KAZAN, Russia – Grandmaster Wesley So provided the lone gold medal for the Philippines in the 27th Summer Universiade after topping the men’s chess standard competition.
So defeated former world junior champion GM Zaven Andriasian of Armenia in a tensely fought, Armageddon playoff match to determine the winner at the Kazan Equestrian Complex on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).
The Filipino and Armenian, who battled to a draw in the ninth and final round earlier in the day, finished in a nine-way tie for first place with 6.5 points at the end of the nine-round competition.
The two players again finished in a tie after three tiebreaks, forcing the Armageddon game.
Andriasian, who won the world junior championship in Yerevan in 2006, won the coin toss and chose to play white against So.
But not even playing with the disadvantageous black pieces could deter So from making history.
"I really did my best. It was not easy because there were many good players here," said the 19-year-old Filipino champion.
Overall, So finished with four wins and five draws for 6.5 points, the same score of Andriasian, GM Li Chao of China, GM Ma Qun of China, GM Maxim Matlakov of Russia, GM Zhou Jianchao of China, GM Evgeny alekseev of Russia, GM Jacek Tomczak of Poland and GM Sanan Sugirov of Russia.
Initially, tournament officials wanted to give out two golds - one each for So and Andriasian - but decided to hold an Armageddon game that lasted late into the night since tournament rules state there should only be one gold medal.