Wesley So wound up tied for second to fourth in the Sinquefield Cup and formally captured the 2021 Grand Chess Tour (GCT) overall title on Thursday, August 26 (Friday, August 27, Philippine time).
The Filipino-born So, the reigning United States champion, drew with Leinier Dominguez in the ninth and final round, leaving Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave the sole winner of the $325,000 event held over the board at St. Louis Chess Club in St. Louis, Missouri.
Vachier-Lagrave also drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov to raise his total to 6 points, half a point ahead of So and fellow Team USA stars Fabiano Caruana and Dominguez, and bag the $90,000 top purse.
That amount pales in comparison to So’s total earnings of $145,000 (P7.25 million), including the $100,000 bonus as this year’s GCT champion.
Surprisingly, So said during the post-tournament interview that he wasn’t satisfied with his performance.
“I actually didn’t feel like a winner with the way I played,” said So, ruing missed winning chances with white earlier in the classical event played over the board.
The 27-year-old So, now world No. 6 in the live FIDE ratings, duplicated his triumph in the 2016 GCT which saw him win the Sinquefield Cup and London Chess Challenge.
In this year’s edition, So ruled the Paris Rapid & Blitz, placed third in the Superbet Chess Classic in Romania, and landed fourth in the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz for total GCT earnings of $242,500 (P12.125 million).
Caruana and Dominguez also won $45,000 like So.
Hungarian ace Richard Rapport placed fifth with 4.5 points and pocketed $20,000. – Rappler.com