MANILA, Philippines – Philippine-born Wesley So got waylaid by Russian Daniil Dubov in the sixth round and tumbled to a share of 3rd spot with world champion Magnus Carlsen in the Lindores Abbey Chess Challenge on Wednesday, May 20.
Following draws with Russian Sergey Karjakin in the fifth round, Iranian Alireza Firouzja in the seventh and Carlsen in the eighth, So posted 4.5 points with Carlsen as they trailed 5.5 pointers Hikaru Nakamura and Karjakin going to Thursday’s last 3 rounds of the preliminary stage.
In a rare mediocre performance, the Norwegian favorite yielded to Chinese Yu Yangyi in Round 5 and Polish Jan-Kryysztof Duda in Round 7. Carlsen downed Chinese Wei Yi in Round 6.
Hikamura, So’s fellow Team USA stalwart, beat Armenian Levon Aronian in the fifth then drew with Chinese Ding Liren, Russian Alexander Grischuk and Yu, respectively, to become the only unbeaten player among 12 Super Grandmasters entered in the round-robin event serving as second leg of the $1 million Magnus Carlsen Tour.
After forging a truce with So, Karjakin also drew with Grischuk in Round 6 and Dubov in Round 7, before disposing of Firouzja to catch up with Nakamura, who is touted for his rapid, blitz and bullet prowess.
Bunched at 4.0 points were Grischuk, Yu, Aronian and Ding. Dubov and Duda were tied at 3.5, while Firouzja was at 3.0, a point ahead of cellar-dweller Wei.
The 3 lowest scorers after 11 rounds will bow out, with the rest advancing to the knockout quarterfinals.
Round 9 will be on Thursday with So taking on Aronian, Yu battling Grischuk, Wei facing Nakamura, Carlsen battling Karjakin and Dubov clashing with Firouzja.
The 10th and 11th rounds will be held on the same day.
The $150,000 tournament takes a break Friday. – Rappler.com
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