So draws anew; Ivanchuk on top

By Joey Villar, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 30 2014 08:52 AM | Updated as of Jun 30 2014 04:52 PM

MANILA, Philippines - GM Wesley So settled for a second straight draw, this time with American GM Irina Krush in 80 moves of an English Opening to virtually yield the crown to Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk in the penultimate round of the ninth Edmonton International in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada yesterday.

So, who failed to translate a pawn advantage to victory against Canadian FIDE Master Vladmir Pechenkin in the previous round, also fell short against the aggressive Krush for another draw for 6.5 points.

Ivanchuk moved closer to the crown as he beat Canadian IM Richard Wang to hike his output to 7.5 points.

So, 20, will need to beat Canadian FM Dan Hassael and hope Ivanchuk, a former World Challenger, drops his match to American GM Samuel Shankland to tie for first.

The back-to-back draws also dropped So one rung from No. 15 in the live ratings. The Webster U standout reached as high as No. 12 in the world when he seized the lead midway through the tournament.