Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So bounced back in contention in the US Chess Championship after destroying 2006 champion GM Alexander Onischuk in the eighth round of this tournament currently being held in Saint Louis, Missouri.
The Filipino chess pride is just trailing by a half-point the co-leaders, grandmasters Hikaru Nakamura and Ray Robson who have five points each.
Nakamura drew with GM Samuel Sevian in 40 moves of Ruy Lopez Berlin, while Robson won against GM Daniel Naroditski in 85 moves of Gruenfeld Defense.
Other eight-round results were: GM Kayden Troff won over GM Varuzhan Akobian, GM Gata Kamsky defeated GM Conrad Holt, and GM Samuel Shankland whipped GM Timur Gareev.
Today’s eight round pairings are So vs.Holt, Nakamura against Troff, Robson-Shanklan, Careev-Sevian, and Akobian testing the mettle of defending champion Kamsky.
Two players, Kamsky and Sevian, have four points each after seven rounds, Shankland is solo with 3.5 pts., Troff with three points, three have 2.5 points, namely Onischuk, Akobian and Holf, Gareev has two points, and Noroditsky is stuck with 1.5 points.
So wanted so much to win this tournament in his bid to overtake Nakamura as No.1 American chess player after transferring federation from the Philippines late last year. Nakamura won this tournament three times, in 2005, 2009 and 2012.