Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So outplayed Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez to win the 2017 Champions Showdown held at the Saint Louis Chess Club in St. Louis, Missouri.
The 23-year old So scored 47.5 points while Hernandez had 44.5 points in 10 games of rapid and 20 games of blitz.
“The whole concept of fast chess instead of great chess is so hard for me. I want to think my moves through and make beautiful ideas. Every time I play chess I want my game to be better thought out than my last game, I want to improve constantly. I want to create a picture and not just throw paint at the wall,” So posted on his Facebook account.
“I guess rapid and blitz is just another kind of game and very difficult for me to understand. No delay or increment (the increment instituted by Bobby Fischer because he understood what the chess game needed to be better) was even more unsettling,” he added.
So bagged the $60,000 top purse and Hernandez the $40,000 consolation prize in the invitational tournament that invited top three players from the United States and top three players in the world rankings.
“I do admire fast players I just think maybe I am not psychologically one of them. Yet God helped me anyway, made a miracle and saw me through to the end and even to actually winning this crazy match. Kudos to GM Dominguez who is a powerful player and a very nice person,” So narrated.
The Cavite City pride will be competing next in the 2017 London Chess Classic—the final leg of the Grand Chess Tour—to be held from December 1 to 11 at the Olympia Conference Center in England.
Besides So, the other participants in the nine-round event are GMs Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Viswanathan Anand, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian and Micket Adams.
Meanwhile, Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre scored 5.5 points to share the top spot after seven rounds in the 27th World Senior Chess Championship men’s open 65+ division in Acqui Teme, Italy.
GM Joey Antonio, on the other hand, is in a three-way tie for No. 3 with 5.5 points.
The eighth round is scheduled on Thursday with Torre facing International Master Shevelev Arkady of Israel and Antonio meeting FIDE Master Krishan Jhhunjhnuwala of US.