• So elicits draw in second round, drops to solo second

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    Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So and defending champion GM Hikaru Nakamura agreed to a draw in the sixth round of the 2016 US Chess Championship being held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in Missouri, US.

    However, the draw was not good enough for So to stay on top as he dropped to solo second with 4.5 points.

    GM Fabiano Caruana grabbed the lead with five points after nipping GM Alexander Onischuk in their sixth-round game.

    The matches of GM Varuzhan Akobian and GM Aleksandr Lenderman, GM Ray Robson and GM Gata Kamsky, and GM Jeffrey Xiong and International Master Akshat Chandra also ended in a draw while GM Alexander Shabalov trounced GM Samuel Shankland.

    Robson took the third spot with four points while Xiong and Nakamura shared the fourth position with 4.5 each followed by Shabalov and Onischuk in sixth with three points apiece, Shankland in eighth with 2.5, Lenderman and Kamsky in ninth with two, and Chandra and GM Varuzhan Akobian with 1.5.

    The seventh-round pairings are So-Shabalov, Nakamura-Akobian, Onischuk-Shankland, Xiong-Caruana, Robson-Chandra and Lenderman-Kamsky.

    The 11-round tournament offers a total prize fund of $194,000.

    The champion gets $50,000, the runner-up takes home $35,000 and the third placer receives $25,000.

    The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis will award a Fisher Bonus Prize amounting to $64,000 to the player who will score a perfect 11-0 record after the tournament. EMIL C. NOGUERA

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