Chess

Wesley So unhappy with draw; Sevian, Lenderman keep pace

Roy Luarca
Wesley So unhappy with draw; Sevian, Lenderman keep pace

Wesley So Saint Louis Chess Club/Bryan Adams

‘I missed a very good chance to win today and probably the tournament,’ says Wesley So as his US Chess Championship title defense heads into the final stretch

It’s understandable why Wesley So appeared sullen during the post-match interview of the 2021 US Chess Championship on Saturday, October 16 (Sunday, October 17, Philippine time).

So felt he could have beaten Daniel Naroditsky instead of forging a draw in the ninth round and putting his title-retention bid in jeopardy.

“I missed a very good chance to win today and probably the tournament,” said So, ruing the three winning chances he believed he overlooked while handling white in their Two Knights Defense encounter.

In the process, So remained tied for the lead with Sam Sevian and Aleksandr Lenderman instead of being alone at the top of the over-the-board classical event being held at Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.

Lenderman drew with 2018 US champion Sam Shankland and so did Sevian against John Burke, giving them 5.5 points with So.

Slowly regaining his form, top seed Fabiano Caruana trounced Darius Swiercz and climbed to joint fourth with Leinier Dominguez and Ray Robson, who drew their match, at 5 points.

The crucial 10th round will pit So against Sevian and Caruana against Lenderman.

While So, Sevian, and Lenderman could still afford draws with one round to go, Caruana is in a must-win situation and so are Dominguez and Robson.

Dominguez is paired with Jeffery Xiong, who subdued Lazaro Bruzon in round 9, while Robson is pitted against Burke.

Completing the 10th round matches are Shankland against Naroditsky and Swiercz against Bruzon.

If either So or Sevian wins, the victor will inch closer toward the $50,000 (P2.5 million) top purse. – Rappler.com