Wesley So leads at No. 1 rank after three legs of Grand Chess Tour title defense

Wesley So Grand Chess Tour
Wesley So (Center, in red)is defending his 2021 Grand Chess Tour championship title and is aiming to claim another historic 3rd win. Photo courtesy of GCT.

Wesley So’s defense of his Grand Chess Tour (GCT) Champion title is looking good as the Philippine-born grandmaster is currently ranked No. 1 in the overall standings after three legs of the tournament, with two more events coming up.

The reigning three-time United States Chess Champion won a historic second championship title at the 2021 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) after ranking No. 1 overall with the most points, including from winning the GCT Paris Rapid & Blitz.

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So’s second GCT title follows his victory in 2016. The World No. 6 FIDE player holds the distinction of being only one of the two double-title holders in the Grand Chess Tour history, along with World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

This 2022, Wesley So is playing to win an unprecedented third GCT title for a solo spot in the history of the tournament inspired and founded by legendary Grandmaster Garry Kasparov, one of the world’s greatest ambassadors for chess.

Kasparov witnessed the Filipino-American’s victory last year and said that “Wesley won because he is the most stable and most reliable player. Wesley in this calm environment – he proved to be the most resilient among the challengers.”

The 28-year-old Super Grandmaster, who started his chess career in the Philippines before moving to America to continue playing in international tournaments, is currently top-ranked among the grandmasters playing the GCT.

Wesley So carries a total of 22.5 GCT points from the following events:

Grand Chess Tour overall standings. GCT photo.
  • 10 pts from placing 2nd at the Superbet Chess Classic Romania from May 3-15
  • 6 pts from 5th place finish at the Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland from May 17-24
  • 6.5 pts from 4th place finish at the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia from July 18-25

The last two events of the Grand Chess Tour are:

  1. Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz from August 24 – August 31, 2022, Saint Louis, Missouri USA
  2. Sinquefield Cup from August 31 – September 13, 2022, Saint Louis, Missouri USA

So’s closest competitors are Levon Aronian (Armenian-American) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, with 19 points each.

The Grand Chess Tour live stream can be viewed on the St. Louis Chess Club YouTube channel.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS & WELL WISHES in the comments below to Wesley So as he plays for a historic 3rd win at the 2022 Grand Chess Tour!

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