Wesley So has vital role in world chess championship qualifier
Round 12 results: Karjakin 1-0 Caruana, Mamedyarov 0-1 Ding Liren, Grischuk 0.5-0.5 Aronian, Kramnik 0.5-0.5 Wesley So.
Standings after Round 12: Karjakin and Caruana lead with 7/12. Mamedyarov, Ding Liren, Grischuk 6.5. Kramnik 5.5. Wesley So 5. Aronian 4. Two rounds to go.
Round 13 pairings: Mamedyarov - Grischuk, Ding Liren - Kramnik, So Wesley - Karjakin, Caruana - Aronian.
MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So is out of the running for the world championship but on Monday's (March 26) 13th and penultimate round of the Candidates Tournament, he can determine if Sergey Karjakin will challenge for the world title again.
Karjakin defeated the leader, Fabiano Caruana, to join the latter for the lead in Saturday's 12th round. They both have 7 points. Breathing down their necks a half-point behind are Ding Liren of China, Shakriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk.
So has 5 points, second to the last in the standings above Levon Aronian at 4 points, the cellar-dweller.
Karjakin dealt So one of his 3 losses in the first round this tournament of 8 grandmasters which will determine who will challenge world chess champion Magnus Carlsen.
They meet again in Round 13 and if So bows again to Karjakin, this may shift the solo lead of this tournament the Russian.
So tangles with Aronian in the 14th and final round.
After Round 6, So and Karjakin were in the cellar. After beating So, Karjakin slowly made his way to the top .
So drew with his boyhood idol Kramnik in a 42-move Queen's Gambit where the former world champion stunned his Philippine-born foe with a novel idea and then sacrificed a piece on the 18th move to advance two passed pawns on the kingside .
Producing a series of what Kramnik described as "only moves" So hung on to snuff out all immediate threats. On move 30 So returned the extra piece and then on the 34th move with Bc2 attacking a pawn and threatening to post itself on a central square, So equalized.
"I want to say it was an achievement for me getting a lost position out of the opening," said So after the game. "At some point it was really bad," added Kramnik. "You were playing best moves up to some point." "Really? So I am not too bad after all?". "No, no", smiled Kramnik.
A bit later, So said; " Obviously I dodged a bullet today. The old saying goes true: with white you get nothing, and then with black you suffer, always short of equality."
According to the website theweekinchess.com: "In the event of a tie, the following tie breaks are used, in order: Results in the games between the tied players; The most number of wins; Sonneborn–Berger score. If all these are level (which I highly doubt is possible right now) then there will be rapid and blitz games."