Wesley So failed to exploit his winning chances and settled for a draw with Azerbaijan No. 1 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on Tuesday, August 17 (Wednesday, August 18, Philippine time) in the inaugurals of the 2021 St. Louis Rapid and Blitz at the St. Louis Chess Club in Missouri.
Handling white, So, the reigning United States champion, agreed to split the point with Mamedyarov after 50 moves of a Guioco Piano to trail fellow Team USA stalwarts Fabiano Caruana and Leinier Dominguez, and French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the 10-man, $325,000 (P16,250,000) event.
Fabiano Caruana, the US’ board 1 player and No. 2 in the world, subdued fellow American Sam Shankland in 38 moves of a Queen’s Pawn London System to match the score of Dominguez, who pounced on a blunder by American Dariusz Swiercz to prevail in 58 moves of a Petrov Defense.
Vachier-Lagrave beat Russian Peter Svidler in 30 moves of a Benko Gambit.
The game between American Jeffery Xiong and Hungarian Richard Rapport also ended in a draw.
The Filipino-born So and Mamedyarov shared 0.5 points.
So will try to rebound when he tangles with Swiercz in the second round on Wednesday.
Other matches pit Svidler against Mamedyarov, Rapport against Vachier-Lagrave, Shankland against Xiong, and Dominguez against Caruana. – Rappler.com