Grandmaster Wesley So turned back Russian Vladislav Artemiev, 2.5-1.5, to stay in the title hunt after three rounds in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Grand Finals Monday.
So banked on a third-match victory – a rollercoaster 85-move duel of a Caro-Kann Defense – to prevail over Artemiev in their four-match encounter. They drew the rest of the three matches.
The third-round triumph hiked So’s tally to 18.5 points for second place behind tournament leader Magnus Carlsen.
The Norwegian world classical champion improved to 23.5 points following a 3.5-2.5 triumph over France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
So will next face fellow United States bet Hikaru Nakamura, who downed Armenia’s Levon Aronian, 3-1.
Other matches saw Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland besting Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, 3.5-2.5; and Anish Giri edging Azerbaijan’s Teimour Radjabov, 3.5-2.5.
Aronian remains in third place with 12 points, followed by Nakamura and Giri, who have 10 and 9.5 points.
Radjabov is at sixth with 9 points, Vachier-Lagrave with 8.5, then Artemiev (5.5), Duda (5) and Mamedyarov (2.5).