Filipino woodpusher Wesley So celebrated his title conquest in the first official World Fischer Random Chess Championship with a win over world chess champion Magnus Carlsen, 13.5-2.5, in the finals.
The 26-year-old So gained points in two fast-rapid games over Carlsen, after defending his pieces while playing black in his first game.
"People love chess here, thanks to Magnus. People here treat players well, and we love it here. I'm very happy to be the world champion, but it doesn't change much,” said So in a statement with chess.com.
So agreed to a repetition of moves for a draw in the opening game before fending off Carlsen's desperate attack in the second game.
"I think he was shaken in our Game 2 and wasn't able to bounce back, but he congratulated me right after the match. He is a great sportsman," added So.
So said that the game with Carlsen is different from a normal game of chess.
"I don't have to fear that I am running into some deeply prepared line. The trouble with real chess is that people can memorize up to move 40, sometimes more, sometimes less. In order to play good chess, you have to be good at different things, working with computers,” explained So.
Ian Nepomniachtchi took the bronze medal following a convincing game with Fabiano Caruana.
In the first game, So's pressure convinced Carlsen to back off with a repetition, which the Filipino GM accepted.
So emerged as the surprise leader after taking a three-point lead in Game 2.
This was after Carlsen went on the offensive.
According to analysts, Carlsen chose an ambitious strategy of granting white a pawn center.
From there, So waited before he decided to sacrifice first his center.
So gave up a rook to expose the black's king position and this led to complications.
“In order to play good chess, you have to be good at different things, working with computers. I don't like memorizing moves that I don't understand. Here in Fischer Random you get a game, literally from the beginning,” added So.