Caruana trounces Wesley So, paces St. Louis Rapid & Blitz

Roy Luarca
Caruana trounces Wesley So, paces St. Louis Rapid & Blitz

FIGHTING CHANCE. Wesley So needs to bounce back in his remaining matches to catch up with the leaders.

Wesley So settles for 6 points so far following his loss to fellow Team USA standout Fabiano Caruana in the event that serves as the third leg of the Grand Chess Tour

Fabiano Caruana bested fellow Team USA standout Wesley So to surge ahead in the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz on Thursday, August 12 (Friday, August 13, Manila time) in Missouri.

Back in form, Caruana prevailed over So with the black pieces in just 24 moves of a Giuoco Piano to climb to 9 points out of a perfect 12, towing another American, Hikaru Nakamura, with 7 points in the event serving as the third leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour.

Caruana, the United States’ top board player, also beat Vietnamese Le Quang Liem in round 2, American Jeffery Xiong in round 3, and American Leinier Dominguez in round 5.

Another American, Sam Shankland, stunned Caruana in round 4 of the event being held over the board at the Saint Louis Chess Club.

The loss to Caruana pulled down So, the reigning United States champion, to an even 6 points with Shankland, Dominguez, Hungarian Richard Rapport, and Azerbaijani Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the $150,000 event that rewards 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw.

So, runaway winner of the Paris Rapid & Blitz and the recent Chessable Masters, will try to bounce back when he tackles Mamedyarov, Nakamura, and Peter Svidler at the completion of the rapid section on Friday.

Pitted against Caruana, ranked world No. 2 behind world champion Magnus Carlsen, are Rapport, Mamedyarov, and Nakamura.

Next on tap on Saturday is the two-round robin blitz section with the point system reverting to the regular 1 point for a win and half a point for a draw, respectively. –