So braces for Tata Steel title defense

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Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So will be defending his crown in the prestigious 2018 Tata Steel chess tournament to be held from January 13 to 28 in three different venues in the Netherlands.

The first four round is scheduled on January 13 to 16 in Wijk aan Zee while the fifth to ninth rounds will be on January 17 to 23 in Hiversum.

The 10th to final rounds will be held in Groningen on January 24 to 28.

The three rest days will be on January 18, 22 and 25.


Besides So, there are 13 other chess players in the Top 20 list of FIDE world rankings who got invited in the tournament.

The 24-year old Cavite City pride is seeded fourth.

The top three players in the list are reining world champion and three-time Tata Steel titlist GM Magnus Carslen of Norway, GM Fabiano Caruana of the United States and GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.|

Also seeing action are GM Vladimir Kramnik, GM Peter Svidler, GM Sergey Karjakin and GM Maxim Matlakov of Russia, GM Viswanathan Anand and GM Baskaran Adhiban of India, GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands, GM Wei Yi and GM Hou Yifan of China, and GM Gawain Jones of Great Britain

The organizers will employ a round-robin format.

The player who gets the most number of points will emerge as champion.

In case of a tie, a playoff game will be played to determine the final placings.|

Last year, So grabbed the top honors after collecting nine points on five wins and eight wins.
Carlsen finished second with eight points while Adhiban third with 7.5 points.

After the Tata Steel, So is slated to compete in the 2018 Candidates Tournament on March 10 to 28 in Berlin, Germany, and the 2018 Chess Olympiad on September 23 to October 7 in Batumi, Georgia.

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