Wesley So stays at the helm after six rounds in Paris tourney

Published June 20, 2021, 1:48 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Grandmaster Wesley So drew his last three games to stay at the helm with two others after six rounds in the rapid matches of the Grand Chess Tour Paris Saturday, June 19.

So split the point with Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi in the fourth round, Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov in the fifth and Armenia’s Levon Aronian in Round 6 to improve to 7 points and join with United States’ Fabiano Caruana and Nepomniachtchi atop the leaderboard.

So’s draw against Aronian came after 29 moves of a Nimzo-Indian Defense.

Caruana caught up with the leaders after a crucial fifth-round victory over Russian Peter Svidler.

Nepomniachtchi, for his part, limped with a draw with So, a win over Aronian and a defeat at the hands of France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Vachier-Lagrave led the six-player pack behind the leaders that comprised Aronian, Radjabov, Svidler and France’s Etienne Bacrot with 6 points.

Alireza Firouzja was at ninth with 5 points while Richard Rapport was last with 4 points.

So is set to play Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave and Bacrot in the last three rounds.