There is no end in sight for Wesley So’s meteoric rise. Last weekend, he won the Tata Steel Masters section, winning a super-tournament ahead of the World Champion for the first time.
His quick last round victory against Ian Nepomniachtchi sealed 1st place only 3 hours into the round, leaving Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Wei Yi to fight for 2nd place.
“I think the secret is that if you keep working and you have a clear view of your vision and your goals, then the results will come.
And, I don’t lose too much sleep trying to keep my undefeated streak.”
Carlsen drew against Sergey Karjakin in their first classical encounter since the World Championship, taking clear 2nd, a full point behind So.
In addition to winning one of the strongest tournaments of the year, Wesley So reached 56 games in his undefeated streak, gained 14 rating points, and reached a new peak live rating of 2822.
Because Fabiano Caruana suffered a loss to Nigel Short in the ongoing Gibraltar Open, this was enough to make So the clear number 2 in the world, within 16 points of Carlsen.
Jeffery Xiong, winning the Professor Van Hulst Young Talent Award. Photo: Tata Steel Chess
Another American player who made quite an impression at Tata Steel is Jeffery Xiong. During his debut in the Challengers section, Xiong was a force to be reckoned with, fighting for 1st throughout the event. He finished in clear 3rd place with a new peak FIDE rating, 2674. This brings him to number 74 in the world, eyeing the 2700 mark at only age 16.
His most impressive victory was in round 11 when he defeated Ilia Smirin and took over the sole lead of the tournament: