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Sports

So not so lucky after Good Friday win

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Call it a Black Saturday for Grandmaster Wesley So.

Off to a strong start following two straight victories, So blew away what appeared like an easy victory and lost a heartbreaking 41-move Slav duel with teenage phenom GM Samuel Sevian to drop out of the lead after three rounds of the US Chess Championships in Saint Louis, Missouri yesterday.

The 21-year-old So, seeing action for the first time here since defecting to the US, unleashed a vicious kingside attack by giving up his bishop for four pawns while exposing Sevian’s king for more onslaught.

But So, who won against GM Daniel Naroditsky Thursday and GM Samuel Shankland Friday, missed the winning line, allowing the devious Sevian to snatch the win.

When the smoke of their tactical battle dissipated, So was left with harmless rooks and a slow passed pawn against Sevian’s consolidated rook, bishop and pair of galloping knights aimed at the Cavite native’s vulnerable king.

The devastating defeat shoved So out of the lead and into solo third with two points, half a point behind top seed GM Hikaru Nakamura and former Webster U teammate GM Ray Robson with 2.5 points.

BLACK SATURDAY

BUT SO

CHESS CHAMPIONSHIPS

DANIEL NARODITSKY THURSDAY

GRANDMASTER WESLEY SO

HIKARU NAKAMURA

RAY ROBSON

SAINT LOUIS

SAMUEL SEVIAN

SAMUEL SHANKLAND FRIDAY

SEVIAN

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