Defending champion Wesley So drew his final round match to forge a three-player playoff for the 2021 US Chess Championships title Monday (Tuesday in Manila) at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.
So split the point with Ray Robson after 26 moves of a Nimzo Indian game to finish with 6.5 points along with Fabiano Caruana and Samuel Sevian, who also drew their last-round matches.
The Cavite-born chesser had two wins and nine draws in the 11-round tournament.
Caruana halved the points with Sam Shankland in 66 moves of a Queen’s Pawn Game, while Sevian also agreed to a draw with Daniel Naroditsky after 14 moves of a Giuoco Piano opening.
The three-way rapid playoff will have So first clashing with Caruana, followed by Caruana against Sevian, then Sevian against So.
So both drew his matches against Caruana and Sevian in the fourth and 10th rounds of the regulation.
Caruana has crawled from a share of seventh place after six rounds to making it on top of the regulation by winning three matches and settling for two draws in his last five matches.
So and Sevian, meanwhile, shared the lead after seven rounds and clung into it until to forge a playoff.