cheetahs 2.5-2.5; Chess Gyan drew with Desi Boys 2.5-2.5; Five Fighters bt Chess Pathshala 3-2.

Standings (after 9 rounds): 1. Superkids (29 game-points), 2. Chess Gurukul (28.5), 3. Desi Boys (25.5), 4. United India (22.5), 5-6. Undercover Agents, Five Fighters (22 each), 7. Chess Gyaan (21), 8. Chess Pathshala (19), 9. Cheeky Cheetahs (18), 10. Chess Thulir (17.5).

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