Jan. 23, 2011
3rd straight win for So
By Jaime Pilapil
Grandmaster Wesley So (ELO 2673) of the Philippines nailed his third straight win in the highly-prestigious 73rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament being held in The Netherlands.
So, handling white pieces, clobbered GM David Navara of Czech Republic (ELO 2708) in 34 moves of Grunfeld Defense midway to the 14-man double-round robin Ground B event where the average ELO rating of the participants is 2659.
Already with five points, the 17-year-old Pinoy chess wizard is sharing the lead with two others, namely GM Luke McShane (ELO2664) of England and GM Zahar Efimenko (ELO2701) of Ukraine.
So was able to catch up with erstwhile leader McShane who got stuck with 5 points after losing to Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. While Efimenko drew his last game with Li Chao of China.
In the eight round, So goes up against GM Wouter Spoelman (ELO 2547) of the host country.
So is expected to win against Spoelman who incidentally is the favorite whipping boy in the tournament.
Among the earlier victims of So were GM Surya Ganguly (ELO2651) of India and GM Laurent Fressinet (ELO27107) of France.
Standings after Rd. 8: 5 pts. – Wesley So (Philippines), Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine), Luke McShane (England); 4 1/2 pts. – Gabriel Sargissian (Armenia); 4pts. Radek Wojtaszek (Poland); 3 ½ pts. – Li. Chao (China), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam), David Navara (Czech), Vlad Tkachiev (France); 3 pts. – Laurent Fressinet (France); 2 ½ pts. – Surya Ganguly (India); 2 pts. – Jon Ludvig Hammer (Norway), Friso Nijboer (Netherlands), Wouter Spoelman (Netherlands).