As the PRO Chess League reaches its exciting conclusion this coming weekend (March 25-26), it’s a perfect time to review some highlights of Wesley So, who scored 26/28, leading the way for the Saint Louis Arch Bishops. The Arch Bishops are joined in Championship weekend by Magnus Carlsen’s Norway Gnomes and Fabiano Caruana’s Montreal ChessBrahs, as well as the more balanced team, Stockholm Snowballs. Wesley has the top TPR in the league, and is now the second ranked player in the World. His victories often feature surprising ideas, tactics or turnarounds in the endgame. As IM Greg Shahade wrote in his US Championship preview: ” The US Championship can easily become a battle between the top three to beat up on the other 9 players as much as possible. Based on Wesley’s terminator like performance in the PRO Chess League, I like his chances.”
See if you can Wesley your way to victory in these positions:
1.Wesley So [Saint Louis Archbishops] vs. Alexey Dreev [San Diego Surfers]:
Can you find Wesley’s crushing continuation here?
2. Wesley So (Saint Louis Archbishops)– Maxime Vachier Lagrave (Marseille Migranes)
Playing against another elite Grandmaster, Vachier Lagrave, currently ranked #5 in the World, Wesley figures out how to press his advantage. Can you find his line?
Wesley breaks through with 28.Bc5! and follows it up with another bishop sacrifice a few moves later 31.Bxg6!, though that was one was not necessary for victory.
Watch IMs Anna Rudolf and Danny Rensch call the game at the dramatic moment:
3.Wesley So (Saint Louis Archbishops) vs. Michael William Brown (San Diego Surfers)
Black has so many weaknesses, but how does Wesley seal the deal?
4. Melikset Khachiyan (San Diego Surfers) vs. Wesley So (Saint Louis Arch Bishops)
How does Wesley snatch victory in this crucial game vs GM Khachiyan?
FM Mike Klein of chess.com explains how it could have gone differently:
5. Wesley So (Saint Louis Arch bishops ) vs. Cristian Ioan Chirila (San Jose Hackers)
How did Wesley finish the job against GM Chirila?
6. Joshua Shen (San Diego Surfers)- Wesley So (Arch Bishops)
It’s a race! So how does So win it?
Wesley So on the cover of the November issue of Chess Life Magazine
Score and Recommended Further Reading
0-1-Winning Chess Endgames by Yasser Seirawan
2- Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge by Yuri Averbakh
3- Jeremy Silman’s Complete Endgame Course
4- Dvoretsky’s endgame manual
5- Get some inspiration from endgame legend and composer Pal Benko.
6- Hi Wesley!