2009 SPICE Cup Rd 3: So halves point with American GM

By Jaime Pilapil

Filipino teen Grandmaster Wesley So settled for a draw with American GM Varuzhan Akobian and remained in contention going to the fourth round of the six-man double-round robin grandmaster invitational category of 2009 SPICE Cup crown being held at Texas Tech University.

So will square off with Russian junior champion and 19-year-old GM Dmitry Andreikin (2659) who also drew his third round assignment with Azerbaijan GM Rauf Mamedov.

In the first round, So (2644) halved the point with Ukrainian GM Yuriy Kuzubov (2631). He was nailed in the second round by Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer (2585).

But the most exciting game in round four was the match between Kuzubov and Hammer with the former winning in 73 moves of Gruenfeld Defense.

Kuzubov, playing white, forced Hammer to resign because the latter could not prevent the promotion of his pawn.

Interestingly, Hammer introduced a novelty on move 14 by placing his pawn on f5 which gave a big advantage. Not to be left out, Kuzubov also came out with a novelty by pushing further his pawn on d6, which became the center of maneuvers in the ensuing moves.

However, Hammer committed some inaccurate moves in the middle game and towards the end game due to time pressure. -30-

Round 4
So – Mamedov
Kuzubov – Andreikin
Hammer – Akobian

Standings after round 3
Kuzubov, Andreikin 2
Mamedov, Hammer 1.5
So, Akobian 1

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