Despite having a higher Elo rating in classical play, the Cavite-born So surrenders a big edge to Nakamura in both rapid and blitz competitions
Living up to his top seeding, the Osaka-born Nakamura bested the Cavite-born So, 5.0-2.5, in the one minute + 1 second increment event to bag the title that went to absentee world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway last year.
Despite Nakamura's higher rating, So was able to forge a 5-5 deadlock in both the blitz (5+1) and blitz (3+1) events earlier, paving the way for bullet chess, which Nakamura regularly plays online.
The 30-year-old Nakamura bagged the $5,000 first prize, plus a majority share of another $5,000 for won games and winnings in the earlier rounds of the all-GM, 16-player tournament.
En route to the crown, Nakamura dumped Hou Yifan, the world's highest rated female player, 27.5-2.5, France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, 21.5-13.5, and Armenia's Levon Aronian, 17-12, in the semifinals.