Wesley So nears Grand Chess Tour title going into Sinquefield Cup final days

Wesley So Grand Chess Tour
Wesley So gets closer to winning his second Grand Chess Tour title. | Photo courtesy of Saint Louis Chess Club, Lennart Ootes via GCT

Wesley So is poised to take his second Grand Chess Tour (GCT) title going into the final rounds of the Sinquefield Cup, the fifth and final leg of the over-the-board tournament held in Missouri, USA.

The two-time and reigning United States Chess Champion whose career started in the Philippines is the current GCT leader and will only need to remain in the top 4 in the Sinquefield Cup standings to officially take the Grand Chess Tour 2021 title and the $100,000 top prize.

So has been either the top 1 or top 2 of the Sinquefield standings since August 16. The only way he can be overtaken by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France is if the Frenchman can outright win the last event while So goes down to 5th place when the event ends on August 28, an unlikely ending given Wesley So’s excellent showing in the current cup.

The Filipino-born So faces the Frenchman on August 25 for Round 8 of the current cup.

Wesley So won his first Grand Chess Tour title in 2016 while the Vachier-Lagrave won the Sinquefield Cup in 2017.

So started strong in the return of over-the-board games at the Grand Chess Tour, tying for 2nd place at the Superbet Chess Classic Romania – the first event in the tour.

Wesley So then won the GCT’s Paris Rapid & Blitz to take leadership of the tournament.

The 27-year old Filipino American Grandmaster did not play in the 3rd leg of the Croatia Rapid & Blitz and finished in 4th place at the 4th leg, the St Louis Rapid & Blitz.

Wesley So is also competing in the ongoing online Meltwater Champions Chess Tour (CCT) of Super Grandmasters and will play in the Aimchess US Rapid, the 9th and final leg of the tournament which also begins in August 28.

The World No. 9 Wesley So has won 3 events in the CCT, including beating World No. 1 player Magnus Carlsen of Norway for the Skilling Open and Opera Euro Rapid Championships, and had recently won the Chessable Masters.

Fans can watch Wesley So’s matches on the Grand Chess Tour exclusively on Kasparovchess.com and on Kasparovchess Twitch.tv channel. The matches are also streamed live on YouTube via Saint Louis Chess Club channel.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS to Wesley So for his excellent play at the Grand Chess Tour!

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Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.