Grandmaster Wesley continued to play it safe by settling for a second straight draw to stay in the middle of the pack after two rounds in the Superbet Chess Classic of the Grand Chess Tour 2021 in Bucharest, Romania.
Similar to his opening round standoff with Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov the day before, the Cavite-born American was just happy to trade pieces before splitting the point with Armenia’s Levon Aronian in 30 moves of a Queen’s Gambit.
Despite it, the reigning world Fischer-Random king and two-time United States champion remained in the hunt as he is in a six-player logjam at third place with 1 point.
Also with a point to show were Aronian, Mamedyarov, Dutchman Anish Giri, Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov and Russian Alexander Grischuk.
World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana of the United States and Bogdan-Daniel Deac of host Romania hurdled their respective foes to seize the share of the lead with 1.5 points each.
Caruana dismantled Romanian Constantin Lupulescu’s French Defense in just 28 moves while Deac, a 14-year-old GM sensation who was a last-minute replacement to Hungarian Richard Rapport, pulled the rug from under the heavily favored Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in 44 moves of a Ruy Lopez.
Up next for So is Grischuk where he will play black.