So draws with foe as Robson, Lenderman share top spot in US Chess Championship

Roy Luarca
So draws with foe as Robson, Lenderman share top spot in US Chess Championship

TITLE DEFENSE. Wesley So has garnered 3 points in his title-retention bid in the US Chess Championship.

Reigning US Chess Championship titlist Wesley So settles for a draw with Lazaro Bruzon as he trails leaders Ray Robson and Aleksandr Lenderman

Defending champion Wesley So couldn’t find a hole to penetrate and sealed a draw with Lazaro Bruzon in the fifth round of the 2021 US Chess Championship being led by Ray Robson and Aleksandr Lenderman.

The lightly regarded Lenderman trounced Sam Sevian on Monday, October 11 (Tuesday, October 12, Manila time) to catch up with Robson, who agreed to a truce with Darius Swiercz at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.

Ranked tenth among the 12 Grandmasters entered, Lenderman climbed to 3.5 points with the sixth-seeded Robson as they towed three-pointers So and Leinier Dominguez heading to the halfway mark of the round-robin event dangling $50,000 (P2.5 million) to the winner.

Dominguez drew with John Burke, evading the fate of top seed Fabiano Caruana, who bowed to Daniel Naroditsky and remained at 2.5 points with Sevian, Bruzon, and Burke.

Handling black, So found Bruzon tough to crack and split the point after 30 moves of a Petrov’s Defense.

Jeffery Xiong, last year’s runner-up, finally halted his skid with a victory over 2018 United States champion Sam Shankland in the fifth round’s last match.

So, who wound up unbeaten in last year’s edition, and the third-ranked Dominguez part ways in the sixth round on Tuesday.

Robson and Lenderman will dispute the solo lead while other matches pit Caruana (2.5 points) against Sevian (2.5), Shankland (1.5) against Burke, Naroditsky (2.0) against Bruzon, and Xiong (1.5) against Swiercz (2.0). –