So needs full point vs Cuban GM in Round 8
Round 7 Standings: 5.5 points—Aronian; 4.5—Giri, Karjakin; 4.0—So, Caruana, Dominguez; 3,0—Harikrishna, Van Wely, Rapport, Nakamura; 2-0—Gelfand; 1.5—Naiditsch. Round 8 pairings Karjakin-Gelfand, Dominguez-So, Van Wely-Naiditsch, Harikrishna-Nakamura, Caruana-Rapport
FilIpino Grandmaster Wesley So, unable to exploit a slight edge, settled for a draw with Russian GM Sergey Karjakin in the seventh round Sunday (Monday in Manila) and kept his share of fourth place in the Tata Steel Tournament Masters in Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
A careless 24th move (Bxg2) by Karjakin enabled So (Elo 2719), who played white, to gain quality advantage with his two rooks, a black bishop and five pawns against the Russian’s rook, two knights and five pawns.
The higher-rated Karjakin (Elo 2759), however, applied pressure on So’s f2 pawn, eventually forcing the Webster University ace to give up quality advantage after exchanging pieces.
The draw, which came after 51 moves of a Queen’s Indian Defense, raised So’s total to 4.0 points, half a point behind Karjakin and Dutch GM Anish Giri (2734).
Top seed Armenian GM Levon Aronian (2812), who conquered So in the sixth round, kept the solo lead at 5.5 points following a draw with Israeli GM Boris Gelfand (2777).
Giri, the youngest participant in the 12-man Category A (average Elo 2743) tournament at 19, drew with Italian GM Fabiano Caruana.
The single-round robin event takes a break Monday, resuming with the eighth round Tuesday night.
Though he will be handling black, So is expected to go all-out for a win against Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez (2754), who drew with German GM Arkadij Naiditsch (2718), and stay in the hunt for the crown.