Wesley So draw with Karjakin pushes Caruana into the solo lead

Wesley So draw with Karjakin pushes Caruana into the solo lead
So remains at 7th place with one win, 3 losses and 7 draws

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So drew with Sergey Karjakin, pushing the latter to second place and coupled with a victory by Fabiano Caruana against Levon Aronian, pulled Caruana to the lead at the 13th and penultimate round of the Candidates Tournament in Berlin Monday, March 26.

The 39-move draw in a Nimzo-Indian was quiet and had none of the underlying tension in So’s 6 draws. But So denied that he had any help in preparing for the battle against Karjakin in response to a question in the presscon that an “online American friend” may have helped him.

“No, I didn’t have any friends to help me for this game. I didn’t really consult with anybody” said So, adding “mostly I was preparing on my own. ” The journalist hinted that since Caruana and So are Americans perhaps So was assisted in his draw. Karjakin settled matters by saying that he intended “to play solidly.”

Caruana has 8 points followed by Karjakin and Shakriyar Mamedyarov, with 7.5 points. At 4th place is Ding Liren with 7 points. So has 4.5 points, with one win, 3 losses and 7 draws for 7th place. Aronian is 8th and last with 4 points.

In Tuesday’s final round, Caruana, Karjakin and Mamedyarov can win the Candidates Tournament, which selects the challenger to world champion Magnus Carlsen. Ding has mathematical chances if he upsets Karjakin.

Caruana faces Grischuk who lost to Mamedyarov. Mamedyarov battles Kramnik. So meets Aronian.

Even as the tournament went badly for So, he managed to retain his sense of humor in the press conference. Asked by moderator Anastasia Karlovich if there was any line he had missed as he was playing white, So replied :”It’s always a question but I always get something with white I would be world champion by now.” Karlovich laughed and Karjakin smiled.

“Clearly, we are working on that solution,” added So. “Maybe next game?”, asked Karlovich. “Yeah, yeah,” said So. “We’ll get there.”

Round 13 results: Caruana 1-0 Aronian, Mamedyarov 1-0 Grischuk, Wesley So 0.5-0.5 Karjakin, Ding Liren 0.5-0.5 Kramnik.

Standings after Round 13: Caruana 8.0; Mamedyarov, Karjakin 7.5; Ding Liren 7.0; Grischuk 6.5; Kramnik 6.0; Wesley So 5.5; Aronian 4.0 One round to go.

Round (Final) 14 pairings:  Karjakin-Ding Liren, Grischuk-Caruana, Kramnik-Mamedyarov, Aronian-Wesley So. – Rappler.com

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