Wesley So wins Round 3 at Sinquefield Cup in Grand Chess Tour title defense

Wesley So Grand Chess Tour title
Wesley So is defending his 2021 Grand Chess Tour championship title and is aiming to claim another historic 3rd win. Screengrab from GCT video.

Wesley So has won his Round 3 match at the Sinquefield Cup of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) where the Filipino American Grandmaster is seeking to defend his championship title.

So’s victory on September 5, 2022 (September 4 US time) pushed the reigning and three-time United States champion into solo 2nd place among 10 players after delivering what the tour reported as “an excellent win over Fabiano Caruana”.

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Wesley So must earn top points with six more rounds to play at the final event of the 7th edition of the GCT to have a chance to overtake the current tour leaders and retain his champion title from his historic win in 2021 which repeated his 2016 win – a double feat that So only shares with World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen.

The 28-year-old from Cavite province in the Philippines where he started his chess career before moving to the United States to continue competing in international events, won 2nd place in last year’s Sinquefield Cup but eventually won the overall GCT tour championship which is determined by tour points accumulated from five events in the series.

The Filipino American chess player was leading the GCT board with 22.5 points after the first three events, with a strong start placing 2nd at the Superbet Chess Classic Romania in May, and despite his 5th place finish at the Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland also in May and tied for 4th rank at the SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia held in July.

The World No. 6 ranking FIDE player opted out of the Saint Louis event in August following the tour rules to only participate in 2 out of 3 Rapid & Blitz games.

After Saint Louis, So’s 22.5 points dropped to 4th spot behind Frenchmen Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Alireza Firouzja, and fellow American player, Levon Aronian.

GCT standings prior to Sinquefield Cup. GCT site image.

Wesley So is playing to win a 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 Grand Chess Tour live stream can be viewed on the St. Louis Chess Club YouTube channel daily at 12:50 pm (AM Manila time) until September 13.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS & WELL WISHES in the comments below to Wesley So as he plays for top points at the Sinquefield Cup for a chance to execute a historic 3rd win at the 2022 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.