Wesley So swept his first 3 games to surge ahead in the all-Grandmaster 2020 US Chess Championships on Monday, October 26 (Tuesday, October 27, Philippine time).
Living up to his top seeding, the Cavite-born So (Elo 2770), disposed of Alex Lenderman, Alejandro Ramirez, and Awonder Liang in succession for a perfect 3 points, half a point ahead of rising star Jeffery Xiong and Ray Robson.
The 19-year-old Xiong and Robson, 25, have 2 wins and 1 draw each to stay within sight of the 2017 US champion and reigning world Fischer Random king.
So spearheaded Team USA in the first FIDE (International Chess Federation) Online Olympiad with Xiong and Robson as backups. The United States placed 3rd behind joint champions Russia and India.
Sam Sevian was at 2 points, towing five-time US champion Hikaru Nakamura, who drew his first 3 games, and Elshan Moradiabadi, the former Iranian No. 1, in the $150,000 (P7.5 million event) dangling $40,000 (P2 million) to the champion.
So, who turned 27 last week, assumed the favorite's role following the non-participation of world No. 3 and 2016 champion Fabiano Caruana.
Second seed Leinier Dominguez (Elo 2758) got stunned by Sam Sevian in the second round and only has 1 point to show in the 12-player single round-robin event.
The fourth to sixth rounds will be held Tuesday with So trying to preserve his clean slate against Sam Shankland, the 2018 winner, Dariusz Swiercz, and Dominguez, respectively. – Rappler.com