So falters against Russian GM


11:42 PM August 15th, 2013

August 15th, 2013 11:42 PM

A weak king move in the endgame allowed Russian Grandmaster Evgeny Tomashevsky to pull the rug from under Wesley So on Wednesday (early Thursday in Manila) and send the Filipino GM on the brink of elimination in the 2013 World Chess Cup in Tromso, Norway.

Slightly ahead on material—two rooks and a knight against a rook, a bishop and a knight—despite handling black, So will be forced to give up a rook for the Russian’s queening e-pawn, prompting him to resign after 51 moves of a Gruenfeld Defense (Prins variation).

Tomashevsky took a 1-0 lead in their two-game second-round duel and now needs only a draw in Game 2 set Thursday to oust So and advance to the third round.

The 19-year-old So, champion of last month’s Universiade Games, will try to bounce back when he plays white against the 2009 European champion.

If So wins, a rapid playoff will break the tie on Saturday.

In the 2011 World Cup held in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, So also reached the second round where he bowed to then-top seed GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the blitz tiebreak.

Second seed Italian GM Fabiano Caruna, No. 4 Russian GM Alexander Grischuk, No. 6 American GM Hikaru Nakamura, No. 8 American GM Gata Kamsky and No. 10 Cuban GM Leinier also took 1-0 leads over their second-round opponents.

Top seed Armenian GM Levon Aronian, however, was held to a draw by Russian GM Igor Lysyj and so did third seed Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik by countryman GM Mikhail Kobalia. Roy Luarca

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