Grandmaster Wesley So downed Vietnam’s Le Quang Liem in scoring three points in his last five games to stay in the quarterfinal hunt after 10 rounds in the Skilling Open of the 2020-2021 Champions Chess Tour Monday.
So’s victory over Le came in the ninth round after draws with Dutch Anish Giri in the sixth, Russian Sergey Karjakin in the seventh, American Hikaru Nakamura in the eighth and Indian Vidit Gujrathi in the 10th.
The two-time United States champion has hiked his total to six points to tie with reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen and World No. 3 Ding Liren of China at second.
Giri kept his stranglehold of the top spot with 6.5 points.
The day before, So was bunched at fourth with three others after scoring three points in his first five outings that saw him losing to teenage star Alireza Firouzja and beating Armenian Levon Aronian and Poland’s Jan-Krzystztof Duda.
So will have a tough last five rounds as he is scheduled to play Carlsen, French Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Russians Ian Nepomniachtchi and Peter Svidler with hopes of keeping his place in the top eight and advancing to the knockout playoff round.
The 16-player tournament is staking a total cash pot worth US$100,000 (P5 million) with the lion share worth US$30,000 (P1.5m) going to the champion.
More tournament updates are available at https://championschesstour.com/.