By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – Wesley So ended the US Chess Championships with flourish, beating grandmaster Keyden Troff in the final round while Hikaru Nakamura and Ray Robson maintained their 1-2 finish with similar impressive wins in Saint Louis.
So prevailed over the 16-year-old Troff in 42 moves for his second straight victory following a 9th round forfeit, while the issues that distracted him in the tournament went full-blown into the open, with his mother, Lenny So, granting a no-holds-barred interview with a chess website.
The 27-year-old Nakamura, the No. 3 in the world, prevailed over Alexander Onischuk and remained as the only unbeaten player in the 12-man tournament.
He captured the $45,000 first prize, finishing the tournament with eight points while Robson, playing surprisingly strong, beat favorite whipping boy Timur Gareev, to finish with 7.5 points and won $30,000.
So managed to finish third with 6.5 points, despite suffering four loses, including the 9th round forfeit to Varuzhan Akobian – his most loses in a tournament.
The 21-year-old won $20,000 while Onishuck was fourth and won $15,000. Akobian and defending champion Gata Gamsky shared fifth and sixth, each with 5.5 points, winning $11,000 each.
But while the on-board results were pretty much expected, the off-the-board drama was not.
After a long silence, Lenny So fired some well-directed shots at former actress Lotis Key, who has provided Wesley a home in Minnesota after he left Webster University to turn full-time chess professional.
In an interview with chessdom.com, Lenny blamed Key for the family’s estrangement with their son and the intense struggle for Wesley’s loyalty.
For the whole interview, visit :