Wesley So battles 3-way playoff for US Chess Championship title

Wesley So US Chess Championship title
Wesley So fights to keep his title in the playoffs of the US Chess Championship. Image screengrab from Saint Louis Chess Club interview.

Filipino American Grandmaster Wesley So is set to battle a 3-way rapid playoff tiebreak for the right to claim the US Chess Championship title.

The Cavite-born So remained on top of the leaderboard in a tie with Fabiano Caruana and Sam Sevian after the American tournament’s regular run of 11 rounds, forcing a playoff for the title on October 19 (October 20 PST).

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The three grandmasters were also in the lead going into the final round.

So drew his final round game against former university dormmate Ray Robson to end with a score of 6.5 in 11 games. Caruana and Sevian also drew their 11th round games to force a playoff battle.

Overall standings after 11 rounds

Wesley So is the reigning two-time US Chess Champion. He reclaimed the US Chess Championship in 2020 after winning for the first time in 2017 – both victories secured in undefeated runs.

So got off to a good start in his title defense when the tourney began on October 5 with 12 of the strongest chess players in America vying for the $194,000 prize money, qualification into the World Championship cycle, and the title of 2021 U.S. Champion.

WATCH Wesley So defend his title at the US Chess Championships on the St. Louis Chess Club YouTube.

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