Wesley So draws with Azeri rival at the start of Romania tourney

Published June 6, 2021, 2:56 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

File Photo from Grand Chess Tour Facebook page

Grandmaster Wesley So battled Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan to a draw at the start of the Superbet Chess Classic of the Grand Chess Tour in Bucharest, Romania on Sunday.

Playing black, the Cavite-born So split the point after 46 moves of a Queen’s Gambit Accepted for a share of the lead with all 10 participants after all opening-round games ended up in draws.

The So-Mamedyarov duel was the second to the last game that ended with the last played by Dutchman Anish Giri surviving an upset-conscious Bogdan-Daniel Deac of host Romania.

Also ending up as draws were games that pitted Armenian Levon Aronian with another Romanian Constantin Lupulescu, American World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana with Azeri Teimour Radjabov, and Russian Alexander Grischuk with Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

The world Fischer-Random king and two-time US titlist, who is playing his first over-the-board tournament in 17 months, will battle Aronian in the second round Monday in this over-the-board tournament that stakes $325,000.