Grand Chess Tour: Wesley So Wins the Leuven Rapid

Wesley So won the rapid segment of the Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour in Leuven, Belgium by a 2 point margin over 2nd place finisher, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and a 3 point margin over 3rd place, Magnus Carlsen.

Follow along in So's footsteps by solving tactical puzzles from his games.

Puzzle #1

Wesley So vs. Levon Aronian

[fen]q7/4k3/6P1/4PRK1/5P2/7B/8/8 w - - 0 85[/fen]

White to move.
Level: Warm-Up
In a beautifully-played game, So has outplayed Aronian with a rook and bishop (and pawns) vs. a queen. How did he finish the game? Show Solution
[pgn][Event "YourNextMove (Rapid)"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2017.06.30"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Wesley So"]
[Black "Levon Aronian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A06"]
[WhiteElo "2812"]
[BlackElo "2793"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "q7/4k3/6P1/4PRK1/5P2/7B/8/8 w - - 0 85"]
[PlyCount "5"]
[EventDate "2017.06.28"]85. Rf7+ {and Aronian resigned. If} Ke8 86. Bd7+ Kd8 87. Rf8+ {wins Black's
queen.} 1-0[/pgn]

Puzzle #2

Wesley So vs. Vishwanathan Anand

[fen]2r5/1p3pp1/1p2k2p/pP2p3/P1N1P3/2PR1P2/6PP/5Kb1 w - - 0 32[/fen]
White to move.
Level: Intermediate
Anand just played 31...Bg1, offering a trade of minor pieces and threatening the h2-pawn. How did So win a pawn? Show Solution
[pgn][Event "YourNextMove (Rapid)"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2017.06.29"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Wesley So"]
[Black "Viswanathan Anand"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2812"]
[BlackElo "2786"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r5/1p3pp1/1p2k2p/pP2p3/P1N1P3/2PR1P2/6PP/5Kb1 w - - 0 32"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2017.06.28"]32. Rd6+ Ke7 33. Nxb6 Bxb6 ({If} 33... Rc7 34. Rxh6 {leads to a pawn up
endgame:} gxh6 35. Nd5+ Kd6 36. Nxc7 Bxh2 37. Ne8+ Kc5 38. Ke2) (33... Rxc3 34.
Rd7+ Ke6 35. Kxg1 {wins}) 34. Rxb6 {and So went on to win after:} Rc7 35. Ke2
Kd8 36. Rd6+ Ke7 37. Rb6 Kd8 38. Rd6+ Ke7 39. Rd5 Rxc3 40. Rxe5+ Kf6 41. Rf5+
Ke6 42. b6 Rc2+ 43. Kf1 Rb2 44. Rxa5 Rxb6 45. Kf2 Rb2+ 46. Kg3 Ra2 47. h4 b6
48. Ra6 Ke7 49. h5 Rb2 50. Ra7+ Ke6 51. f4 Ra2 52. Kf3 Ra3+ 53. Kg4 Ra2 54. g3
Ra1 55. Ra6 f5+ 56. exf5+ Kf7 57. Ra7+ Kf6 58. Ra6 Kf7 59. f6 g6 60. Rxb6 1-0

[/pgn]

Puzzle #3

[pgn][Event "YourNextMove (Rapid)"]
[Site "Leuven BEL"]
[Date "2017.06.28"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Magnus Carlsen"]
[Black "Wesley So"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E53"]
[WhiteElo "2832"]
[BlackElo "2812"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/1p3p1k/6r1/1q6/3Q1P2/4P3/p1K5/3R4 b - - 0 48"]
[PlyCount "9"]
[EventDate "2017.06.28"]{Carlsen's king has found itself in some danger and after} 48... Rg2+ 49. Kc3
Qb2+ 50. Kc4 Rc2+ 51. Kd5 Qb3+ {, Carlsen resigned. Although Black is winning, the position is actually
very tricky because after} 52. Ke4 {, the obvious} Rc4 {does not win the game.
How can White force a draw?} 0-1[/pgn]
White to move.
Level: Advanced
Show Solution
[pgn][Event "YourNextMove (Rapid)"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.06.28"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Carlsen, Magnus"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/1p3p1k/8/8/2rQKP2/1q2P3/p7/3R4 w - - 0 53"]
[PlyCount "9"]53. Rh1+ Kg6 (53... Kg8 $4 54. Rh8#) 54. Rg1+ Kh5 55. Rh1+ Kg4 56. Rg1+ Kh5 (
56... Kh3 $4 57. Kf3 {and it's Black that's getting mated.}) (56... Kh4 57. Kf3
) 57. Rh1+ {and the Black king cannot escape the checks.} *[/pgn]
In the overall event (combined rapid and blitz score), So is tied for 1st with Carlsen. The World Champion caught up with So today during the Day 1 of the blitz segment. Tomorrow is the final day of the event: which of these two great players will come out ahead? Watch the finish of Leuven leg of the Grand Chess Tour live on Sunday, July 2, starting at 8 a.m. EST.

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