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So wrests solo lead, rips Megaranto

MANILA, Philippines - Grandmaster Wesley So tripped GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia in their Ruy Lopez game to seize the solo lead in the fifth round of the Asian Chess Championships at the Subic Exhibition and Convention Center in Subic last night.

So used his familiarity with the Marshall variation of the Spanish opening to outwit Megaranto and gain the solo lead with 4.5 points halfway through the tournament. (Related story on A-34)

Megaranto tried to confuse So with the ultra-sharp variation of the ancient chess opening named after a Spanish monk but the 16-year-old Filipino champion came up with precise moves to prevail in a tensely-fought endgame.

“He (Megaranto) never used it against me, so he experimented,” said So, who pointed to Megaranto’s mistake on the 17th move where he sacrificed a knight for two pawns instead of developing his rook.

GMs Li Chao and Ni Hua of China and Narayanan Gopal of India stayed within striking distance with four points.

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