So whips Robson, grabs solo lead in SPICE
by Ed Andaya
Sunday, 31 October 2010 19:09

Standings after three rounds:

7 points — W. So (RP)
5 — G. Meier (Germany), Z. Almasi (Hungary)
4 — A. Onischuk (US)
1 — E. Perelshteyn (US), R., Robson (US)

LUBBOCK, Texas — Filipino sensation GM Wesley So made short work of GM Ray Robson of the United States to assume the solo lead after three rounds in the 2010 SPICE (Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence) chess championship at the University of Texas here Sunday.

So, ever so eager to add another major international trophy to his vast collection, outduelled Robson in only 27 moves of the Sicilian to clinch his second straight win and grab the solo lead with seven points based on the unique scoring system that gives three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero for a loss.

The 17-year-old Filipino pride, who is hoping to improve his modest fourth-place finish in his debut in this prestigious tournament last year, wisely blunted Robson’s mild threat and finished off the American with a neat endgame startegy.

Robson resigned right after he blundered with 27.Bf8, realizing he stands to lose one of his two rooks on the fourth rank.

“I like my chances now, although there are still seven games left,” said So, who has now won two straight games after failing to record a single win last year.

So, who played white for the second time in three games, sized up the lower-rated but equally-talented Robson during the opening moves of the Sicilian, one of the most popular and best-scoring replies of black to white’s e4.

But So quickly gained a pawn advantage right on the 13th move with a queen move and wisely spoiled Robson’s attacking chances by exchanging the white bishops five moves later.

The win was a fititng follow-up for So, who also won his second-round match against GM Eugene Perelshteyn (ELO 2528) of the United States last Saturday.

He drew with American GM Alexander Onischuk (ELO 2688) in the opening round Friday.

Overall, So opens a two-point lead over top seed GM Zoltan Almasi (ELO 2707) of Hungary and GM George Meier (ELO 2659) of Germany in this 10-round, category-16 tournament organized annually by four-time women’s world champion Susan Polgar.

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