It took 68 games, but Minnetonka chess Grandmaster Wesley So finally lost.
So’s 67-game unbeaten streak (wins and draws) came to an end Friday at the Shamkir Chess tournament in Azerbaijan, where he lost to a fellow “super grandmaster” who is ranked No. 10 in the world.
So, who became the U.S. Champion earlier this month, hadn’t lost a game in elite play dating to last July, when the world champion defeated him. His unbeaten streak was among the longest in chess history for world-class players, and it propelled him to the No. 2 ranking in the world.
But So finally met his match in Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who was playing on his home turf in Azerbaijan. So dug himself into a hole when he used up a large amount of his allotted time trying to figure out the right moves in a tricky opening.
At one point, he had only three minutes to make 10 moves before his clock expired — which would be an automatic loss. Finally, having to rush his 39th move, So blundered, then resigned after Mamedyarov’s next move, with checkmate inevitable in 10 moves.