Wesley So draws with pacesetter Abdusattorov, Giri keeps 2nd spot

Roy Luarca
Wesley So draws with pacesetter Abdusattorov, Giri keeps 2nd spot

CONTENDERS. Wesley So and Nodirbek Abdusattorov look to close out strong.


The leaderboard stays untouched with one round to go as Wesley So and world champion Magnus Carlsen remain tied for third behind Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Anish Giri

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So and Nodirbek Abdusattorov agreed to a draw while Anish Giri and Magnus Carlsen also split the point with their opponents on Saturday, January 28 (Sunday, January 29, Philippine time), leaving the leaderboard of the 2023 Tata Steel Masters untouched with one round to go.

Abdusattorov kept the top spot with 8.0 points, followed by Giri, who drew with Jorden van Foreest with 7.5 points after 12 rounds of the all-super Grandmaster event in Wijk aan Zee.

The Filipino-born So, the 2017 edition champion, shared 7 points with Carlsen, the defending champion and eight-time winner who split the point with Indian hope R. Praggnanandhaa.

As things stand, the final placings will be determined by the results of the 13th and final round set Sunday with Abdusattorov pitted against 2021 Tata Masters champion Jorden van Foreest, and Giri pitted against German Richard Rapport.

So, the 2022 Global Championship winner, will be facing Praggnanandhaa while Carlsen will be battling Arjun Erigaisi, both in a must-win situation to entertain any hopes of catching up with Abdusattorov and Giri.

Abdusattorov needs only a draw with Van Foreest to secure the title, while Giri must prevail over Rapport to catch up with the Uzbek prodigy.

Other 12th round matches saw Giri draw with Van Foreest, Rapport draw with world No. 2 Ding Liren of China, American No. 1 Fabiano Caruana draw with Vincent Keymer, and Team USA member Levon Aronian draw with Gukesh D of India.

Aronian, a four-time winner of the event hailed as the Wimbledon of Chess, Caruana and Rapport were bunched at 6.5 points.

Iranian No.1 Parkham Maghsoodloo delivered the lone win in the round at the expense of Erigaisi to climb to 6.0 points.

Other 13th round pairings pit Aronian against Maghsoodloo, Keymer against Gukesh, and Caruana against Liren. –

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