Leinier Dominguez secured victory in the 2021 Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX after winning a dramatic final round game against Levon Aronian and ending with 6.0/9 points.
Finishing in second place were Wesley So, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Sam Shankland, all on 5.5/9, while former World Champion Garry Kasparov concluded an impressive performance with 5.0/9.
The time control for the event is 20 minutes per side with a 5-second increment starting from move one. Before each round, the players were shown the unique starting position 15 minutes ahead of time and are allowed to prepare using the physical boards.
Despite entering the final day as the clear leader, Dominguez suffered a shock in the first round, losing to Shankland after blundering in the late middlegame and going into a bad endgame.
The result allowed Shankland to catch Dominguez in the standings, as did Kasparov, who continued his excellent play from yesterday to defeat Svidler in a trademark attacking style.
The penultimate round saw the standings get shaken up even further, as draws by Shankland, Dominguez, and Kasparov allowed So to catch up to the leaders with his win over Svidler.
This meant that going into the final round there would be four leaders on 5.0/8 – So, Dominguez, Kasparov, and Shankland; with Vachier-Lagrave just a half-point out of first place.
The final round was the most dramatic of all, with all four leaders facing different players, making numerous playoff possibilities feasible.
Both Shankland and So had chances at various points, but could only draw against Caruana and Nakamura, respectively; while 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.