Grandmaster Wesley So seeks to become the first online champion of the $1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Final as he competes against nine of the world’s best including world champion and tour leader Magnus Carlsen starting next week.
The Cavite-born, 27-year-old So owns the distinction of finishing in the playoff phase of all the nine legs including three titles—Skilling Open, Opera Euro Rapid and Chessable Masters—to finish second overall in the tour race behind Carlsen.
Interestingly, Carlsen could have shared the distinction with So but the Norwegian superstar missed the Chessable Masters, which was the eighth leg that So eventually won.
Apart from Carlsen, So will battle Armenian Levon Aronian, Russian Vladislav Artemiev, American Hikaru Nakamura, Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Teimour Radjabov, Dutch Anish Giri, Polish Jan-Krzysztof Duda and French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
The 10 grand finalists will also battle for the record prize pot worth $300,000 (around P14.5 million), with $100,000 (around P5 million) going to the eventual winner.