Wesley So trails after three rounds in Saint Louis chess tourney

Published August 12, 2021, 2:27 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

MB File Photo

Wesley So downed fellow American Sam Shankland in 41 moves of Slav Defense to stay half a point off the pace after three rounds in the rapid part of the Grand Chess Tour (GCT) Saint Louis 2021 in Missouri on Wednesday.

The win over Shankland came after So drew with Vietnamese Le Quang Liem in 47 moves of a Queen’s Gambit Declined and Jefferey Xiong in 65 moves of a Ruy Lopez Opening in the first two rounds.

Overall, So collected two points for joint third with another American Hikaru Nakamura.

Another United States bet Fabiano Caruana and Leinier Dominguez Perez led the way with 2.5 points each.

The Cavite-born 27-year-old So plays Dominguez Perez, Hungarian Richard Rapport and Caruana in the next three rounds Thursday.

So is coming off an impressive title conquest in the Chessable Masters of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour where he trounced Le in the finals a few days ago.

In the GCT, So finished third in the inaugural Superbet Chess Classic in Bucharest, Romania, ruled the Paris Rapid & Blitz in France and skipped Croatia GCT early this year.

So is hoping for another strong showing in this $150,000 tournament, which winds up with the rich $325,000 Sinquefield Cup set Aug. 16-28 in Saint Louis, Missouri.