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So outwits Russian foe

Grandmaster Wesley So bounced back from an opening round loss to French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave by beating Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in the 2017 Sinquefield Cup yesterday in St. Louis, Missouri.

So, 23, prevailed in 39 moves of an English Opening to jump to a share of fourth to eighth places in the 10-man tournament.

He was tied by American Hikaru Nakamura, Indian Viswanathan Anand, and Russian Sergey Karjakin.

Reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, American Fabiano Caruana, and Vachier-Lagrave share the top spot with identical 1.5 points.

Carlsen bested Karjakin in 42 moves of a King’s Indian Attack, Caruana outplayed Armenia’s Levon Aronian in a marathon 110 moves of Queen’s Gambit Accepted, and Vachier-Lagrave drew with Nakamura in 33 moves of a Sicilian game.

Up next for So in this nine-round tournament is fellow fourth-placer Nakamura.