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Leinier Dominguez clinches Champions Showdown 2021 Chess 9LX

by Shahid Ahmed - 11/09/2021

Leinier Dominguez started the final day with a loss against Shankland in Champions Showdown 2021 Chess 9LX. He drew with Vachier-Lagrave next and defeated Aronian in the final round to finish clear first 6.0/9. So, Vachier-Lagrave and Shankland tied for the second place at 5.5/9 each respectively. Kasparov, who was having another fantastic day after beating Svidler and making a draw with Nakamura, losing to MVL in the last round cost him a podium finish. He still managed to finish fifth with 5.0/9 and once again showed the world that if you take out the opening theory, he can still go against the best the world has to offer. Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club

Vachier-Lagrave spoils Kasparov's finish

Four players - So, Leinier, Kasparov and Shankland were tied for the first place 5.0/8 heading into the final round of the event. Kasparov's chances of finishing tied first was shunned by Vachier-Lagrave in the final round. 31 out of 45 games were decisive which means 68.89% games had a definitive winner. 12 games finished in 30 moves or less, out of them eleven were decisive. This tournament shows that Chess 960 games eliminate short or quick draws, games are more decisive when opening theory is out of question.

Leinier finished clear first | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club live stream
Interview with Leinier Dominguez | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club

Round 7: Shankland - Leinier: 1-0

Shankland ended Leinier's four-game winning streak. Leinier dropped a pawn in a double rook and bishop endgame and then missed a tactic which cost him another.

Position after 18...a5

19.Rxa5 Ra8 did not work because White had 20.Rxb5 cxb5 21.Bxd5+ Kg7 22.Bxa8 Rxa8 23.Ra1 and rest was just a matter of technique which Shankland converted with ease.

Shankland ended Leinier's winning streak | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club

Caruana - So: 1-0

So played a fantastic positional game to beat Caruana.

Position after 19.Na5

19...Bd5 prevents Nxc6 ideas, however, what So played 19...Nxc5 is a nice practical continuation too. 20.Nxc6 Qc7 21.Nxd8 Nxd3 22.exd3 Qxd8 and Black is doing well.

So scored a fine victory over Caruana | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club

Svidler - Kasparov: 0-1

Kasparov launched a brilliant at the center of the board against Svidler.

Position after 20...Nexc4

Kasparov launched a typical attack, 20...Nexc4 which was also possible in the previous move, yet 20.Qd2 made it more devastating. 21.bxc4 g5 22.Bxg5 Bxg5 23.f4 Nxc4 and the attack was absolutely crushing. Svidler resigned in another three moves.

It is always great to see Kasparov launch a devastating attack | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club

Round 8: So - Svidler: 1-0

So made a short work of Svidler in just 21 moves.

Position after 13...f6

13...f6 makes things difficult for Black as White strengthens the pin on c-file 14.Rc1 and it's all over. Find out what Black could have done instead.

So scored his second consecutive win of the day | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club

Round 9: Aronian - Leinier: 0-1

Leinier scored a very nice win against Aronian to finish clear first.

Position after 20.b4

20.b4 did not gain any tempo for White, in fact it lost it after 20...Nb3 21.Ra2 Be6 Black is in commanding position and White's pieces are all over the place.

Vachier-Lagrave - Kasparov: 0-1

Kasparov overstretched in the final round against Vachier-Lagrave.

Position after 17...e4

17...e4 was not required. Instead, 17...Bd7 would have been fine for Black. Kasparov obviously wanted to win this game and finish tied first which probably caused him to take these risks and eventually lose the game.

Interview with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club
Interview with Garry Kasparov | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club

Vachier-Lagrave handed Kasparov his only second defeat of the event | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club

Replay all Round 7-9 games from Day 3

Replay the live stream

Round 7-9 Live commentary by GM Alejandro Ramirez and GM Maurice Ashley | Video: Saint Louis Chess Club

Final standings after Round 9

Leinier finished sole first 6.0/9 | Photo: Saint Louis Chess Club


Sept. 9 12:15 a.m. Reveal Position
Sept. 9 12:30 a.m. 9LX Round 1
Sept. 9 1:30 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 9 1:45 a.m. 9LX Round 2
Sept. 9 2:45 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 9 3:00 a.m. 9LX Round 3
Sept. 10  12:15 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 10  12:30 a.m. 9LX Round 4
Sept. 10  1:30 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 10  1:45 a.m. 9LX Round 5
Sept. 10  2:45 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 10  3:00 a.m. 9LX Round 6
Sept. 11  12:15 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 11  12:30 a.m. 9LX Round 7
Sept. 11 1:30 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 11  1:45 a.m. 9LX Round 8
Sept. 11  2:45 a.m. Draw for Position
Sept. 11  3:00 a.m. 9LX Round 9

Play-off (if needed) - 11 September at 4:00 a.m. Time is in IST


Total Prize Fund: US$150,000

Place Prize
1st $37,500
2nd $25,000
3rd $20,000
4th $15,000
5th $12,500
6th $10,000
7th $7,500
8th $7,500
9th $7,500
10th $7,500


Tournament site

Tournament Regulations

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