Wesley So joins Opera Euro Rapid

Published February 3, 2021, 1:51 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Photo from championschesstour.com

Grandmaster Wesley So seeks to regain his winning form when he sees action in the third leg of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour dubbed as the Opera Euro Rapid starting on Saturday.

The 27-year-old So is hoping to bounce back from a quarterfinal defeat to France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the Airthings Masters in December last year.

It was a heartbreaking performance for So as finished in a three-way tie for first with world champion Magnus Carlsen and United States teammate Hikaru Nakamura after the preliminary round.

He entered the quarters as the second seed only to get ambushed by seventh pick Vachier-Lagrave in their duel that was decided by the Armageddon tiebreak.

But it’s all behind So now as he is all set to muster the same form that propelled him to the Skillings Open where he stunned the fancied Carlsen on the latter’s birthday last year.

Interestingly, Carlsen and Vachier-Lagrave are among the 16 participants eyeing the lion share of the US$100,000 prize pot.

Read: Wesley So emerges as 12th highest esports earner in 2020

Also seeing action are Chinese Ding Liren, Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi, Alexander Grischuk and Daniil Dubov, Armenians Levon Aronian, Dutch Anish Giri, Azeri Teimour Radjabov, Americans Nakamura, Sam Ahankland and Leinier Dominguez, Polish Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Indian Vidit Gujrathi and German Matthias Bluebaum.

The Cavite-born So, the reigning world Fischer-Rapid champion and two-time US titlist, is currently second to Radjabov in the tour standings and a better finish here could catapult him back to the top in the US$1.5 million tour.

More details are available at the championschesstour.com.