23-year-old Philippine intake, Grandmaster Wesley So and 27-year-old Romanian, Sabina Foisor stormed the U.S. Chess Championships 2017 held in St. Louis, taking away the U.S. Chess and U.S. Women’s Champions titles respectively.
Do you still have any doubt that the United states of America, is the “Land of the free”?
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis officially declared the names of two championship winners on Tuesday.
Wesley So, who is representing the US in chess since November 2015 won the final showdown over the sixth-ranked American grandmaster- Alexander Onischuk. So is awarded a grand prize of $50,000 (Ya brahs! playing a board game can get you a hell lot of money). Runner-up, Onischuk received a ‘humble’ amount of $35,000.
This is the first time that So has won the U.S chess crown, an overwhelmed So said that this was his third try for the U.S. Chess Championship, and he really wanted to win the title because it meant a lot obviously. It’s one of, if not the strongest national chess championships present in the world.
While my personal favorite, cool cat, American number 3 GM Hikaru Nakamura finished fourth behind Fabiano Caruana with 6.5 points each.
In the women’s competition, seeded sixth on the 12-player list, Foisor outplayed the reigning U.S. Women’s Champion NM Nazi Paikidze and six-time U.S. champion Irina Krush bagging her first U.S. title with an 8-3 score, a full point ahead of Paikidze.
Foisor said, “I had the support of a lot of important people in my life for this tournament, and that was really something that I thought about in the moment I won the title”
Foisor received the $25,000 grand prize( Gender wage gap alert!) while Paikidze took the second-place $18,000 prize.
The U.S.Chess and U.S. Women’s Championships are a segment of a three-event chess tournament. The third competition, for players younger than age 21, will be held from July 7-18.