So beats US chess phenom at the Millionaire’s open | Inquirer Sports

So beats US chess phenom at the Millionaire’s open

/ 04:05 AM October 13, 2014

Wesley So (left) plays the white pieces against Jeffrey Xiong of the US in the fourth round of the Millionaire's chess tournament at Planet Hollywood & Casino. PHOTO BY ERIC LEUNG

Wesley So (left) plays the white pieces against Jeffrey Xiong of the US in the fourth round of the Millionaire’s chess tournament at Planet Hollywood & Casino. PHOTO BY ERIC LEUNG

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Grandmaster Wesley So took the measure of Jeffrey Xiong of the United States, beating the 13-year-old American chess phenomenon in the fourth round of the Millionaire’s Chess Open at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino Friday, October 10.

Yangyi Yu of China is showing the way with four points, and So is tied for second to sixth places, half a point behind, in the hectic four-day tournament that offers $100,000 to the champion.

Exploiting Xiong’s relative inexperience, the 21-year-old So steered the Indian Game into unfamiliar lines to win after 44 moves.

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“Wesley has more experience, so we tried to capitalize on that,” said Paul Truong, who coaches the Webster University NCAA champion team with wife, Susan Polgar, a former women’s world champion.

Sharing second to sixth places with So is Webster teammate Roby Robson, American Alexander Lenderman, Daniel Naroditsky, also of the US, and Ecuadoran Carlos Matamoros, who is now based in the US.

With the black pieces, So faces Lenderman in the pivotal fifth round Saturday that is expected to untangle the logjam at the top of the $1-million tournament, the richest ever in chess history.

The tournament calls for a seven-round Swiss system after which the top four players advance to the finals on Monday. The finalists play knockout matches and the winner emerges champion in the Open section.

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“The goal is to get there (the finals)” said Truong. ‘We’ll take it from there in terms of strategy. ”

Three other Filipino grandmasters competing now have slim chances of qualifying for the finals with Julio Sadorra with three points and Regelio Barcenilla and Ricardo de Guzman at two points each.

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The youngest of 137 tournament participants, Xiong drew raves by winning his first three games, including victories over two high-rated grandmasters.

“This boy and surely will earn his grandmaster’s norm very soon,” said Truong of Xiong, who is an international master.

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Wesley So to lead Webster team in big-purse chess tournament

TAGS: championship chess, Paul Truong, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Roby Robson, Susan Polgar, Webster University, Wesley So, Yangyi Yu

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