Hammer nails So in 2nd rd match of SPICE Cup

By Jaime Pilapil

Filipino teen chess wizard GM Wesley So was hammered in the 2nd round of the double-round robin SPICE CUP 2009 currently being held at Texas Tech University.

Norway’s GM Jon Ludvig Hammer nailed the Filipino chess wizard in 43 moves of Slav Defense.

Sixteen-year-old So (Elo 2644) committed a blunder on the 25 move, giving the 19-year-old Hammer (Elo 2585) to register his first win in the double round robin six-man “Grandmaster Invitational” edition of this event under the tutelage of GM Susan Pulgar.

So has now a loss and a draw going to the third round against 2008 SPICE Cup co-champion and US GM Varuzhan Akobian, 26 (Elo 2636). So drew his first round match against GM Yuriy Kuzubov, 19, (Elo 2631), a 19-year-old champion from Ukraine.

Playing black, So had a good position after the opening but gave up the control of the center. On the 31st move, So sacrificed a knight in exchange for a pawn to sustain an attack, but to no avail.

The Filipino resigned after realizing that he could not prevent Hammer’s attacking queen ably supported by a rook.

At one time, So forced the Norwagian into time trouble but the latter bounced back making the Filipino pawn pieces static.

The Filipino’s next opponent, American Akobian, is not only a fan favorite in the tournament but also a strong player, having been a two-time Olympic bronze medalist.
Hammer/So : Slav Defense 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Nb6 8.Ne3 e6 a5 Nbd5 10.Nxf5 exf5 11.a6 b612.g3 Bb4 13.Bd2 O-O 14.Bg2 Qe7 5.O-O Rac8 16.Nxd5 Nxd517.e3 Rfd8 18.Bxb4 Nxb4 19.Qb3 c5 20.dxc5 Qxc5 21.Rfd1 g6 22.Bb7 Rxd1+ 23.Qxd1 Rc7 24.Qd8+ Kg7 25.Rd1 h5 26.Rd6 Qc1+ 27.Rd1 Qc4 28.Rd6 Qc1+ 29.Kg2 Nc2 30.Qf6+ Kh7 31.Rd8 Nxe3+ 32.fxe3 Rc2+ 33.Kh3 Qf1+ 34.Kh4 Qc4+ 35.Rd4 Rxh2+ 36.Kg5 Qc7 37.Qd6 f6+ 38.Kxf6 Qg7+ 39.Ke6 Qg8+ 40.Kd7 Rc2 41.Qe7+ Kh6 42.Rd6 Rc5 43.Bc6 1-0

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