Filipino American Wesley So is first Chess.com Global Champion

FILAM WESLEY SO in a file photo after winning the 3rd US Open Chess Championship title

TORONTO, Canada – Filipino American grandmaster Wesley So won the inaugural Chess.com Global Championship, defeating Indian GM sensation Nihal Sarin in the final with two games to spare.

 Unfazed by a couple of recent performances, So showed  what it means to be a grandmaster of his caliber, coming back to reach one of the top achievements of his career, according to chess.com.
Amazingly, So seemed to get stronger with each of his matches ― despite the top-notch competition ― clinching the championship with one of his best games of the event, chess.com reported.
Game six was a spectacular expression of So’s precise and resourceful defensive abilities, often using the king itself to fend off Nihal’s attack. 
 
The championship-clinching battle was picked as Game of the Day, annotated by GM Rafael Leitao.
 
With his victory, So took home the $200,000 grand prize, the largest ever prize of his career, along with the dazzling championship trophy.

In the post-match interview, So, according to chess.com, shared his favorite moment and biggest takeaway from the event: “Winning this one certainly. Just keep trying. I just finished a tournament. Reykjavik didn’t go well. I finished in sixth place. So it’s nice to win from time to time.”
Earlier, Wesley So flashed his old, fiery form to subdue fellow American Hikaru Nakamura on November 5 (Sunday, November 6, Manila time) and arranged the finals with Indian sensation Nihal Sarin in the Chess.com Global Championship 2022 in Toronto, Canada.

Exploiting his strong bishop pair, the Bacoor, Cavite-born So prevailed in Game 7 to grab the upper hand against the favored Nakamura, Rappler repported.

Pushed into a must-win situation, Nakamura employed his pet King’s Indian Defense in the eighth and last game of their semifinal match but to no avail as So played well.

It was Nakamura, the newly crowned Fischer Random Chess world champion, who eventually blundered a rook, giving So another win and an overall 5-3 victory.

The first four games on Friday ended in draws and so did the first two games on Saturday.

The 18-year-old Indian GM Sarin earlier stunned Dutch ace Anish Giri in the Armaggedon decider of their semifinal encounter, for the $200,000 (about P11.6 million) champion’s purse.
With his win, So  bagged his most lucrative prize this year and buried the stigma of losing his back-to-back US crown to Fabiano Caruana, the Fischer Random world title to Nakamura, and the Grand Chess Tour overall championship to Alireza Firouzja, according to Rappler.com.

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