Wesley So clings to lead with two others in US Chess Championships

Published October 17, 2021, 11:41 AM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Wesley So

Defending champion Wesley So clung to the lead with two others after drawing his ninth-round match Saturday in the 2021 US Chess Championships at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.

So halved the point with Daniel Naroditsky in 31 moves of a Bishop’s Opening to hike his tally to 5.5 points on two wins and seven draws.

This was the second straight draw for So since winning the seventh round against John Burke.

The Cavite-born So remains tied with Samuel Sevian and Aleksandr Lenderman at the helm with two rounds left in the tournament.

Sevian also drew his match with Burke after 45 moves of a Guioco Piano game, even as Lenderman split the point with Sam Shankland in 41 moves of a Gruenfeld duel.

Not far behind the three co-leaders were Fabiano Caruana, Leiner Dominguez Perez and Ray Robson, who were half a point behind with 5 points.

Caruana downed Dariusz Swiercz in a 44-move match of an English Opening while Dominguez Perez and Robson agreed to a draw after 40 moves of a Guioco Piano.

Trailing with 4 points were Shankland and Jeffery Xiong, followed by Swiercz, Burke and Lazaro Bruzon Batista with 3.5 points.

So hopes to pull off victories in his last two matches against Sevian and Robson to retain his crown.

 
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