Wesley So keeps lead after 5th round in Sinquefield Cup

Roy Luarca
Wesley So keeps lead after 5th round in Sinquefield Cup

TITLE HUNT. Wesley So looks to rule the Sinquefield Cup, the fifth and final leg of the Grand Chess Tour.

Lennart Ootes/Grand Chess Tour

Wesley So draws with Levon Aronian to maintain his half-point lead over Hans Niemann, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Fabiano Caruana in the Sinquefield Cup

MANILA, Philippines – US champion Wesley So kept the top spot in the 2022 Sinquefield Cup following a spate of draws in the fifth round on Tuesday, September 6 (Wednesday, September 7, Manila time) in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Filipino-born So agreed to a truce with fellow Team USA member Levon Aronian to raise his total to 3 points, half a point ahead of rising star Hans Niemann, world title challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, and former world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana, who were bunched at 2.5.

Other fourth round matches saw Shakhriyar Mamedyarov draw with Caruana, Leinier Dominguez draw with Niemann, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave draw with Nepomniachtchi.

Teen sensation Alireza Firouzja drew a bye following the fourth round withdrawal of Magnus Carlsen and remained at 2.0 points in the company of Vachier-Lagrave.

The $350,000-event serving as the fifth and final leg of the 2022 Grand Chess Tour takes a break Wednesday with the sixth round to be held Thursday, September 8.

So will handle black against Niemann, who should have been the leader if not for Carlsen’s withdrawal that nullified his victory over the world champion in the third round.

Other matches pit Firouzja against Mamedyarov (1.5 points), Aronian (1.5) against Vachier-Lagrave, and Nepomniachtchi against Caruana, who rebounded from a third-round loss to So by beating Vachier-Lagrave in the fourth round.

It will be Dominguez’s turn to take a bye in the event dangling $100,000 (P5.7 million) to the champion. –

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