Wesley So stays at the helm in Sinquefield Cup

Published August 24, 2021, 1:23 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Grandmaster Wesley So fought fellow American Jeffery Xiong to a draw to stay at the helm after six rounds in the Sinquefield Cup of the Grand Chess Tour Monday.

Coming off a one-day tournament break, So remained solid with the black pieces to split the point with Xiong after 54 moves of a Semi-Slav Defense to improve to four points on two wins and four draws.

He is currently tied with Leiner Dominguez Perez of the United States and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.

All Round 6 matches ended in draws with Dominguez Perez halving the point with Russia’s Peter Svidler, and Vachier-Lagrave splitting the point with American Fabiano Caruana.

Other pairings saw United States’ Sam Shankland agreeing to a draw with Richard Rapport of Hungary, and Dariusz Swiercz also drawing with Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

So’s recent result kept him in pace of topping this nine-round event staking a total prize fund of $325,000 (P16.3 million) including $90,000 (P4.3 million) to the eventual winner.

So, however, will have his hands full as he faces Shankland, Vachier-Lagrave and Dominguez Perez in the last three rounds.

Breathing down the leaders’ necks with 3.5 points was Caruana while Xiong was at No. 5 with Mamedyarov and Rapport with three points each.