This week saw the dramatic conclusion of the 2021 U.S. Chess Championship. After an eleven-round round robin, Wesley So was tied for first place with 6.5 points, along with top-rated Fabiano Caruana and the young GM Samuel Sevian.
This led to a round of playoff games, in which Wesley So defeated both Sevian and Caruana. Caruana, who had fought hard to become a contender for the top prize, actually lost his final game on time, which is a rare occurrence at the top levels of chess play.
So had also struggled in this tournament, only winning against Dariusz Swiercz and John Burke, and drawing his nine other regular games.
With So cruising to victory in his rapid playoff games on Tuesday, he retains the title of U.S. Chess Champion for the second year in a row.
As we reported, eighteen-year-old Carissa Yip won the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship two days earlier, having reached an unbeatable eight points by the end of round ten.
Reportedly, So will be taking a short break from chess after a very hectic competitive schedule which saw him place second overall in the online Champions Chess Tour and win the top spot in the 2021 Grand Chess Tour, a series of five live chess tournaments including the Sinquefield Cup and three rapid and blitz tournaments.
Here is So’s tiebreak victory over Caruana.