Wesley So plays Super Grandmasters for USD1 million Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour

HSBC Philippines
Wesley So Super Grandmasters
Wesley So (Extreme Left) moves on to the next leg of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour online. Photo from Grand Chess Tour Facebook.

Wesley So is playing fellow Super Grandmasters for the USD 1 million prize money of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour online series that begins May 19, 2020.

The Philippine-born Wesley So, who dealt world No.1 Magnus Carlsen a resounding beating to claim the World Fischer Random Chess Championship title in 2019, was invited to join the ongoing 5-games series.

So is currently ranked World #8 and stands at #9 in the 12-man online tourney that started with the Magnus Carlsen Invitational held April 18 to May 3. Carlsen won the first leg prize money of USD250,000.

Carlsen announced on May 14 the addition of 4 legs to the tour that completes the USD1 million prize pot:

  • Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (May 19 – June 3) – USD150,000
  • Online Chess Masters (June 20 – July 5) – USD150,000
  • Legends of Chess (July 21 – August 5) – USD150,000
  • Tour Final (August 9 – August 20) – USD300,000

The Tour Final will feature the winners of 5 individual tournaments.

The Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour guarantees a place in the next leg for the top 4 players of the tournament. The top four players from the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren, and Alireza Firouzja, automatically moved on to the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge.

The additional 8 players include Wesley So, Levon Aronian, Daniil Dubov, Alexander Grischuk, Sergey Karjakin, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Yu Yangyi and Wei Yi.

Wesley So joins 11 other Super GMs for the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge.

In the preliminary stage, the players play each other once in rapid chess, with the Top 8 going forward to the knockout stage. The time control is 15 minutes for all moves, with a 10-second increment after each move. No draw offers are allowed before move 40.

The Cavite province pride moves on to the next stop of the series in a chess format considered one of So’s strengths after he rose to World #2 in the 2018 Rapid Chess Rankings.

Carlsen said he set up the online chess tournament to address the lack of physical chess tourneys as the world went on lockdown to battle the public health emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“While physical chess tournaments and sports are still either cancelled or postponed, bringing an entire Chess Tour online is what I feel is right for chess now,” said Carlsen.

The Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour’s Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge on May 19-June 3 is presented live on Chess24.com in this link.

SEND WELL WISHES in the comments below to Wesley So as he plays fellow Super Grandmasters for tournament wins.

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
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.