Grandmaster Wesley So drew his last five games to finish third in the preliminaries and book a quarterfinal seat in the process in the Skilling Open of the Champions Chess Tour Tuesday.
After scoring six points in his first 10 games, the 27-year-old So went for draws with France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Russia’s Peter Svidler and Ian Nepomniachtchi, reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen and Azerbaijan’s Teimur Radjabov to seal the No. 3 spot.
The two-time United States champion actually ended up in a tie for third with Nepomniachtchi and Armenia’s Levon Aronian with 8.5 points apiece but ended up with the highest tiebreak.
Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura of the United States emerged first and second with nine points each while Radjabov, Vachier-Lagrave and Dutch Anish Giri claimed the remaining slots in the knockout round.
So has drawn a quarterfinal showdown with Radjabov in a pair of four-game rapid matches on Wednesday and Thursday.
The other pairings pit Carlsen against Giri, Aronian versus Nepomniachtchi and Vachiere-Lagrave against Nakamura.