Hikaru Nakamura and Richard Rapport struck hard while, Wesley So continued to float along in the 2021 St. Louis Rapid & Blitz being played over the board at the St. Louis Chess Club in Missouri early Friday, August 13.
Showing his speed chess prowess, Nakamura beat fellow Americans Leinier Dominguez and Fabiano Caruana, the erstwhile leader, and drew with So in the eighth round to tally 12 points out of a perfect 18 heading to the double-round robin blitz section starting on Saturday.
Rapport matched Nakamura’s effort, winning over Caruana and Jeffery Xiong in succession before drawing with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the ninth and last round of the rapid section to tie Caruana at 11 points in the $150,000 event.
So, the reigning United States champion also drew his two other games with Mamedyarov and Peter Svidler and was bunched with Svidler, Sam Shankland at 9 points.
Lodged at 8 points were Mamedyarov and Xiong in the rapid section giving 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw.
Dominguez was at 7 points while Vietnamese ace Le Quang Liem, runner-up to So in the recent Chessable Masters, was at the cellar with 6 points.
The Bacoor, Cavite-born So, winner of the Paris Rapid & Blitz, and Nakamura are expected to dominate the blitz section of the tournament serving as the fourth leg of the 2021 Grand Chess Tour. – Rappler.com