By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Defending champion Wesley So drew with Leiner Dominguez Perez for a share of third to fifth places after six rounds in the 2021 US Chess Championships at the Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri Tuesday.
The 27-year-old So split the point in 37 moves of a Queen’s Gambit Accepted to slightly improve to 3.5 points on one win and five draws in the 11-round tournament.
He is tied with Dominguez-Perez and Samuel Sevian – half-a-point behind co-leaders Ray Robson and Aleksandr Lenderman.
Lenderman and Robson battled to a 46-move deadlock of a Sicilian Defense to stay at joint first.
Sevian, for his part, caught up with So and Dominguez Perez after stunning top seed and world No. 3 Fabiano Caruana in 42 moves of a Four Knights Game.
So’s other results include a triumph over Dariusz Swiercz in the second round and draws with Lenderman, Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Caruana and Jeffery Xiong.
So’s last five foes are Robson, Sevian, John Burke, Sam Shankland and Daniel Naroditsky.
So is gunning for his second straight crown and third overall with his breakthrough conquest coming four years ago when he bested Alexander Onischuk in a rapid playoff.
Apocalypse chess tournament slated
Six titled players, led by Grandmaster Darwin Laylo, will see action in the Apocalypse Chess Challenge set today at the Nobunaga Sushi Bar in Mabini, Manila.
Aside from Laylo, the other players taking part in the one-day event are international masters Ricky de Guzman, Barlo Nadera, Rolando Nolte, Chito Garma and Ronald Bancod.
The top two scorers after the single-round robin event will advance into the two-game finals. The winner will receive P10,000 while the runner-up will get P5,000.
Each player will be given 25 minutes each to finish the match with 10 seconds increment. Ties will be broken through Armaggedon blitz matches.
Players must be at the venue by 5 p.m., according to chief arbiter Johnny Marcial.