MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So trounced fellow American Fabiano Caruana but got overshadowed by tournament surprise Hans Niemman, who stunned world champion Magnus Carlsen, in the third round of the 2022 Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday, September 4 (Monday, September 5, Manila time)
The Filipino-born So drew his first two games against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and 2021 Sinquefield Cup champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, respectively, before besting Caruana, his teammate in the 2022 Chennai Chess Olympiad in India, with white in 67 moves of a Petroff Defense to climb to second behind Niemann, the lowest-rated in the 10-man all-super grandmaster vying for the $350,000 (around P20 million) total pot.
The 19-year-old Niemann, winner of the 2011 World Open chess tournament in Philadelphia, drew with Levon Aronian in the first round before upstaging Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the second for a 2.5 total, half a point ahead of So.
So will be facing world title challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, while Niemann will be battling fellow teenager Alireza Firouzja, the runaway St. Louis Rapid & Blitz champion last week, in the fourth round on Monday.
Other fourth-round matches pit Carlsen (1.5 points) against Mamedyarov (1.0), Levon Aronian (1.0) against Leinier Dominguez (1.5) and Caruana (1.0) against Vachier-Lagrave (1.5).
Beaten by Nepomniachtchi in the second round, Firouzja rebounded by subduing Aronian in the third round.
In other third-round results, Mamedyarov and Vachier-Lagrave split the point, just like Dominguez against Nepominiachtchi.
The event, which serves as the fifth and concluding leg of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour, stakes $100,000 to the champion. So is bidding to retain overall supremacy in the event featuring nine of the world’s top 20 players. – Rappler.com