Victory remains elusive for Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So in the 73rd Tata Steel-Corus Group B chess championships, as once more he could only settle for a draw, his fourth straight, against Ukrainian GM Zahar Efimenko on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old So, playing the white pieces, kept the higher-rated Ukrainian (ELO 2701) on the edge of his seat in their four-hour-long match but failed to find the advantage that could have earned him his first win.
So, who is aiming to improve his fourth-place finish in the same group last year, agreed to a draw with Efirmenko after 46 moves of the Catalan in the fourth round at the De Moriaan Community Center Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.
So and Efimenko battled to a tense endgame where the Filipino had a knight and two pawns against the Ukrainian’s bishop and two pawns. The position, however, gave the players little prospect to continue.
It was So’s fourth straight draw â€“ two each with the white and black pieces.
So also halved the point with GMs Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia and Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway in the first three rounds.
So now has two points after four rounds to join three other players for sixth to ninth places in the tough 14-player, category-17 tournament. He is joined by GMs Friso Nijboer and Wouter Spoelman of The Netherlands, and Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtaszek.
They are 1.5 points behind surprise leader GM Luke McShane of England but only half a point behind Efimenko, Sargissian, Laurent Fressinet of France and GM David Navara of the Czech Republic who occupy the second to fifth places.
McShane, who swept his first three assignments, was held to a draw by GM Friso Nijboer of the Netherlands but kept a one-point lead.
The tournament took a break on Wednesday, the first of three rest days.
So will resume his campaign against GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly of India in Thursday’s fifth round. â€“ JVP, KY, GMANews.TV