Elite chess grandmaster Wesley So won the exacting 2017 US Championship recently and in so doing, extended his victories and draws to 67 tournament games. This sensational streak of emerging unscathed began in mid-2016 and has continued ever since. But however impressive this may sound, the feat has been accomplished previously. During the period 2014-2015, US Grandmaster Sam Shankland played a total of 69 games without conceding a defeat. He also participated in this year’s US Championship.
Whenever one glorifies in such wondrous feats, one must take into consideration the quality of one’s opposition. So’s opposition cannot be tarnished. He defeated, or drew with, the best of the best within the chess world. In addition to the statistic of going undefeated, So won every tournament in which he participated. Beginning from mid-2016, he won the Sinquefield Cup, the Olympic Gold, the London Chess Classic, the Tata Steel Tournament (ahead of world champ Magnus Carlsen), and now the US Championship. For readers interested in what’s next for So, it’s the Gashimov Memorial Tournament which begins on April 20.
So was committed to a playoff with Alexander Onischuk to secure the title of US champion. He played handsomely, winning the first game and drawing the next.
The new Women’s Champion is Sabina-Francesca Foisor.