So draws with Carlsen, stays at joint fourth
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So agreed to a quick 28-move draw with reigning world champion Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen of Norway in a quiet English duel to stay stranded at No. 4 in the 12th and penultimate round of the Tata Steel Chess Masters in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands Saturday night.

It was the fourth-seeded So’s 11th straight standoff since he grounded third pick Dutch GM Anish Giri in the opening round.

The standoff has long dashed So’s hopes of his first title in the annual tournament, considered as the Wimbledon of chess, and matching last year’s effort when he finished tied for second with three others and half a point behind Carlsen, the eventual winner.

With a round to go, So shared No. 4 with Giri with 6.5 points apiece, a clear two points behind Carlsen with 8.5 points.

GM Fabiano Caruana, who is expected to make the US team seeing action in this year’s World Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, dismantled Dutch GM Loek Van Wely’s Sicilian Defense in 37 moves to remain half a point behind Carlsen with eight points.

Chinese GM Ding Liren downed Ukrainian Pavel Eljanov in 38 moves of a Queen’s Indian to remain at No. 3 with 7.5 points.

So also barely hung on to his place in the world top 10 with a live rating of 2773.4 after former World champion and challenger GM Vishwanathan Anand of India slid from No. 9 to No. 11 with 2771 following a shock defeat to lowly rated French GM Adrien Demuth in the Gibraltar Masters in England.           

ADRIEN DEMUTH ANISH GIRI CARLSEN DING LIREN FABIANO CARUANA GIBRALTAR MASTERS GRANDMASTER MAGNUS CARLSEN OF NORWAY LOEK VAN WELY NBSP NETHERLANDS SATURDAY SICILIAN DEFENSE
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