Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So shifts his sights on the 2016 Sinquefield Cup scheduled on August 4 to 16 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in Missouri, US.
The 22-year-old woodpusher wants to surpass his 10th-place finish in the 2015 edition as he goes up against world’s top-rated players this year.
So is seeded fourth behind GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, GM Fabiano Caruana of US and GM Hikaru Nakamura of US.
The other invited players are GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, GM Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, GM Levon Aronian of Armenia, GM Viswanathan Anand of India and GM Ding Liren of China.
A total prize fund of $300,000 is at stake in the nine-round tournament with the champion getting $75,000, runner-up pocketing $50,000 and the third-placer receiving $40,000.
The tournament is the third leg of the four-phase Grand Chess Tour.
The first leg was the Paris Grand Chess Tour held on June 9 to 12 in France and the second was the Your Next Move held on June 17 to 20 in Leuven, Belgium.
The final leg will be on December 8 to 19 with the staging of the London Chess Classic in England.
After the Sinquefield Cup, So will be proceeding to Baku, Azerbaijan to lead the US Chess Federation team in the prestigious 2016 World Chess Olympiad on September 1 to 14.
He recently placed third overall in the 9th Bilbao Chess Masters Final in Bilbao, Spain.
EMIL C. NOGUERA