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BY BERT ELJERA in Las Vegas
Filipino chess grandmaster Wesley So outplayed Webster University teammate Roby Robson
of the United States in the final to capture the US$100,000 first prize in the Millionaire Chess
Open Championship at Planet Hollywood & Casino.
Despite an inferior position, So forced a draw in the first game as Robson ran into time
With the white pieces in the second game, the 21-year-old So played aggressively to beat his
college roommate and win the match 1.5 to .5.
It was the third prestigious victory this year for So, who carried the Philippine flag here despite
a falling out with Butch Pichay Jr., the president of the National Chess Federation of the
Philippines over the young Filipino's request to transfer to the US chess federation.
In May, So won the prestigious Capablanca Memorial tournament in Havana, Cuba, and in
July, he topped the ACP Golden Classic in Bergamo, Italy.
He also finished behind Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine at the Edmonton International tournament
in Alberta, Canada.
In 32 games so far, he has not lost a single game and here in Las Vegas, he won four and
drew two in the seven-round Swiss system in the qualifying round to tie for the lead with
Robson, each with six points, and qualify outright in the semifinals.
In the semis, he beat Chinese GM Jianchao Zhou to arrange the finals meeting with Robson,
who prevailed over another Chinese grandmaster Yangyi Yu.
With his unbeaten streak, So has jumped to No.10 in the world, with a live rating of 2762, his
personal best and the highest a Filipino chess player has ever achieved.
So beats college roommate to win US$1m Las Vegas event
Wesley So exults after receiving a replica of the US$100,000 first prize check. Photo: Paul Truong/Facebook
In 32 games so far, he has not lost a single match and
here in Las Vegas, he won four and drew two in the
seven-round Swiss system
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