Wesley braces for Paris Grand Chess Tour

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Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So will begin his campaign versus GM Fabiano Caruana in the opening round of the prestigious 2017 Paris Grand Chess Tour starting today at the Canal Factory Les Studios de Boulogne in Paris, France.

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The tournament is a rapid and blitz competition with a total prize fund of $150,000 including $37,500 top purse and $30,000 runner-up prize.

The 23-year-old So, who aims to surpass his fourth-place finish in the 2016 edition, will be meeting GM Etienne Bacrot of France in the second round and GM Alexander Grischuk of Russia in the third round.

He is also scheduled to face GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the fourth round, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France in the fifth, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the sixth, GM Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in the seventh, defending champion GM Hikaru Nakamura of US in the eighth and GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the final round.

The Paris leg is first of the five-leg Grand Chess Tour.

The second leg dubbed as the Leuven Grand Chess Tour is slated on June 26 to July 2 in Belgium to be followed by the Sinquefield Cup Grand Chess Tour on July 31 to August 12 in Missouri, US; Saint Louis Rapid Grand Chess Tour on August 13 to 20 in St. Louis, US; and the London Chess Classic on November 30 to December 11 in London, England.

Recently, So wound up fifth overall in the 2017 Norway Chess Championship held at the Stavanger Concert Hall in Stavanger-region, Norway after scoring 4.5 points – all coming from draws in nine round.

“I have every hope of becoming a better player as I mature and my abilities strengthen. Improvement is not always determined by an outright win. Right now just to be in the same company with these amazing players, absorbing their experience and letting them teach me, is a tremendous blessing,” So said in his Facebook page.

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