Grandmaster Wesley So dismantled Netherlands’ Jorden van Foreest to barge into the quarterfinals of the Aimchess US Rapid of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Tuesday.
So prevailed after 35 moves of a Nimzo-Indian Defense in the 15th and last round to finish the preliminaries with nine points, enough to secure the No. 5 seeding.
In the quarters, So will face fourth seed Alireza Firouzja of France, who finished the prelims with 9.5 points.
So hopes to do better in the two-day knockout phase after struggling in the prelims where he had six wins and six draws to make up for three defeats.
Two of those setbacks came at the hands of Russian Vladislav Artemiev and world classical titlist Magnus Carlsen, who ended up first and second with 10.5 and 10 points, respectively.
Artemiev will face American Leinier Dominguez Perez, who edged out Dutch Anish Giri via tiebreak to claim the eighth and last quarters seat, while Carlsen tackles No. 7 Polish Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
The other pairing pits No. 3 Levon Aronian of Armenia against No. 6 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.
Whatever happens in this edition, which stakes $100,000 in cash pot including $30,000 to the winner, So have already qualified to the grand finale set Sept. 25.
The Cavite-born American is currently second overall in the Tour following wins in the Skilling Open, Opera Euro Rapid and Chessable Masters. (Kristel Satumbaga)
Xavier bet wins Bicol chessfest
National Master Ivan Travis Cu lost to Jess Calabian in the 7th and final round but still ruled the 1st ITC Bicol Chess Players Team online blitz tournament held Monday at Lichess.org Platform.
The 12-year-old Cu finished tied for first with National Master Carlo Lorena – both with similar 6 points in the event using a five-minute plus three seconds increment time control format and attracted 61 woodpushers.
Cu, however, took the title on the strength of better quotient points.
Before losing to Calabian, Cu, a grade seven student at Xavier School, beat Harold Alianza, Alex Amatonding, Marvid Zuniega, NM Glennen Artuz, Joeven Polsotin and Lorena.
The title win was a fitting sequel to his victory in the National Master Ronald Llavanes Birthday Arena competition on Aug. 24.