Wesley So retains his share of the leader in the 8th round

The great Filipino-American chess master Wesley So of the United States. (Photo by BERIT ROALD / NTB Scanpix / AFP via Getty Images)

Defending champion Wesley So continued to share the lead with Alex Lenderman and Sam Sevian after the eighth round of the 2021 U.S. Chess Championships ended in a series of draws on Friday (October 15, Manila time) in Saint Louis Chess Club in Missouri.

Wielding the black pieces, Filipino-American So, who caught up with the tournament leaders in the seventh round, fought off Sam Shankland’s attacks in a final tournament in Berlin as both sides agreed to call a truce.

The 28-year-old Cavite pride now holds 5.0 points, tied with Lenderman and Sevian, who also settled for a draw in the eighth round where they faced Darius Swiercz and Leinier Dominguez Perez, respectively.

The matches of Fabiano Caruana-Jeffery Xiong; Ray Robso-Lazaro Bruzon Batiste; and John Burke-Daniel Naroditsky all ended in a draw.

Here is the ranking at the end of the eighth round: Dominguez and Robson have 4.5 points to be behind the leaders So, Sevian and Lenderman; Caruana sits at 4.0 in her solitaire; Shankland, Bruzon, Naroditsky and Swiercz find themselves in a stalemate at 3.5; and Burke continues to accompany Xiong to the cellar with 3.0.

The US Chess Championships will have their last day of rest on Saturday (October 16, Manila time) before action resumes for the ninth round on Sunday.

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The opinions expressed are his own.

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