GM Wesley So overcame GM Jeffery Xiong in a neck-and-neck match with all decisive games to commence the round of 16 at the Chess.com Global Championship on Sunday. GM Levon Aronian went undefeated to knock out GM Sam Sevian in three games.
The round of 16 continues on Monday, October 3, starting at 9 a.m. PT / 18:00 CET, featuring GM Fabiano Caruana vs. GM Dmitry Andreikin and GM Hikaru Nakamura vs. GM Leinier Dominquez.
So drew the first blood, defeating Xiong with the well-timed intermezzo Rh3+! to offset Xiong’s king position before cracking open the center.
This is our Game of the Day.
So and Xiong are two great chess players and the match between them was very close with two wins each during normal time. So’s victory in the first game was his best in the match.
Xiong immediately bounced back in the next game. After using almost no time off his clock for the first 20 moves, Xiong created significant pressure on the kingside and center.
In game three, Xiong revealed stunning opening preparation, sacrificing two pawns and giving up his ability to castle but gaining a lead in development and open lines for his bishops and rooks to aim at So’s kingside.
In a critical position, Xiong overlooked the winning idea, letting So back into the game. Can you find the missed opportunity?
After So was given some breathing room, he solved his queenside development problems and converted with his extra material.
In a must-win position in game four, Xiong immediately capitalized after So made an inaccurate move, striking in the center to gain an extra pawn.
With this victory, Xiong earned himself an armageddon playoff for a spot in the top eight against the fifth-highest-ranked chess player in history. Xiong gained an extra exchange for a pawn and came close to winning, but ultimately So’s amazing defensive skills prevailed. After a 131-move duel, the players drew.
In the post-match interview, So shared his thoughts on his opponent: “Jeffery’s a very good player. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s also very tricky and can spot a lot of tactics.”
After a draw in their first game, Aronian took the lead vs. Sevian by taking over the light squares to win material and then trading into a winning bishop endgame.
In game three, Aronian won the match, again by taking over the light squares and creating a potent passed e-pawn.
So and Aronian advance to compete in Toronto for the $200,000 first prize while Xiong and Sevian each earn $15,000 for their competitive efforts throughout the event.
Round of 16 Scoreboard
To be added.
Round of 16 Bracket
The 2022 Chess.com Global Championship (CGC) is the first Chess.com global championship cycle open to all Chess.com verified players. Players compete in official Chess.com verified events for their share of the $1,100,000 prize fund and the Chess.com Global Champion title.
Chess legends, such as GMs Viswanathan Anand, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Vladimir Kramnik, and Veselin Topalov, compete against today’s best (online) players, including GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren, Levon Aronian, and Jan-Krzysztof Duda, and more.
- Experience Bests Youth: Radjabov Knocks Out Erigaisi
- Sarana ‘Immortal’ Upsets Mamedyarov; Duda, Xiong Cruise Through
- Favorites Advance; Abdusattorov, Kramnik Eliminated
- So Sweeps Ivanchuk, Dominguez Defeats Hansen
- Sevian Scores Spectacular Upset; Caruana, Andreikin Advance
- American Favorites Clean House
- Sweet Revenge, Stunning Upsets
- Svidler Sweeps Shirov, Favorites Triumph
- Legends Fall, Prodigies Prevail
- Kramnik and Sevian Sweep Inaugural Matches
- Anand, Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Topalov Among Global Chess Championship Participants
- Announcing The $100,000 CGC Bracket Contest
- Chess.com Global Championship 2022: All The Information