Filipino-American Chess player Wesley So has been confirmed as one of the semi-finalists of this year’s Champions Chess Tour, alongside long-time rival Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.
So managed to snag a spot in one of the tour’s major events, specifically the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, after beating Iran Chess Grand Master Alireza Firouzja in the quarter-finals of the event held last March 17 (March 18 in the Philippines).
Meanwhile, Carlsen triumphed over Armenian Chess Grand Master Levon Aronian to fill in another slot in the semifinals.
The Magnus Carlsen Invitational is part of 10 tournaments hosted by the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, which lasts for 10 months. It screens the top 16 players, whittling them down until one comes out on top as the best online chess player in the world.
Of the 10 scheduled tournaments, So has, so far, bagged two first-place wins, particularly the Opera Euro Rapid and the Skilling Open. These two tournaments are the first and third in the whole series.
The semifinals of the fourth tournament will be held for two days – on March 18 and March 19.
So will be facing off with Dutch Chess Grand Master Anish Giri. On the other hand, Carlsen will go against Russian Chess Grand Master Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Currently, So sits at the number one spot in the series’ overall ranking followed by Azerbaijani Chess Grand Master Teimour Radjabov with Carlsen occupying the third spot.
In the world rankings, So bears the ninth spot and is also the reigning World Fischer Random champion.
Last March 5, So officially acquired his US citizenship, which erases any possibility of him coming back to represent the Philippines. The 27-year-old Cavite-native first set foot in the USA after being recruited as a freshman by Webster University back in 2012 and has represented the country since 2014.
Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Positive News Section for the latest updates.