Friday, September 4, 2015

Pestaño: Wesley So’s disappointing stint

THE Grand Chess Tour 2015 was conceptualized by the legendary Garry Kasparov and created for the world’s best players. It is made possible by the partnership among the Chess Club, Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup), Tower AS (Norway Chess 2015) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic).
Each of the three 2015 Grand Chess Tour events will award individual prize funds of $300,000, with competitors also tallying points toward a tour prize fund of $150,000. The overall tour champion will receive an additional $75,000. The total prize fund for the Tour is $1,050,000.
The events are the Norway Chess 2015 in Stavanger, Norway (June 15- 26), Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, USA, (Aug. 21 to Sept. 3) and the London Chess Classic in London, England (Dec. 3 to 14).
The Tour invited the world’s top 10 GMs, eight of whom agreed to appear in all three international events. A ninth GM, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, was added as Wesley declined to play due to conflicting schedules. The 10th and final GM will be selected as a wildcard by each organizing host. Wesley was the wild card entry in Sinquefield.
It is not reasonable to expect a stellar performance from Wesley, as after all, this tournament is the highest rated in history. But still he could have done better instead of being the cellar-dweller. He had a lone win over Alexander Grischuk and had draws with Anish Giri, Veselin Topalov, Viswanathan Anand and Fabiano Caruana. He lost to Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura. His performance rating is a lowly 2676 compared to the winner Aronian, who had a rating of 2918 and won by a full point.
As a result, Wesley is now down to no.12 in the world from no. 7 at the start of the tournament and lost a massive 13 points in live ratings as of Sept. 2. Last year’s winner Caruana was also off and finished just a half point better than So like Anand.
Aronian increased by 19 points and is now No. 7 in live ratings, improving by four ranks from No.11. He is an Armenian GM and is now back to his old form. In the March 2014 FIDE rating list, he was ranked No. 2 in the world and had an Elo rating of 2830, making him the fourth highest-rated player in history. His popularity in Armenia has led to him being called a hero. He was named the best sportsman of Armenia in 2005 and was awarded the title of Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia in 2009.
He is endeared to Filipino fans as he has been in a relationship with Fil- Aussie mestiza Woman International Master Arianne Caoili since 2008.
New GM. Haridas Pascua scored 5.5 points in nine rounds in the Abu Dhabi Masters Open Tournament last week and achieved his third and final GM norm and become the 12th Pinoy Grandmaster.
But Fide regulations say Pascua cannot be awarded the GM title until he hits an Elo rating of 2500. His present rating is 2447. There is no deadline though and it is only a matter of time
Remarkable. John Burke of USA, who was born in 2001, is still untitled but has broken Wei Yi’s record as the youngest player in the world to achieve a 2600 rating.
Ding Liren is now world No.7 as of Aug. 31 beating the record of Wang Yue as the highest-rated Chinese ever.
Battsooj Amina of Mongolia went from beginner to master in four months! This is rather unusual as the 14-year-old girl gained an incredible 850 Elo points from 1458 to 2309, from mid-May up to this month.

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