For Wesley So, a draw with tournament top seed Fabiano Caruana is good enough for his 28th birthday.
Though engine analysis showed he has the edge, So allowed Caruana a perpetual check with the white pieces in the fourth round of the 2021 US Chess Championship on Saturday, October 9 (Sunday, October 10, Philippine time) at Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.
According to So, the defending champion who has a mate in one threat, he doesn’t have the luxury of time and doesn’t want to complicate matters on his natal day.
“That (a loss) is the worst possible way to celebrate your birthday,” said So during the post-match interview, noting that he has experienced it in 2007 and 2016.
Robson subdued slumping Jeffery Xiong to gain the solo lead with 3.0 points in the 12-man, all-Grandmaster field.
So and Caruana are bunched at 2.5 points with Leinier Dominguez, Aleksandr Lenderman, and Sam Sevian.
Dominguez beat 2018 US champion Sam Shankland, Lenderman trounced Daniel Naroditsky, while Sevian drew with Darius Swiercz.
The match between John Burke and Lazaro Bruzon also ended in a draw, giving them 2.0 points each.
The 11-round tournament dangling $50,000 (P2.5 million) to the champion takes a break on October 10 before resuming with the fifth round on October 11.
So will be pitted against Bruzon, Shankland against Xiong, Robson against Swiercz, Lenderman against Sevian, Caruana against Naroditsky, and Dominguez against Burke. – Rappler.com