Russia’s rising star Vladislav Artemiev took control, while world champion Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian sustained their strong play in the Aimchess US Rapid Online tournament on Sunday, August 29 (Monday, August 30, Manila time).
Shrugging off another faulty start, Wesley So stayed close to the pacesetters and appeared headed for his ninth straight quarterfinals stint in the 2021 Champions Chess Tour (CCT).
The 23-year-old Artemiev, the 2019 European champion, won three straight from the seventh round and drew his sixth and 10th round matches to raise his tally to 7.5 points.
Carlsen, the CCT overall points and earnings leader, and Aronian were tied at 7 points, half a point ahead of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
Pulled down by a sixth-round loss to unheralded Daniel Naroditsky, So landed at 6 points with teen sensation Alireza Firouzja.
In the danger zone with five rounds to go are Anish Giri and Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who have 5.5 points apiece, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Naroditsky, who have 5 points each.
Keeping his composure, So trounced Eric Hansen in the seventh round, drew with Vachier-Lagrave, beat Leinier Dominguez, and drew with Mamedyarov as he aims to catch up with Carlsen in the CCT overall title race.
So, the tour’s only three-leg winner, tackles Artemiev, Giri, Awonder Liang, Aronian, and Jorden van Foreest in the concluding preliminary matches on Tuesday, August 31.
Artemiev’s remaining matches in the round-robin eliminations are against Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Le Quang Liem, Firouzja, and Naroditsky. – Rappler.com