So beats Gelfand, vaults to world No. 17 | Inquirer Sports

So beats Gelfand, vaults to world No. 17

/ 12:36 AM January 19, 2014

Round 5 Standings: 40. poi nts—Aronian; 3.5—Giri, So; 3.0—Dominguez, Karjakin, Caruana; 2.5—Harikrishna, Nakamura; 1.5—Van Wely, Rapport; 1.0—Naiditsch, Gelfand

Round 6 Pairings: Giri-Gelfand, Aronian-So, Karjakin-Naiditsch, Dominguez-Nakamura, Van Wely-Rapport and Harikrishna-Caruana

Filipino sensation Grandmaster Wesley So  trounced Israeli GM Boris Gelfand to share second place in the fifth round of the 76th Tata Steel Tournament Masters Category A in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, on Friday (Saturday in Manila).


In notching his second win against three draws, So hiked his total to 3.5 points and kept his distance from pacesetter GM Levon Aronian, who beat GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany after 57 moves of Ruy Lopez Berlin for 4.0 points.


Handling white superbly, So forced Gelfand, who edged world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen for the 8th Tal Memorial title last June, to resign after  29 moves of Sicilian Rossolimo.

Tied with So is local bet GM Anish Giri, who downed GM Pentala Harikrishna of India after 71 moves of Giuoco Piano Opening.

His victory over Gelfand, ranked world No. 8 with an Elo 2777, pushed So’s live Fide rating to a career-best 2742.6, good for No. 17 in the world.

It was a big improvement from So’s 2719 rating at the start of the year.

The 20-year-old So and Aronian, the tournament top seed and world No. 2 (Elo 2803) will tangle in the sixth round Saturday with So playing black.

So and Aronian first met during the last  Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey, where they played to a draw.


Other fifth round results saw GM Fabiano Caruana (2782) of Italy topple GM Loek Van Wely (2678) of the Netherlands;  GM Leinier Dominguez (2754) of Cuba subdue GM Richard Rapport (2691) of Hungary; and GM Hikaru Nakamura (2786) of the US draw with GM Sergey Karjakin (2756) of Russia.

The So-Gelfand game was watched live  through the ChessBomb website by Filipino GMs Mark Paragua, Darwin Laylo, GM-candidate Ronald Dableo, International Master Oliver Dimakiling, Fide Master David Elorta and US master Albert Rivera.

According to Dimakiling, Gelfand made a passive move on the 21st (rook a8 to b8) instead of pawn to c4 which could have given him counter play.

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The games of the tough 12-man event (Elo average 2743) are also being montired by National Chess Federation of the Philippines president Prospero “Butch” Pichay and Fide Asian Zone 3.3 president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino.

TAGS: Boris Gelfand, Chess, Levon Aronian, Oliver Dimakiling, Tata Steel, Wesley So

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