So settles for draw with Chinese GM


Posted at Feb 26 2013 02:02 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2013 10:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grand Master (GM) Wesley So was held to a draw by Chinese GM Yu Yangyi but remains tied for the top spot after the eighth round of the 28th Reykjavik Open Chess Championships at the Harpa concert hall in Iceland on Tuesday.

So and Yu agreed to halve the point after 22 moves of the Ruy Lopez Opening.

The 19-year-old So raised his tournament total to 6.5 points and moved to a six-way tie for first place.

Bunched with So at the top of the leaderboard are GMs Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine, Marcin Dziuba and Grzegorz Gajewski of Poland and Ding Liren of China, as well as and International Master (IM) Wei Yi, also of China.

Eljanov split the points with Gajewski after 35 moves of the English Opening in their eighth round match-up, while Dziuba toppled GM Ivan Sokolov of the Netherlands after 68 moves of the Queens Gambit Accepted.

Ding routed GM Alexander Ipatov of Turkey after 31 moves of King’s Indian defense, while Wei upset GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France after 33 moves of the Sicilian Defense, Rossolimo variation.

In the crucial ninth round, So will face Dziumba while Ding is set to play Eljanov. Gajewski, meanwhile, will take on Wei.

The Reykjavik Open offers a prize fund of 15,000 euros, with the winner taking 5,000 euros and the runner-up getting 2,000 euros.

So’s campaign is backed by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and serves as a build-up to the 2013 World Chess Cup in Norway on August. -- By Marlon Bernardino