On Chess: Rumbling In The Top Ranks Of American Chess

The acquisition of Grandmaster Wesley So was the big news coming out of 2014. The Philippine-born prodigy and former Webster University star joined the U.S. Chess Federation after cracking the world’s top 10. But just a month into 2015, So is already setting new headlines — the latest causing a literal stir on the top.

So donned stars-and-stripes for the first time at the prestigious Tata Steel Chess Tournament, which just wrapped up last Sunday, and he represented us quite well in the Wijk aan Zee, Holland, super-event. Only his second time appearing in a world-elite event, he proved his mettle on chess’ top layer by finishing in a tie for second place, just a half-point behind winner World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

So scored 8.5/13, notching five wins and suffering just one defeat — ending a lossless streak of more than 50 games, his first zero since last year’s Tata Steel event. He also scored a draw against World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana, as well as Carlsen in his first-ever match against the World Champion, a total performance that padded another 17 points onto a worldwide rating that — despite all types of excuse-makers and naysayers — has only gone in one direction.

The jump has pushed So to yet another new peak, this time not only for himself but also for American chess. The World Chess Federation’s rating list will update on Feb. 1, and So will appear as 7th in the world — though perhaps more newsworthy, leapfrogging GM Hikaru Nakamura as the No. 1 player from the U.S.

It will be the first time Nakamura has been relegated to America’s No. 2 slot since January 2013.

Full article here.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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