By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Wesley So outlasted Alexei Shirov and seized a share of the lead with fellow American Leinier Dominguez-Perez in Pool D after three rounds of the FIDE Grand Prix Series in Berlin, Germany on Sunday.
The Cavite-native American needed 50 moves of an English duel to survive the Latvian-born former World Challenger who is now representing Spain.
It was So’s first victory after drawing his first two games against Dominguez Perez and Indian Pentala Harikrishna to improve to 2 points.
“I feel I have gotten over the jet lag today (Sunday). The first game was really hard. I am just very happy to win a game,” So told chess.com.
I am not that optimistic—I haven’t played [for] three months; my play has been quite rusty, making mistakes here and there. I hope to play better.”
So was also glad the 16 participants of the Berlin tilt tested negative for COVID-19.
So will play Dominguez-Perez, Harikrishna and Shirov one more round with hopes of claiming the lone spot in their bracket to the knockout semifinal round.
The Grand Prix stakes two slots to the Candidates Tournament 2022 set June 16 to July 7 in Madrid, Spain.
The Candidates is the tournament to determine the challenger of world classical champion Magnus Carlsen.