Wesley So needed just two games on Monday to clinch a 4.5:1.5 victory and take the Chess.com Global Championship title and $200,000. 18-year-old Indian prodigy Nihal Sarin won $100,000, by far the biggest prize of his career so far, but despite having some chances in the penultimate game he was unable to land any blows against the 3-time US Champion.
Nihal Sarin beat Rauf Mamedov, Vladimir Kramnik, Ding Liren, Sam Sevian and Anish Giri on the way to the Chess.com Global Championship final, but Wesley So was finally the one star name he couldn’t overcome.
Wesley himself had beaten Denis Lazavik, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Jeffery Xiong, Dmitry Andreikin and Hikaru Nakamura, and especially in Toronto had only really looked vulnerable in the very first game, when he was on the verge of defeat against Dmitry Andreikin and then missed mate-in-2.
Going into the 2nd day of the final the score was 3:1 in Wesley’s favour, so that he knew he needed three draws, or a win and a draw, to seal the match. He admitted the proximity of his goal made him “very nervous”, which helped Nihal Sarin’s offbeat opening become a success.
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