Chess

Wesley So keeps top spot despite 7th-round bye in Sinquefield Cup

Roy Luarca
Wesley So keeps top spot despite 7th-round bye in Sinquefield Cup

TOURNAMENT LEADER. Wesley So is a couple of rounds away from ruling the Sinquefield Cup.

Saint Louis Chess Club/Lennart Ootes

Wesley So maintains a slim lead in the Sinquefield Cup as Alireza Firouzja, Fabiano Caruana, and Ian Nepomniachtchi are unable to catch up with him

MANILA, Philippines – All the matches in seventh were drawn on Friday, September 9 (Saturday, September 10, Manila time), enabling United States champion Wesley So to keep the solo lead in the 2022 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Missouri.

So, who has 4 points, drew a bye, but his closes rivals – Alireza Firouzja, Fabiano Caruana, and Ian Nepomniachtchi – were unable to catch up with him following draws against separate opponents.

Firouzja agreed to a truce with Leinier Dominguez, Caruana split the point with Levon Aronian, and so did Nepomniachtchi against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, giving them 3.5 points each.

The match between the 19-year-old Hans Niemann and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave also ended in a draw, giving Niemann 3 points and Vachier-Lagrave 2.5.

It will be Vachier-Lagrave’s turn to take a bye after world champion Magnus Carlsen’s withdrawal in the third round reduced the elite field to nine.

The eighth round will be held Saturday with the Filipino-born So handling black against Firouzja, the runaway winner of the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz where So did not compete.

Other matches pit Dominguez (3 points) against Mamedyarov (2), Aronian (3) against Nepomniachtchi, and Niemann – conqueror of Carlsen in the third round – against Caruana.

The $350,000 (around P20 million) event serving as the fifth and last leg of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour dangles $100,000 to the champion, with the last placer getting $10,500. – Rappler.com

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