Wesley So seeks Superbet Classic title vs Dominguez

Roy Luarca
Wesley So seeks Superbet Classic title vs Dominguez

FRONTRUNNER. Wesley So paces the field heading into the final round.

Wesley So figures in a tight race for the crown in the inaugural event of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So seeks the 2022 Superbet Chess Classic title when he tangles with fellow Team USA member Leinier Dominguez in the ninth and final round Saturday night, May 14, at the Sheraton Bucharest Hotel in Bucharest, Romania.

Tied for the lead with another American bet, Levon Aronian, So is out for revenge against Dominguez, who ousted him from the Berlin Grand Prix semifinals in February.

Aronian, on the other hand, will be facing Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in another encounter that could decide the winner of the inaugural event of the $1.4 million (P72.8 million) 2022 Grand Chess Tour.

So drew with top seed Alireza Firouzja while Aronian drew with former world title challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi in the eighth round late Friday to boost their totals to 5.0 points.

Trailing them with 4.5 points is Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who has minimal chances of bagging the $100,000 (P5.2 million) top purse.

That is for both So and Aronian to drop their matches and for the French No. 1 to beat Alireza (3.5 points) in the concluding round.

Other matches pit Richard Rapport (3.0) against Nepomniachtchi (3.5) and wildcard Bogdan-Daniel Deac (4.0)) against Fabiano Caruana (4.0).

The Filipino-born So and the 18-year-old Alireza have 3 pawns and opposite-colored bishops when they agreed to a truce after 38 moves of a King’s Indian Defense. –