Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So outduelled fellow GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly to clinch a long-awaited win in Thursday’s fifth round of the 73rd Tata Steel-Corus Group B chess championship at the de Morianne Community Center in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.

(After five rounds)

4.0 points – L. McShane (England)

3.5 points – Z. Efimenko (Ukraine)

3.0 points – Wesley So (Philippines)
L. Fressinet (France)
G. Sargissian (Armenia)
R. Wojtaszek (Poland)

2.5 points–D. Navara (Czech Republic)

2.0 points – L. Chao (China)
J. Hammer (Norway)
F. Nijboer (Netherlands)
W. Spoelman (Netherlands)
V. Tkachiev (France)
1.5 points – S. Ganguly (India)
L. Liem (Vietnam)

So, eager to enter the win column after posting four straight draws, outdueled the lower-rated but more-experienced Indian GM (2651) in 30 moves of the French defense to jump to third place.

The 17-year-old Filipino sensation (2673 ELO) is joined by GMs Laurent Fressinet of France, Armenian Gabriel Sargissian, and Poland’s Radoslaw Wojtaszek from third to sixth places.

So, who played with the black pieces, gained the advantage early in the match and kept Ganguly at bay when the Indian GM made a dubious queen push to e3 on the 25th move, and then lost his knight for a pawn two moves later.

So had a queen, rook, two bishops and three pawns against Ganguly’s queen, rook and six pawns.

The 27-year-old Kolkata native decided to raise the white flag upon realizing that So had more attacking options, even before the Filipino could make his 31st move.

So is now a point behind GM Luke McShane of England and half a point behind Ukrainian GM Zahar Efimenko going into the sixth round of this 14-player, category-17 tournament.

So will again handle the black pieces when he faces the third-seeded Fressinet (2707 ELO). – JVP, KY, GMANews.TV