Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So made French GM Laurent Fressinet his second victim in the 73rd Tata Steel-Corus Group B Chess on Friday at the De Morianne Community Center in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.

So (2673 ELO), unfazed by his foe’s higher rating, played the disadvantageous black pieces almost flawlessly, needing only 42 moves of an English opening to finish off the third-seeded Fressinet (2707 ELO).

The 17-year-old Filipino chess wizard, who rarely settles for a draw, buckled down to work early and immediately challenged Fressinet’s bold opening play by accepting the gambit pawns while consolidating his kingside.

After a brief middle game battle that saw both players castle on opposite sides, So sustained his material and positional advantage. He gave up a pawn in his 20th move to force an exchange of queens that led to a rook-pawn endgame.

So was threatening to promote his h-pawn to a queen or capture Fressinet’s remaining rook when the Frenchman resigned.

It was So’s second straight win after a string of four draws. His first was a dominant victory over GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly of India in Friday’s fifth round.

So now occupies solo third place with four points behind leader GM Luke McShane of England (5.0 points) and second-running GM Zahar Efimenko of Ukraine (4.5 points) in the 13-round, category-17 tournament.

So’s seventh-round foe will be No. 2 seed GM David Navara (ELO 2708) of the Czech Republic. – JVP, KY, GMANews.TV