Chess: So draws Almasi for 3rd-4th place in US SPICE Cup finals
Posted by admin2 on Nov 8th, 2010
By US News Agency / Asian

The Philippines’ GM Wesley So agreed to a draw with top seed GM Zoltan Almasi of Hungary and finished in a two-way tie for third to fourth places at the end of the 2010 SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) Group A tournament at the Texas Tech University here Monday.

So, who played white, and Almasi tried to outwit each other in a double-edged Four Knights Kingside Fianchetto variation of the English opening before sharing the point in 41 moves.

The 17-year-old Filipino champion, who is set to make his debut in the Asian Games chess competition in Guangzhou, China later this week, enjoyed a slight initiative against the higher-rated Almasi but could not exploit this advantage in the endgame.

When the game was drawn, both So and Almasi had a queen, same-colored bishop and three pawns each.

It was the second straight draw for So and Almasi, who also battled to a marathon, 105-move draw in their first meeting last week.

“It was a draw,” commented GM John Paul Gomez, a teammate of So in the coming Asian Games. “Wesley had a very slight edge that was, however, very difficult to exploit against a strong player like Almasi.

GM Alexander Onischuk of the United States outduelled GM Ray Robson in a decisive final-round encounter to capture the title for the second time in three years.

Onischuk, finished with a 10-round total of 18 points in this six-player, category 16 tournament which adopted the unique scoring system which gives three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.

He finished a full point ahead of erstwhile leader GM Georg Meier, who was held to a draw by GM Eugene Perelshteyn of the United States.

Almasi and So shared third to fourth places with 14 points.

Almasi, the highest-rated player here with an ELO of 2707, edged So for third place overall with higher tiebreak score.

The fourth-place finish matched So’s result in the same tournament last year.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero Pichay congratulated So for his respectable showing in the tough, double-round tournament where he posted a winning record.

“It’s a good exposure for Wesley, especially with only a few days before the Asian Games in Guangzhou,” said Pichay, who is fully supporting So’s international campaign.


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