Leinier Dominguez Wins the 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX Tournament

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Leinier Dominguez Wins the 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX Tournament

Saint Louis Grandmaster Takes Home the $37,500 First Prize

SAINT LOUIS, September 13, 2021 – GM Leinier Dominguez secured victory in the 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX after winning a dramatic final round game against GM Levon Aronian and ending with 6 points and the $37,500 first prize. Finishing in a tie second place were Grandmasters Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Sam Shankland, while legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov concluded the tournament in fifth with an impressive performance. This tournament featured three exciting days of over the board chess played by the world’s best in Chess960 or Fischer Random chess.

The final round of the tournament was the most dramatic of all as Wesley So, Leinier Dominguez, Garry Kasparov, and Sam Shankland were all tied for first place going into the final round; with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave just a half-point behind the four leaders.

Both Shankland and So had chances at various points, but could only draw against Caruana and Nakamura, respectively; Kasparov got in trouble against Vachier-Lagrave and ended up with a losing position. Only Dominguez could manage to win, taking advantage of a slip by Aronian to collect the full point and ultimately clinch first place.

“From the start of the tournament I was trying to take it one game at a time,” said Saint Louis based Grandmaster, Leinier Dominguez in his interview with commentator Grandmaster Maurice Ashley. “It’s been awhile since I’ve won a tournament this strong, and I’m pleased that it happened here in Saint Louis of all places. To have won a tournament with such a strong field to play against feels really great.”

“The Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX is always such a treat for chess fans watching from around the globe,” said Tony Rich, Executive Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club. “With this year’s tournament format being played over the chess board once again added an extra level of excitement for viewers. To have Garry Kasparov return once again among such a strong field certainly made for an unforgettable three days.”

Place Name Total Points Total Prize Winnings
1 Leinier Dominguez 6 $37,500
T2 Wesley So 5.5 $20,000
T2 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 5.5 $20,000
T2 Sam Shankland 5.5 $20,000
5 Garry Kasparov 5 $12,500
6 Fabiano Caruana 4.5 $10,000
7 Levon Aronian 4 $7,500
8 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 3.5 $7,500
9 Hikaru Nakamura 3 $7,500
10 Peter Svidler 2.5 $7,500


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 Chess960

Chess960 or Fischer Random. Chess960 is a variant of chess created by Bobby Fischer in the late 1990s in which the pieces on the home rank are randomized, with 960 representing the number of possible starting positions. Players did not know the order of the home rank pieces until they arrived before the start of each round.

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 saintlouischessclub.org