ST. LOUIS, Aug. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The third time is the charm for Grandmaster Wesley So, as the 23-year-old American chess player claimed victory in the final round of the Sinquefield Cup tournament Aug. 14 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL). The tournament is the third of four stops, and the sole U.S. stop, on the 2016 Grand Chess Tour - a circuit of international chess events featuring the world's elite chess talent. With this tournament win, GM So now leads the Grand Chess Tour overall.
GM So was awarded the 2016 Sinquefield Cup title and the $75,000 grand prize at the Sinquefield Cup Closing Ceremony, held at the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis Aug. 15.
"I am so thankful to be able to play here in Saint Louis with the world's strongest competition," said GM So. "All of my competition is so great that I think if we were to start the tournament over today, there would be a different winner."
Coming up behind GM So in the Sinquefield Cup was GM Levon Aronian from Armenia, taking home the second-place $36,250 prize, and GM Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria, taking home the third-place $36,250 prize. The two other Americans in the tournament – GM Fabiano Caruana and GM Hikaru Nakamura – finished in fourth and sixth place, respectively.
The Sinquefield Cup is named after Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, founders of the CCSCSL. The tournament is the final, major event held at the CCSCSL annually. In addition to the Sinquefield Cup, the U.S. Championship, U.S. Women's Championship and U.S. Junior Closed Championship – the "Triple Crown" of chess championships – make up the most prestigious chess tournaments held in the United States each year.
"We are so excited for GM So in winning his first major international tournament," said Tony Rich, CCSCSL Executive Director. "The Sinquefield Cup is a unique event that brings all the best talent to Saint Louis to compete at the highest level. The competition is always great and is noticeable in the four different winners over the four years since its conception."
For more information, visit www.grandchesstour.org.
Garry Kasparov Ultimate Moves Blitz Round
International competition did not end with the Closing Ceremony, however. World chess legend GM Garry Kasparov made a special appearance in Saint Louis to conclude the Sinquefield Cup tournament with an all-player blitz round Aug. 16.
Kasparov came to international fame as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985 at the age of 22. He retired from professional chess in 2005 after a record 20 years as the world's top-ranked player.
About The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.
About The Grand Chess Tour
The Grand Chess Tour is a circuit of international events, each demonstrating the highest level of organization for the world's best players. The 2016 Tour was created in partnership between the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (Sinquefield Cup) and Chess Promotions, Ltd. (London Chess Classic). The legendary Garry Kasparov, one of the world's greatest ambassadors for chess, inspired the Grand Chess Tour and helped solidify the partnership between the organizers. His tireless efforts to popularize the game around the world mirror the goals and ambitions of the Grand Chess Tour.
The 2016 Grand Chess Tour stops consist of the Paris Grand Chess Tour in Paris, France June 9-12; Your Next Move Grand Chess Tour in Leuven, Belgium June 17-20; the Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis, USA Aug. 5-16; and the London Classic in London, UK Dec. 8-19, 2016.
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SOURCE Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL)