MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grand Master Wesley So triumphed at the Millionaire Chess Open at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to pocket the grand prize of $100,000.
So defeated Webster University teammate and United States GM Ray Robson, 1.5-0.5, in the final match to clinch the championship.
Robson went home with the runner-up purse of $50,000.
On the road to the finals, the top-seeded So edged GM Zhou Jianchao of China, 2-0, in the first tiebreak consisting of two games at 15 minutes per player.
Earlier, So and Zhou drew both rapid games at 25 minutes per player to force a tiebreaker.
Robson, meanwhile, shocked GM Yu Yangyi of China, 1.5-0.5, in their rapid semi-final knockout match to seal a berth in the Finals.
So now has a live rating of 2762, a personal best, after gaining 7.0 rating points from five wins and two draws in the Swiss system elimination round.
He surpassed former world champion GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, who has a 2760 rating, and is now in the top 10 of the world.
Prior to the Millionaire Chess Open in Las Vegas, So settled for second place at the Edmonton International Tournament in Alberta, Canada last June.
He also topped the prestigious Capablanca Memorial Tournament in Havana, Cuba, last May, and won the ACP Golden Classic last July in Bergamo, Italy. -- By Marlon Bernardino