GM Wesley So is 2016 Sinquefield Cup Champion

joeyj   :   August 15, 2016   




The 2016 Sinquefield Cup, the 3rd leg of the 2016 Grand Chess Tour, a very strong chess tournament that assembled the world’s numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 plus #12, 13 & 18 all with an average rating of 2778.6, a category 22 (2776-2800) event playing a round-robin in Chess Club and Scholastic Center, Saint Louis, USA, on 5-14 August 2016 produced a solo 1st place winner in the person of GM Wesley So. 

Previous & Current Winners (2013-2016)sinquefield2013-2016_zpsdl2pvd8s

Wesley So joins the ranks of the previous elite winners  Magnus Carlsen (2013), Fabiano Caruana (2014),  Levon Aronian (2015) and Wesley So (2016).


The 2016 Participants


Starting Rank/Seeding: 


Average:  27786/10=2778.6
Category 22 (2776-2800)

This strong/elite-tournament had an average rating of 2778.6, a category 22 (2776-2800).

The Winner


Philippine-born GM Wesley So representing USCF,  a 2nd timer in Sinquefield,  defeated for the 1st time (in standard time control) the 4th seed and his erstwhile tormentor  Hikaru Nakamura(2791) in the very first round to set the tide of his comeback at Sinquefield Cup, where in previous year on his first attempt he ended last scoring only 3.0/9.

But this time around, after the 1st round win, he followed this up with 4 successive draws against Ding, Aronian, Giri and Anand (World Chess Champion 2007–2013), .

Round 1 to Round 9 Results


A crucial win in round 6 versus round 5 leader Veselin Topalov (2005 FIDE World Chess Champion), he grabbed the lead 4.0/6 and never relinquished up to the last 3 rounds by drawing against Svidler, Caruana (World’s #4) and  Vachier-Lagrave (World’s #2) to register a clear first place score of 5.5/9 from his 2-wins, 7-draws, no-loss record with a tournament performance rating (TPR) of 2859, the highest among the 10 participants.

With this feat, Wesley So had gained +11.2 rating points to bring his Live Rating @ 2782.2 or 2782 come September 2016  FIDE rating that currently ranks # 7 in the World’s Live Rating list.


Live Chess Ratings


Wesley So received the 1st prize of US $75,000 from Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield.

Additionally, GM Wesley So had earned the top prize of US $75,000 @ Sinquefield and 13 Grand Chess Tour (GTC) points that propelled his total GTC points to 30 Tour Points.



Wesley So had earned 7 GTC points at Paris Grand Chess Tour by placing 4th place and  10 GTC pts at   Your Next Move (Leuven, Belgium) by placing 2nd.  Adding these to 13 GTC pts @ Sinquefield, he now has an Overall GTC points of 30 (7+10+13) that ranked him the sole leader at GTC after completing the 3 GTC legs.  There’s one more leg left i.e.the London Chess Classic scheduled on 8-20 December 2016.

With his insurmountable lead at GTC, the only other player that could possibly overtake him  is Hikaru Nakamura who now has 21.5 GTC points (13+4+4.5). The long shot possibility is if  Nakamura wins clear 1st place @ London Chess Classic that will earn him 13pts and bring his total to 30.5 GTC points (13+4.5+13) and assuming that Wesley So remains at 30 pts i.e scoring not greater than 7 GTC points @ London.  (Note:  only the best 3 GTC legs points counts out of the 4  GTC legs).

Levon Aronian, who currently is the top 2 @ GTC, had a total GTC points of 21.75 (6+8+7.75) could not overtake Wesley So even if he scored 1st place @ London with 13 GTC pts. His maximum total will only be 28.75 GTC points (8+7.75+13). Same is true with the other players in contention.

Next stop for GM Wesley So

1. World Chess Olympiad 2016  
1 – 14 Sep 2016
Baku (Azerbaijan)
2.  2016 Grand Chess Tour London Classic
8-20 December 2016