Superkids, Chess Gurukul to meet in Superfinal of chess meet

Superkids will meet Team Chess Gurukul in the ‘Superfinal’ of the Indian chess.com League on Sunday as they took the top two spots in the nine-round round-robin phase.

The second-seeded Superkids, which was in third spot at the end of five rounds, bounced back strongly to finish atop the league after nine rounds, pushing Chess Gurukul to second.

In the ninth and final round, Superkids scored a convincing 3.5-1.5 win over Chess Gyan while Chess Gurukul edged out Five Fighters 3-2.

With 29 points, the Superkids team comprising Nihal Sarin, Raunak Sadhwani, Arjun Erigaisi, Narayanan Srinath (captain) and Divya Deshmukh, emerged as the clear leader.

Chess Gurukul, which started as the eighth-seed and comprised young GM R Praggnanandhaa, national champion Aravindh Chithambaram, Karthikeyan Murali, Aditya Mittal and R Vaishali, ended up half a point behind Superkids.

GM Arjun Erigaisi was the star performer for Superkids with eight points from nine rounds while the talented Sarin logged 6.5 points.

For Chess Gurukul, a defeat for Praggnanandhaa in the eighth round at the hands of fellow GM Girish A Koushik, cost the team the first place.

Undercover Agents, which started as the top seed, ended fifth with 22 points.

Around 25 Indian Grandmasters are taking part in the three-day tournament played on a blitz format.

Among the leading names are GMs S P Sethuraman, Nihal Sarin, Karthikeyan Murali, Tania Sachdev and Surya Sekhar Ganguly, apart from Pragnnanandhaa and D Gukesh.

Final standings (after 9 rounds): 1. Superkids 29 points, 2. Chess Gurukul 28.5, 3. Desi Boys 25.5, 4. United India 22.5, 5. Undercover Agents 22, 6. Five Fighters 22, 7. Chess Gyan 21, 8. Chess Thulir 18.5, 9. Chess Pathshala 18, 10. Cheeky Cheetahs 18.