Wesley So, 2 others keep lead after 8th round draws

Roy Luarca
Wesley So, 2 others keep lead after 8th round draws

LEADER. Wesley So tries to keep hold of the top spot heading into the final stretch.

Saint Louis Chess Club

Handling black, Wesley So agrees to a truce with 2018 US champion Sam Shankland in round 8

All matches in the eighth round of the 2021 US Chess Championship ended in draws, leaving the standing unchanged with reigning titlist Wesley So, Sam Sevian, and Aleksandr Lenderman leading.

Handling black, So agreed to a truce with 2018 US champion Sam Shankland, and so did Sevian with Leinier Dominguez, and Lenderman with Darius Swiercz on Thursday, October 14 (Friday, October 15, Philippine time) at Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.

So, Sevian, and Dominguez climbed to 5 points, towing 4.5-pointer Roy Robson.

Robson, last year’s third placer, split the point with Lazaro Bruzon.

Also drawn were the matches between top seed and 2016 US champion Fabiano Caruana and Jeffery Xiong, last year’s runner-up, and Daniel Naroditsky against John Burke.

Caruana, the world No. 2, is too distant to challenge for the $50,000 (P2.5 million) top purse with 4.0 points, and so is Xiong with 3.

The 12 Grandmasters competing are looking forward to the tournament break on Friday before they go through the last three rounds.

The single round-robin event resumes with the ninth round on Saturday with the Filipino-born So tangling with Naroditsky.

Other matches pit Lenderman against Shankland, Caruana against Swiercz, Bruzon against Xiong, Dominguez against Robson, and Burke against Sevian.

So topped last year’s edition with an unscathed total of 9 points. Thus far, the 2021 Grand Chess Tour remains unbeaten like Lenderman. –