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So advances to semifinals at Millionaire Chess Open

/ 02:49 AM October 14, 2014
Wesley So plays the white pieces against  fellow grandmasterTimur Gareev of the United States in the seventh round of the Millionaire Chess Open at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. PHOTO BY PAUL TRUONG.

Wesley So plays the white pieces against fellow grandmasterTimur Gareev of the United States in the seventh round of the Millionaire Chess Open at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. PHOTO BY PAUL TRUONG.

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Chess grandmaster Wesley So outplayed Gareev Timur of the United States in the seventh round Sunday, October 12, to qualify outright for the semifinals of the rich Millionaire Chess Open at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

With the victory that pushed the Filipino into a share of the lead with Webster University teammate Roby Robson, each with six points, So also jumped into the top 10 of the world’s highest-rated grandmasters.

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The 21-year-old So now has a live rating of 2762, a personal best, after gaining 7.0 rating points from 5 wins and 2 draws. He surpassed former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, who has a 2760 rating.

In the semifinals Monday, So will face Chinese GM Jianchao Zhou while Robson tangles with another Chinese grandmaster Yangyi Yu.

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The Chinese prevailed over their opponents in knockout games to break a four-way tie for the remaining two slots and set up the China versus Webster University semifinals.

Grandmaster Wesley So with coach Susan Polgar after winning his seventh round game in the Millionaire Open in Las Vegas. So gains a seat in the semifinals and moves up to No.10 in the world, his highest ever. PHOTO BY PAUL TRUONG

Grandmaster Wesley So with coach Susan Polgar after winning his seventh round game in the Millionaire Open in Las Vegas. So gains a seat in the semifinals and moves up to No.10 in the world, his highest ever. PHOTO BY PAUL TRUONG

So, the top seed, is picked as the favorite in the $1-million tournament that offers $100,00 to the champion, but his coach, Paul Truong, dismisses the talk as speculation.

“I would not put any weight behind any of these predictions,” Truong said. ” In such a short format, anything can happen. One mistake can cost any player the big prize.

” We are not worried about winning. We put more emphasis on making good and sound moves.”

The march of the two Webster University players into the next round accomplished Truong’s and his fellow coach Susan Polgar’s goal of taking the tournament one step at a time — and it will be no holds-barred in the finals.

Truong and Polgar were generally credited with So’s rise in the world standing, but they have also received flak for “influencing” the Filipino’s request to transfer to the U.S. chess federation from the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).

So will sit out until August next year before he can compete in official tournaments of FIDE or the international chess federation, although he can accumulate live rating points with a strong performance, such as this tournament.

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So beats US chess phenom at the Millionaire’s open

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

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TAGS: championship chess, chess tournaments, Fide, Gareev Timur, Jianchao Zhou, Millionaire Chess Open, National Chess Federation of the Philippines NCFP, Paul Truong, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Roby Robson, Susan Polgar, Vladimir Kramnik, Wesley So, Yangyi Yu
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