Wesley So wins Leuven GCT Leg in Dramatic Finale

Graphics by Spectrum Studios
American Grandmaster Wesley So prevailed in the Lueven leg of the Grand Chess Tour in a dramatic finale. Wesley So called it a "miracle...When I lost my (final round) game to Hikaru, I was about to cry, because I thought I (wouldn't) even get to play tiebreaks."
[pgn]

[Event "Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour"]
[Date "2018.06.16"]
[White "Nakamura, Hikaru"]
[Black "So, Wesley"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2803"]
[BlackElo "2783"]
[PlyCount "127"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "United States"]
[BlackTeam "United States"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "USA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. b3 g6 3. Bb2 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. d4 c5 6. dxc5 Qa5+ 7. c3 Qxc5 8.
Ba3 Qc7 9. Bxe7 Re8 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Nd4 Nc6 12. Be2 d5 13. O-O Ne5 14. Qd2
Bd7 15. Na3 Rac8 16. Rac1 a6 17. Rfd1 Qa5 18. Qb2 Rc7 19. c4 Be7 20. Ndc2 Bf6
21. Nd4 Be7 22. Nb1 Rec8 23. cxd5 Rxc1 24. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 25. Qxc1 Qxa2 26. Nc3 Qa5
27. h3 Be8 28. Kh1 Kg7 29. f4 Bb4 30. Nd1 Nd7 31. e4 Bd2 32. Qb2 Nf6 33. g3 Kg8
34. Bf3 Bd7 35. Kg2 Bb4 36. Ne2 Be7 37. d6 Bd8 38. Qc3 Qa2 39. Qb2 Qa5 40. Ne3
Bc6 41. e5 Nd5 42. Nxd5 Bxd5 43. Qc3 Qa2 44. Kf1 Qb1+ 45. Kg2 Qd1 46. Nd4 Bb6
47. Bxd5 Bxd4 48. Qc4 h5 49. h4 Qg1+ 50. Kh3 Bf2 51. Bg2 Qd1 52. Qc8+ Kg7 53.
Qc3 Kg8 54. Qf3 Qd4 55. Qxb7 Qd3 56. Qf3 Qf5+ 57. Kh2 Bc5 58. Qc3 Bf2 59. Qd2
Bb6 60. d7 Bd8 61. Qd6 a5 62. Qc6 Kg7 63. Qc8 Bxh4 64. d8=Q 1-0[/pgn]
Instead, So won clear when his main rivals, Sergey Karjakin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave both lost their final rounds, to Mamaedyarov and Anand respectively. https://twitter.com/ChesscomNews/status/1007997519060787200
[pgn]

[Event "Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour"]
[Date "2018.06.16"]
[Round "27.1"]
[White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2794"]
[BlackElo "2775"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "France"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O c5 7. c4 Nbc6 8. dxc5
d4 9. Qb3 Qc7 10. Na3 a6 11. Rd1 Rd8 12. Nc2 Bxc2 13. Qxc2 Ng6 14. a3 Bxc5 15.
b4 Ba7 16. Qe4 Ngxe5 17. Bf4 Nxf3+ 18. Bxf3 Qe7 19. b5 axb5 20. cxb5 Na5 21.
Rac1 Bb6 22. Bd2 f5 23. Qe1 Ra8 24. Qe5 O-O 25. Bb4 Qf6 26. Qd6 e5 27. Bd5+ Kh8
28. Qxf6 Rxf6 29. f3 h5 30. Be7 Rh6 31. h4 Bd8 32. Bb4 Bb6 33. Kf1 Rd8 34. Ba2
e4 35. Bc5 d3 36. Kf2 d2 37. Rc3 Rd3 38. Rc2 Nb3 39. Bxb6 Rxb6 40. a4 Nd4 41.
Rc8+ Kh7 42. Re8 exf3 43. Bb1 Ra3 44. Rxd2 Rxa4 45. gxf3 Rxb5 46. Bd3 Rba5 47.
Ke3 g6 48. Rb2 b5 49. Rd8 f4+ 50. Kf2 Ra2 51. Rxa2 Rxa2+ 52. Kf1 Nxf3 53. Bxb5
Nxh4 54. Bd3 Kh6 55. Rd5 Rd2 0-1

[/pgn]
[pgn]

[Event "Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour"]
[Date "2018.06.16"]
[Round "27.5"]
[White "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"]
[Black "Karjakin, Sergey"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2788"]
[BlackElo "2785"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2018.??.??"]
[WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"]
[BlackTeam "Russia"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"]
[BlackTeamCountry "RUS"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. g3 b6 7. Bg2 Bb7 8. O-O
Bxc3 9. Qxc3 O-O 10. Rd1 Qe8 11. b3 Ne4 12. Qc2 Nef6 13. Bb2 Be4 14. Qc3 a5 15.
a3 Qe7 16. Bf1 h6 17. Nd2 Bb7 18. Qc2 e5 19. d5 c5 20. e4 Rfe8 21. Bd3 Nf8 22.
Nf1 g5 23. Ne3 Bc8 24. f3 Nh5 25. Kf2 Qf6 26. Rh1 g4 27. Be2 Nh7 28. h4 gxf3
29. Bxf3 Qg6 30. Rag1 N7f6 31. Qe2 Ng7 32. Qd3 h5 33. Rf1 Ng4+ 34. Bxg4 Bxg4
35. Kg2 Rf8 36. Nxg4 hxg4 37. h5 Nxh5 38. Bc1 f6 39. Rf5 Ng7 40. Rh6 Qe8 41.
Rf1 a4 42. Qe2 Qd7 43. bxa4 f5 44. Rg6 Kh7 45. Rg5 f4 46. gxf4 exf4 47. Bxf4
Kg8 48. e5 Qe7 49. Rxg4 Rf5 50. Bh6 Rxe5 51. Qf3 Re2+ 52. Kh1 Qe5 53. Rxg7+ Kh8
54. Qf8+ 1-0 [/pgn]
Wesley also won the 2016 Tour, the same year when he entrenched himself in the World elite. Find some key victories in the Rapid by Wesley in yesterday's US Chess report and relive the final blitz drama on the STL Chess Club YouTube channel. Next up for the American "Big Three"- The Paris Grand Chess Tour, which begins on June 16, and will again feature live commentary on the scene with Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, as well as studio coverage from GMs Alejandro Ramirez, Yasser Seirawan and IM Jovanka Houska. Find more details here. 
Wesley So, victorious, Photo Lennart Ootes

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