Archive for the ‘Wesley So’ Category

Kasparov’s Scotch too Strong for So

April 28, 2016
Garry Kasparov (photo:

Garry Kasparov (photo:

Garry Kasparov triumphantly returned to top level chess by crushing Wesley So in round one of the Ultimate Blitz Challenge today in Saint Louis. In vintage form, Kasparov played his beloved Scotch in a remarkable victory against the new generation of elite chess players.

[Event “Ultimate Blitz Challenge”]
[Site “Saint Louis (USA)”]
[Date “2016.4.28”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Kasparov, Garry”]
[Black “So, Wesley”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C45”]
[Annotator “Torres, Chris”]


1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 {Garry Kasparov wastes no time in testing his beloved Scotch against the new generation of elite chess players.}

Position after 3. d4.

Position after 3. d4.

3… exd4

4.Nxd4 Nf6

5.Nxc6 bxc6

6.e5 Qe7

7.Qe2 Nd5

8.c4 Ba6

9.b3 g6

( 9…O-O-O 10.g3 g5 11.Bb2 Bg7 12.Nd2 Nb4 13.Nf3 Rhe8 14.a3
g4 15.Nh4 Bxe5 16.O-O-O Na2+ 17.Kc2 Qf6 18.Bxe5 Rxe5 19.Qd2 Rde8
20.Bd3 d5 21.Rhe1 d4 22.Rxe5 Rxe5 23.f3 Nc3 24.Rf1 Qd6 25.Kb2
c5 26.fxg4 Bb7 27.Rxf7 Be4 28.Nf5 Qb6 29.Re7 {…1/2-1/2, Rublevsky Sergei (RUS) 2683 – Karjakin Sergey (RUS) 2747 , Poikovsky 6/12/2010 It (cat.18)})

Position after 9... g6.

Position after 9… g6.



( 10.f4 Qb4+ 11.Bd2 Qb6 12.Qe4 f5 13.Qf3
Qd4 14.Nc3 Nxc3 15.Bxc3 Bb4 16.Rc1 Bxc3+ 17.Rxc3 O-O-O 18.c5
Bb7 19.Qe3 Qxe3+ 20.Rxe3 d6 21.Bc4 Kd7 22.h4 d5 23.Bd3 h5 24.Rg3
Rh6 25.b4 Ke6 26.Kd2 Ra8 27.Rb1 a6 28.Rb3 Kf7 29.Ra3 Rhh8 {…1-0, Kasparov Garry (RUS) 2849 – Bacrot Etienne (FRA) 2613 , Sarajevo 2000 It (cat.19)})

10… c5

( 10…Qg5 11.Bxf8 Kxf8 12.Nd2 Re8 13.Nf3 Qf5 14.g3 Nb4
15.O-O-O Nxa2+ 16.Kb2 Nb4 17.h4 d6 18.Bh3 Qf6 19.exf6 Rxe2+ 20.Kc3
Na2+ 21.Kd3 Rxf2 22.Rhf1 Nb4+ 23.Ke3 Rb2 24.Nd2 c5 25.Kf2 Bb7
26.Kg1 Nc2 27.Rf2 Nd4 28.Re1 h6 29.Bg2 Bxg2 30.Kxg2 {…0-1, Khader Sami (JOR) 2413 – Amin Bassem (EGY) 2505 , Abudhabi 8/15/2006 It (open)})

( 10…Qxa3 11.Nxa3 Bb4+ 12.Qd2 Bxd2+ 13.Kxd2 Ne7 14.Re1 Rf8
15.c5 Bxf1 16.Rhxf1 Rb8 17.Re4 Nd5 18.Ra4 Rb7 19.Re1 Ke7 20.Ree4
f6 21.exf6+ Kxf6 22.Nc4 Rd8 23.Ne5 Rb5 24.Ng4+ Kf7 25.Rxa7 Rxc5
26.a4 Nc3 27.Rf4+ Ke6 28.Ne3 Nb1+ 29.Ke2 Nc3+ 30.Kd3 {…1/2-1/2, Savchenko Boris (RUS) 2627 – Nabaty Tamir (ISR) 2526 , Bansko 12/16/2010 It (open)})


( 11.Bb2 Bg7 12.f4 O-O 13.g3 Nb6 14.Bg2 Rad8 15.Nc3 Rfe8
16.Rb1 d5 17.Bf3 f6 18.Nb5 c6 19.Nd6 Rxd6 20.exd6 Qd7 21.Be5
fxe5 22.Bg4 Qxd6 23.O-O e4 24.Rfd1 d4 25.Bf3 d3 26.Qe1 Qe6 27.Bg2
Bd4+ 28.Kh1 Qe7 29.a4 Bc8 30.a5 Nd7 {…0-1, Murariu Andrei (ROM) 2503 – Smeets Jan (NED) 2619 , Verdun 1995 Ch Europe (juniors) (under 10)})

11… Bg7 ( 11…Nb6 12.Bg2 Rd8 13.Nd2 Bg7 14.Bb2 O-O 15.O-O Rfe8
16.Rfe1 d6 17.Bc6 Nd7 18.Nf3 dxe5 19.Rad1 f6 20.Ba3 Bf8 21.Qe3
Qe6 22.Bd5 {1-0, Knotkova Martina (CZE) – Koubkova Alena (CZE) 2038, Chrudim (Czech Republic) 1993})


Position after 12. f4.

Position after 12. f4.


12… Nb4

13.Bg2 Rd8

14.Nc3 O-O

15.Bb2 d5

16.a3 d4

17.axb4 dxc3

18.Bxc3 cxb4

19.Bb2 Bc8


Position after 20. 0-0.

Position after 20. 0-0.

20… f6 {?} {This is just not a good move. It would have been much better for Wesley So to
simply redeploy his bishop to f5 then expose his king to Bd5+.}

21.Bd5+ {!} {Garry Kasparov takes advantage of his opponent’s self-inflicted weakness.}

21… Rxd5 {?} {Did Wesley So panic and miss his best chance for avoiding a loss? Perhaps Kasparov’s Scotch is too strong for So.}
( 21…Kh8 22.exf6 ( 22.Rxa7 fxe5 23.Bxe5 Bg4 24.Qb2
( 24.Qxg4 {?} Qc5+ 25.Kh1 Qxa7 ) ) Qc5+ 23.Qf2 Qxf2+ 24.Rxf2
Bxf6 )

Position after 21... Rxd5.

Position after 21… Rxd5.


22… Qc5+

23.Rf2 fxe5

24.Bxe5 Bxe5

25.Qxe5 Rd8

26.Rd1 Bg4

27.Qd4 Qa5

28.Rdd2 Re8

29.Kg2 Qb5

30.h3 {Unsurprisingly, Garry Kasparov’s technique is still first-rate.}

Position after 30. h3.

Position after 30. h3.


30… Bf5

31.g4 Be4+

32.Kh2 c5

33.Qf6 ( 33.dxc6 Bxc6 34.Qxa7 {Is fine but Kasparov’s plan seems to win in a simpler fashion.})

33… c4

34.d6 ( 34.bxc4 Qd7 35.Qd4 b3 36.Rde2 {Is an alternative path to victory.})

34… Bc6

35.f5 {!} {Kasparov pushes So against the ropes!}

35… Rf8 {Kasparov has mate in 12.}

36.Qe6+ ( 36.Qe6+ Kg7 37.fxg6 Bf3 38.Qe7+ Kxg6 39.d7 Qb8+ 40.Rd6+
Qxd6+ 41.Qxd6+ Rf6 42.d8=Q Rxd6 43.Qxd6+ Kg7 44.Rxf3 h5 45.gxh5
a6 46.Qf8+ Kh7 47.Rf7#)

36… Kg7

37.d7 {Not the most accurate but perhaps the easiest continuation in a blitz game.}

37… Qc5

38.Qd6 ( 38…Qxd6+ 39.Rxd6 {and So has to choose between saving his bishop or allowing Kasparov to regain a queen.}) 1-0

Final Position.

Final Position.



So Much to Learn: An Important Lesson from the 2015 U.S. Chess Championship

April 13, 2015
Wesley So alone at the board(photo by: Lennart Ootes, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis)

Wesley So alone at the board(photo by: Lennart Ootes, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis)

In case you missed it, the world of chess was stunned on the tenth of April when Grandmaster Wesley So was forfeited in round nine of the 2015 U.S. Chess Championship after being caught “note taking.” Wesley, who is currently ranked number 8 in the world by FIDE, had already been warned twice in his previous games that his habit of writing notes during the game was a violation of the FIDE Laws of Chess. Below is a copy of the rules 21 Year-Old Wesley So was caught violating:

Article 12: The conduct of the players

  1. During play the players are forbidden to make use of any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyse on another chessboard
  2. Without the permission of the arbiter a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue, unless they are completely switched off. If any such device produces a sound, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. However, if the opponent cannot win the game by any series of legal moves, his score shall be a draw.
  3. Smoking is permitted only in the section of the venue designated by the arbiter
12.4 The scoresheet shall be used only for recording the moves, the times of the clocks, the offers of a draw, and matters relating to a claim and other relevant data.
12.5 Players who have finished their games shall be considered to be spectators.
12.6 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area.
12.7 Infraction of any part of Articles 12.1 to 12.6 shall lead to penalties in accordance with Article 13.4.
12.8 Persistent refusal by a player to comply with the Laws of Chess shall be penalised by loss of the game. The arbiter shall decide the score of the opponent.

When asked about his behavior during the round, Wesley first claimed that he did not realize he was breaking the rules.


However, several witnesses immediately came forward to discredit this claim.

After it became apparent that he knew it was against the rules, Wesley proceeded by blaming his earlier losses and cavalier disregard for the rules on “personal problems” in his family. According to the family he now lives with, So’s biological family and former coaches “conspired to destroy” his chances at the U.S. Chess Championship(an assertion that Wesley So has yet to contradict.)

Regardless of what other pressure Wesley may or may not have been under, the blame for intentionally violating the rules of chess has to be attributed to the player who committed the crime. At 21 years of age, Wesley So apparently lacks the maturity to own up to his own mistakes. Playing by the rules and taking responsibility for your own failures may not make you a grandmaster… but these qualities are prerequisites of adulthood.

For more on the rule violation by Wesley So which result in his forfeit loss to Varuzhan Akobian, please watch the thorough explanation that occurred during the live boradcast of the 2015 U.S. Chess Championship:

%d bloggers like this: