So rules Leon Chess Masters

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Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So added another feather to his cap by topping the 30th Magistral De Ajedrez – Leon Chess Masters held in Leon, Spain.

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So, who represents the United States Chess Federation in international tournaments, outplayed GM Viswanathan Anand of India in the finals via a 1.5-0.5 decision.

The Filipino wizard defeated Anand in Game 1 then the two agreed to a draw in Game 2 of the tournament sanctioned by the International Chess Federation.

So reached the final round by toppling Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland in the semifinal round (2.5-1.5) while Anand clobbered International Master Jaime Santos Latasa of Spain in their own semifinal meeting (2-0).

“I was happy to finally win a tournament (again). Congratulations to my opponents who put up such strong and interesting fights. It was such an honor to play GM Anand, GM Duda, and IM Latasa, and they truly are all very nice and likeable people off the board,” said the Cavite City pride.

“It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot, especially about Spain’s influences on Filipino culture, like taking paseo and sitting in coffee shops chatting. They also have so many foods here that are similar to what we have in Manila. I also see that some of our Tagalog language has Spanish origins,” he added.

So will be flying back to the US after competing in tournaments in Norway, France, Belgium and Spain.

After a couple of weeks, So will take part in the Sinquefield Cup on July 31 to August 12 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in Missouri.

The Sinquefield Cup is the third stop of the five-leg Grand Chess Tour.

The next two legs will be the Saint Louis Rapid on August 13 to 20 and the London Chess Classic on November 30 to December 11.

EMIL C. NOGUERA

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