Wesley So draws again in Candidates Tournament
MANILA, Philippines – It was the first game to finish although it took 41 moves. Wesley So and Shakriyar Mamedyarov, running second in the Candidates Tournament, literally blitzed through their game in less than two hours and drew.
"It is good," said Mamedyarov of his draw against So, born and raised in Cavite but now plays for the United States. Mamedyarov, the world number two, is only a half-point behind the leader Fabiano Caruana, who also plays for the US with 3 rounds left.
So has 4.5 points from one win, 3 losses and 7 draws. He is a notch higher than the tailender Levon Aronian who has 3.5 points. Aronian, whose wife is former Philippine top women's player Arianne Caoili, has inexplicably lost many games as he heads for the worst performance of his career.
Following Caruana and Mamedyarov, is Alexander Grischuk with 6 points, the same as Sergei Karjakin. Grischuk heaved a sigh of relief when Ding Liren of China, like So playing for the first time in the Candidates, failed to beat him and drew instead.
Karjakin, at one point sharing the cellar with So, has been moving up the standings. With one point, he has mathematical chances of contending for first place, as only the winner qualifies for the world championship match. Ding Liren has 5.5 points from 11 draws.
As So tries to ascend in the standings with 3 rounds left, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) has come up with a Search for the Next Wesley So program. The top young prospects meet grandmasters and veterans to find out if these youthful hopes can follow in So's footsteps. The event started on Saturday, March 24.
About 14 years ago, the NCFP had a similar program for So. He was head and shoulders at an early age, making his first Philippine Olympiad team at 13 years old in 2007.
So transferred to the US Chess Federation in 2014 to improve his chances of challenging the world title in 2014. And So, now world number 4, has made it to the Candidates. The Philippines has yet to find the young hope that comes closest to So. – Rappler.com