So seizes lead in Capablanca Memorial chess

By Joey Villar, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 11 2014 06:14 PM | Updated as of May 12 2014 02:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino chess Grandmaster Wesley So outplayed Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo-Pons in 42 moves of Ruy Lopez-Berlin to seize the solo lead after two rounds of the Capablanca Memorial 2014 at the Habana Riviera Hotel in La Havana, Cuba yesterday.

Seeded third in this six-man double-round robin tournament held in memory of former Cuban champion Jose Raoul Capablanca, So, 20, turned what looked like a drawish opposite bishop ending into a win after isolating the defenseless kingside pawns of Vallejo-Pons.

The end came when Vallejo-Pons resigned after So was all set to capture the two isolated pawns.

The win catapulted So from a six-way logjam at the helm to the solo lead with 1.5 points in two rounds, half a point ahead of Bruzon, top seed Leinier Domiguez Perez of Cuba, second pick Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Zoltan Almasi of Hungary.

Bruzon and Ivanchuk split the point and so were Almasi and Dominguez-Perez.

It came a day after the Wesbter U standout blew a pawn advantage and settled for a marathon 64-move draw with Cuban GM Lazaro Batista Bruzon in their razor-sharp Nimzo-Indian encounter in the opening round.