Grandmaster Leinier Dominguez Pérez returned to classical chess tournaments and did so spectacularly with the subtitle at the U.S. National Championships, which for the occasion summoned twelve of his counterparts with an average Elo of 2682.
The fair, with category XVIII of the International Federation, was played in the city of St. Louis between March 18 and April 2 and included several of the players of the universal elite, led by world crown challenger Fabiano Caruana (2828), the nationalized as him Wesley So (2762) and the multi-winner of first-strength contests Hikaru Nakamura (2746) , ultimately winning in the last round.
That trio was above the 9th century (2739) so in the so-called pre-classification was placed fourth. Behind him were talented players such as Samuel Shankland (2731) victor the previous year, Ray Robson (2667), Jeffery Xiong (2663), Varuzhan Akobian (2625), Samuel Sevian (2642), Awonder Liang (2590), Aleksander Lendermann (2637) and Timur Gareev (2557).
Leinier had not played tournaments like this for two years and only sporadically appeared in some exclusive lides for quick games and blitz, all on American territory where he has lived for some time. During the journey he collaborated as a coach with Fabiano Caruana for both the Candidates Tournament and the World Championship match and also established himself as an excellent analyst in several specialized sites.
Its history is known and we already refer to it in a previous work. The truth is that it caused a drop in Cuba’s national shortlist and now officially competes under the U.S. flag, where everything indicates that he found better living conditions and especially to study chess.
Those who know Leinier know of his love for family, of his ability to work and study, he easily makes friends and those who need him always find his hand. Leinier is also a follower of Industrialists and Real Madrid, and deeply Christian, endorses the text “All I can in Christ that strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
In the US Tournament he finished with 7.5 points out of eleven possible, thanks to four wins and seven boards. The successes were with black pieces opposite Ray Robson and Samuel Sevian, with White prevailing over Aleksander Lendermann and Awonder Liang.
While carrying the black pieces he divided the point with Varuzhan Akobian, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura (note that with those who surpassed him in elo he had to play with the dark pieces), while with White he struck in with Samuel Shankland, Jeffery Xiong and Timur Gareev.
This result earned 10.8 points for his 2739 Elo and at the time of drafting these lines (April 3, 2019) he ranked 17th in the world rankings live with 2750.
The tournament allowed a solid Leinier Dominguez to be seen in his game (some nicknamed The Doctor), with excellent analysis and responsiveness in extreme situations. An active Leinier was also appreciated like never before on social media through its GM LEINIER DOM-GUEZ Facebook wall.
Every day the player published before and after each game. He asked for good feelings and thanked him for the support. As it shows, here I leave you your welcome text: “Dear friends and followers, as great lovers that we are all from the science game, I hope you enjoy as much as I do of my official return to chess after two long years inactive.”
Already at the farewell, when he made boards with Gareev and was unable to win the tournament, he published:
“Hello everyone! The tournament ended today. I fought everything to get the win in the last round, but you couldn’t. Still the result was excellent. I am satisfied and extremely grateful to God for having allowed me to return in such a positive way, I owe Him all that I am. I would also like to thank all of you, my followers, friends and chess fans for the support and affection you showed me all these days. I know they were following me from Cuba, the United States, all of Latin America and other parts of the world and it’s really been a super special experience and a source of inspiration and motivation for me. A hug to everyone and soon I’ll be playing again!”
Such an opening of the Cuban greatly motivated Cuban cybernauts who, on behalf of all lovers of the science game, commented daily on the games and showed him their closeness and gratitude. The criteria came from players as even from his neighbors in Goines, from his classmates, from people who saw him grow up and who joke with him, people who today, alive wherever they live, feel joy for him.
Without a doubt, two years long waiting are over and Leinier is back. Cubans are proud of him and his successes. What’s the more it makes under the flag I play. The boundaries we put on men are unrecognizable to talent, generosity and mastery. Leinier’s back and what’s more, I think the best is coming. At the moment his highest level of Elo 2768 (in May 2014), he begins to feel the threat. Ω