Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So emerged as the champion in the Millionaire Chess Open after defeating his Webster University teammate GM Ray Robson of the United States in the final round on Tuesday. So bagged the $100,000 cash prize while Robson got the $50,000 purse.
The 21-year-old Filipino chess wizard, handling the white pieces, subdued Robson in 28 moves. So sacrificed his rook in his 13th move to gain material advantage, particularly a pawn and a knight. The American had no choice but to resign since he would be forced to lose more pieces—two rooks and a knight—to avoid being checkmated.
Before the final match with Robson, So dislodged GM Jianchao Zhou of China at the semifinals phase with two wins and 2 draws. Robson, for his part, subdued Yangyi Yu of China with one win and one draw.
So, who hails from Bacoor, Cavite, is a sophomore scholar at Webster University taking Finance. He will next see action at the Spice Cup tournament to be held from October 21 to 26 at Saint Louis, Missouri.
So is applying to change federation affiliation from the Philippines to the United States. However, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines refused to let him go. He is suspended from joining FIDE-sanctioned tournaments for two years.
So, 21, has been ranked as the 10th top chess player in the world. He now has a live rating of 2762, surpassing former world champion GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, who has a 2760 rating.