Standings after 10 rounds:
8 points — L. Aronian (Armenia)
6 — A. Giri (Netherlands), S. Karjakin (Russia)
5.5 — W. So (Philippines), P. Harikrishna (India), F. Caruana (Italy), L. Dominguez (Cuba)
4.5 — H. Nakamura (United States)
4 — L. Van Wely (Netherlands)
3.5 — R. Rapport (Hungary), B. Gelfand (Israel)
2.5 — A. Naiditsch (Germany)
Pairings of 11th round: (white player first):
So-Caruana; Nakamura-Giri; Naiditshc-Rapport; Gelfand-Harikrishna; Aronian-Van Wely; Karjakin-Dominguez.
WIJK AAN ZEE, Netherlands — On a night he was finally honored back home for his historic gold medal in the Kazan Universiade GM Wesley So of the Philippines settled for a peaceful draw with GM Pentala Harikrishna of India in the 10th and penultimate round of the 76th Tata Steel chess championship here Saturday.
So, who handled the disadvantageous black pieces, and Harikrishna agreed to a draw by repetition of moves in only 31 moves of the Ruy Lopez Berlin as both players appeared conserving their energy going into Sunday’s final round.
The final position shows Harikrishna and So with a rook, a bishop and six pawns.
The draw enabled the 20-year-old Filipino champion to vault into a share of fourth to seventh places with Harikrishna, GM Fabiano Caruana of Italy and GM Lenier Dominguez of Cuba with 5.5 points.
The four players are two and a half points behind top seed GM Levon Aronian of Armenia and two points behind GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands and GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia.
“Regardless of the outcome of his final-round match, I think it’s a great tournament for Wesley. He did very well against top-caliber players,” said Asian Zone 3.3 president Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Awards Night 2014 at the Manila Hotel last Saturday.
“We need more talented young players like Wesley in the future. And young Alekhine Nouri, another PSA awardee, could be one of them,” added Tolentino, also the secretary-general of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
(So was formally honored as the ‘Chess Player of the Year” by the PSA for his achievement in the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia in July 2013.)
Aronian outwitted Dominguez to virtually capture the title with a two-point lead with only one round remaining.
Aronian, who is best remembered by Filipino chess fans as the boyfriend of Filipina-Australian player Arianne Caoili, has a 10-round total of eight points on six wins and four draws.
His final-round opponent is GM Loek van Wely of the Netherlands.
Giri and Karjakin battled to a draw to keep their share of second to third places with six points.
Giri plays GM Hikaru Nakamura of the United States while Caruana battles Dominguez in other crucial final-round matches.