Quick PRO Chess Standings Update

by admin on February 21, 2019

When I wrote my last post I couldn’t tell yet how much the San Francisco Mechanics had moved up in our division of the PRO Chess League. Now today’s two Battle Royales are in the books, and the league standings have been updated. Here is how our division looks:

  1. Dallas – 159.5
  2. Chengdu – 152
  3. Minnesota – 136
  4. Australia – 122
  5. Seattle – 117
  6. San Jose – 115
  7. San Francisco – 108
  8. San Diego – 76.5

The big winner today was Dallas, which finished first in its Battle Royale with 20 points out of 28 possible. Combining the 20 points with the 24 bonus points for finishing first, they surged past Chengdu into first place. Also, Minnesota did very well today too, finishing second in their Battle Royale (a 20-point bonus) with 16.5 points, for a total haul of 36.5 points.

San Jose and San Diego had less successful days, and San Jose dropped from fifth to sixth in the standings.

From San Francisco’s perspective, we made up significant ground this week on both Seattle and San Jose. That’s good news! If we can pass just one of them, we will guarantee a spot in the league next year. Even more tantalizing, we are not too far behind Australia. If we can somehow pass all three of these teams — which, for sure, will require three good weeks in a row — then we can still make the playoffs.

However, this optimism has to be tempered with a drop of caution: our next two matches are against Dallas and Minnesota, which are obviously very strong teams. The schedule does not favor us! We’re definitely regretting the chances we missed against San Jose and Seattle earlier in the season.

Looking at the league as a whole, one thing that really jumps out is the fact that we are in the strongest division. Here are the total points scored by division:

  1. Pacific Division — 986.0
  2. Eastern Division — 919.0
  3. Atlantic Division — 895.5
  4. Central Division — 880.0

In the Atlantic Division, there is an unbelievably close battle between the New York Marshalls (149) and the St. Louis Arch Bishops, the PRO Chess League’s 2017 champions (148.5). Likewise, the Eastern Division looks like a two-team race between the Tbilisi Gentlemen (166.5) and the Armenia Eagles, the defending league champions (161). The Central Division has the best three-team race, with just over 10 points separating the Norway Gnomes (138.5), Amsterdam Mosquitoes (130.5), and Baden-Baden Snowballs (128).

Looking ahead to next week, the marquee matchup of the week will be Tbilisi versus Armenia, #1 versus #2 in the Eastern Division with the winner guaranteed to move into first place (or stay there). Another big matchup will be Norway versus Baden-Baden, #1 versus #3 in the Central Division. A win against Norway would move the Snowballs ahead of the Gnomes, and really put that division up for grabs.

Very strangely, in our (Pacific) division, every single match remaining will pit the Haves (i.e., teams in the top four of the division) versus the Have Nots (teams in the bottom four). That’s good news for the Mechanics, because it means that the teams we are trying to catch up to are also facing difficult schedules.

Finally, in the last week of the season there will be one more Battle Royale to scramble everything up! The Battle Royales have been a really entertaining and successful innovation this year, in my opinion.

That’s all for now!

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