Wesley So vaults to 2nd behind Dominguez at 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 960

Wesley So performed best in the last three rounds and vaulted to joint second in the 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 960 won by Leinier Dominguez on Friday, September 10 (Saturday, September 11, Philippine time), at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Finally showing why he is the reigning world champion in the event also known as Fischer Random, So trounced Fabiano Caruana and Peter Svidler before settling for a draw with Hikaru Nakamura in the ninth round to finish with 5.5 points, half a point behind Dominguez.

Bunched with So were Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Sam Shankland.

So caught up with the legendary Garry Kasparov, Shankland, and Dominguez, who drew with Vachier-Lagrave after losing to Shankland, 5 points in the eighth round.

Dominguez, a five-time Cuban champion before switching to Team USA, however, squeezed a win over Levon Aronian to bag the $37,500 (P1.9 million top purse).

With just three points after six rounds, So, the reigning US titlist from the Philippines, rallied to pocket $20,000 (P1 million) with Vachier-Lagrave and Shankland.

The 58-year-old Kasparov lost to Vachier-Lagrave and dropped to solo fifth, worth $12,500.

It was another strong performance from So, the 2021 Grand Chess Tour winner and ranked second overall behind world champion Magnus Carlsen heading to the grand finals of the 2021 Champions Chess Tour. ā€“ Rappler.com