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Wesley So becomes 1st Fischer Chess world champ

Although he is now representing USA, Wesley So gave Filipino sports fans something to cheer about this Halloween weekend. Maria Emelianova/Chess.com
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Wesley So became the inaugural winner of the FIDE Fischer Random Chess World Championship after beating Magnus Carlsen in the finals in Norway over the weekend.

So, now based in the United States, beat his Norweigan opponent, the current world number one, in the series that lasted for three days, 13.5-2.5. So only needed 12.5 points to win it all.

The Filipino Super GM, who actually considers Fischer Random Chess as his favorite, was dominant all series long, going undefeated in six games.

With a scoring system different from standard chess, So got the huge chunk of his points in the slow rapid games in the first two days of the finals, in which he won three straight games worth three points each after a Game 1 draw, which gave him 1.5 points for a total of 10.5 against Carlsen's 1.5.

Carlsen actually got another draw in Game 1 of the fast rapid round for one point, but So dominated the next game and even threatened to mate Carlsen, forcing him to resign after 29 moves and give him the championship.

So won US$125,000 (around PHP6.3 million) for ruling the event.

Unlike standard chess, the first rank pieces are arranged differently in random order per game.

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