Saint Louis Grandmaster Takes Home the $31,250 First Prize
ST. LOUIS, September 23, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Saint Louis-based Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana was crowned the winner of the 2022 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX after defeating Alireza Firouzja in Armageddon during their rapid playoff match and taking home the $31,250 first prize. The Chess 9LX 2022 victory capped off an incredible day for Caruana at the Saint Louis Chess Club, who won his final three games to finish with 6.5/9 and catch Firouzja to force a playoff tiebreaker.
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Saint Louis-based Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana was crowned the winner of the 2022 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX after defeating Alireza Firouzja in Armageddon during their rapid playoff match and taking home the $31,250 first prize. (Photo: Business Wire)
For Firouzja it was a mildly disappointing conclusion, but nevertheless a stellar result to end his campaign in Saint Louis, where he won the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, Sinquefield Cup, and overall Grand Chess Tour. Sharing third place were Ian Nepomniachtchi and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who both ended on 6.0/9 for the 2022 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX. This tournament featured three exciting days of over the board chess played by the world’s best in Chess960 or Fischer Random chess.
"This tournament was especially exciting," said Fabiano Caruana. "I didn’t think I had any chance to win but all my games went quite well over the final three rounds. Today’s win feels amazing," said Fabiano Caruana on his 2022 Chess 9LX win.
Going into the final day all eyes were on Firouzja and Mamedyarov, who entered the day as co-leaders of the tournament. Ultimately, neither Mamedyarov nor Nepomniachtchi were able to win their final round games, but Caruana continued his excellent form with a win over fellow American Wesley So, catching up to Firouzja’s lead and forcing a rapid playoff. The Armageddon playoff featured Caruana and Firouzja battling it out in a 2 game, 10+2 match, playing the same randomized starting position with both colors. After three exhilarating rounds, Caruana emerged victorious and secured the first place prize.
"The Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX is always such a treat for our participants and the fans watching from around the globe," said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. "In the final round we saw quite a bit of drama which led to an Armageddon playoff, keeping fans watching to the very end of the event. To have Garry Kasparov return once again among such a strong field of competitors certainly made for an unforgettable three days."
Total Prize Winnings
Daily round recaps from Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX can be found online at www.uschesschamps.com and the video highlights and full commentary can be watched on the Saint Louis Chess Club's YouTube and Twitch.tv channels.
About Chess 9LX
Chess 9LX is a trademark of the St. Louis Chess Club, and the name of one of its annual tournaments. All competitions in the Chess 9LX tournament are played in the Chess960 or Fischer Random style. Players will not know the order of the home rank pieces until they arrive before the start of the round and will have to rely on their creativity in rapid and blitz games.
About the Saint Louis Chess Club
The Saint Louis Chess Club is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Saint Louis Chess Club is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.
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