Wesley So Becomes First-Ever Global Champion

Wesley So Becomes First-Ever Global Champion

| 53 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Wesley So triumphed at the inaugural Global Championship, defeating GM Nihal Sarin in the final with two games to spare. Unfazed by a couple of recent performances, So showed us what it means to be a grandmaster of his caliber, coming back to reach one of the top achievements of his career. Amazingly, So seemed to get stronger with each of his matchesdespite the top-notch competitionclinching the championship with one of his best games of the event. 

How to watch?
You can watch the 2022 Global Championship on You can also enjoy the show on our Twitch channel and catch all our live broadcasts on Games from the event can be viewed on our events page.

The live broadcast was hosted by GMs Fabiano Caruana, Robert Hess, Anish Giri, Daniel Naroditsky, Aman Hambleton, IMs Levy Rozman, and Danny Rensch

Perhaps to help switch up his approach, Nihal chose a new way to warm up for his games today: table tennis. 

The fast-paced nature of ping-pong seems optimal for a player to clear their head before embarking on an activity as thought-intensive as chess. Indeed, there was new life in Nihal's play today, especially in the first duel of the day. In game five, he revisited the dynamic and unorthodox Modern Defense to gain winning chances with the black pieces.

Contrastingly, So chose a very different approacheven more chess in online blitz―to warm up for today's games. This seemed to contribute to his sharp form, especially by the last game of the day. 

Game six was a spectacular expression of So's precise and resourceful defensive abilities, often using the king itself to fend off Nihal's attack. This championship-clinching battle is our Game of the Day, annotated by GM Rafael Leitao.

So takes home the $200,000 grand prizethe largest ever prize of his career―along with the dazzling championship trophy. 

In the post-match interview, So shared his favorite moment and biggest takeaway from the event: "Winning this one certainly. Just keep trying. I just finished a tournament. Reykjavik didn't go well. I finished in sixth place. So it's nice to win from time to time."

The first-ever global champion poses with his 50-pound trophy. Photo: Eric Rosen/
Nihal's performance at age 18 was remarkable, finishing as the runner-up and winning the $100,000 second prize. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Danny Rensch and Robert Hess show us the indescribable bond that can develop between fellow chess commentators. Photo: Eric Rosen/
All Games - Final Day 2

Final Scoreboard

Final Bracket

Prize Pool Standings

The 2022 Global Championship (CGC) is the first global championship cycle open to all verified players. Players compete in official verified events for their share of the $1,100,000 prize fund and the Global Champion title.

Chess legends, such as GMs Viswanathan Anand, Vasyl Ivanchuk, Vladimir Kramnik, and Veselin Topalov, compete against today's best (online) players, including GMs Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren, Levon Aronian, and Jan-Krzysztof Duda, and more. 

Previous coverage

NM Vanessa West

Vanessa West is a National Master, a chess teacher, and a writer for In 2017, they won the Chess Journalist of the Year award.

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