Saint Louis Arch Bishops win 2019 PRO Chess League

Saint Louis Arch Bishops, 2019 PRO Chess League Champions (Rosen / PCL)

The Saint Louis Arch Bishops are the 2019 PRO Chess League Champions, defeating the Baden-Baden Snowballs in Sunday’s PCL final in San Francisco. The final score was 10-6. The Chengdu Pandas narrowly won the third-place match against the Armenia Eagles 8.5-7.5.

The Arch Bishops’ victory on Sunday was due in no small part to the efforts of two team members: World #2 Fabiano Caruana and World #13169 (as of the May list) Julian Proleiko. Caruana scored 3.5/4 in the Finals and 7.5/8 on the weekend to pace the team, while fourth board Proleiko took two key points in the Finals, including a final round win that clinched the team victory.

TEAM ROSTERS

ROUND BY ROUND RECAP

ROUND 1

The Arch Bishops jumped out to a 2.5-1.5 lead after round one. Inna Agrest flagged against Fabiano Caruana, although Caruana was winning on the board as well.

Nikolas Theodoru found a brilliant finish in his win over Alexander Donchenko.

Score: Arch Bishops 2.5, Snowballs 1.5

ROUND 2

The Arch Bishops extended their lead in the second round, taking three out of the four possible game points. Caruana’s kingside pressure extracted two key mistakes from Kollars, giving him the win.

Score: Arch Bishops 5.5, Snowballs 2.5

ROUND 3

The wins kept piling up for the Arch Bishops in the third round, and they increased their lead with a 2.5-1.5 round victory. Donchenko held Caruana and Meier drew Bok, but the combination of Theodorou’s win over Agrest and Proleiko’s rollercoaster draw against Kollars gave the round to Saint Louis. Perhaps Julian should have studied the Foisor-Krush ending?

Score: Arch Bishops 8, Snowballs 4

ROUND 4

With only a draw needed to clinch the match, the Arch Bishops looked to be invincible. But after Donchenko beat Bok in 28 moves, it was Julian Prolenko who won the key game that gave Saint Louis the title.

Agrest resigns against Proleiko (Rosen / PCL)

After Caruana defeated Meier and Kollars ground down Theodorou, the fourth and final round of the 2019 PRO League Finals was split 2-2, giving the crown and glory to the Arch Bishops.

Final Score: Arch Bishops 10, Snowballs 6.

SCENES FROM SAN FRANCISCO

Eric Rosen was on hand in San Francisco to take photos, and he generously provided CLO with some excellent shots.

AND…

With the PRO Chess League season now completed, some fans may wonder how they will pass the hours until the 2020 season kicks off early next year.

Wonder no more. The PRO Chess League, in conjunction with chess.com, has announced a 2019 Summer Series to kick off next month. And fans can get in on the action, competing in Live Club Matches to help boost their favorite teams in the standings. Check out the announcement at chess.com and sign up today!

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