Corus B: GM So halves point in eight round vs Ni Hua

So draws 8th round match
By Jaime Pilapil

Grandmaster Wesley So settled for a quick draw in 17 moves of Rossolimo variation of Sicilian transposed to Maroczy Bind structure against Chinese GM Ni Hua in the eight round of the Group B of the 72nd Corus International Chess Championship held in Wijk Aan Zee, the Netherlands.

Today is rest day, giving the Filipino chess phenom the needed rest after five consecutive draws in the first five games before earning back to back wins in rounds six and seven.

So shares 2nd to 3rd places with Ni after seven rounds, trailing by 1.5 points the pacesetting Duth GM Anish Giri.

The Filipino number one woodpusher will face GM Emil Sutovsky (ELO 2657) of Israel in the eight round. This will be the first time the two will face each other.

So scored back to back wins against GM Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania and Dutch GM Dimitri Reinderman in their fifth and sixth round matches, respectively.

The 16-year-old Filipino will handle black pieces against the 32-year-old Israeli who is described in chess community as “uncompromising player” with his innovative style of play.

Sutovsky notable wins were against current world’s number one player Magnus Carlsen in 2003. Sutovsky loves to play Sicilian and Caro-Kann openings when playing white pieces.

So needs to win at least three out of the remaining five games to catch up with Giri who now has 6.5 points.

Giri placed second to So in the previous Corus C edition, where the Filipino emerged as champion.

Sutovsky occupies the ninth place with 3.5 points after eight rounds. He won against Reinderman and David Howell of England. He lost to Giri, Ni and Tomi Nyback, Finland’s number one player.

So’s remaning opponents aside from Giri are Nyback in the 10th round, Howell in the 12th, and 19-year-old Slovenian female GM Anna Muzychuk in the 13th and last round. -30-

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