MANILA, Philippines – Filipino chess Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So turned back Indian GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly in the 5th round for his first win in the 2011 Tata Steel Corus Group B chess championship at the De Moriaan Community Centre in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands.

The 17-year-old So created a four-way tie for third place on Thursday (Friday in Manila) by defeating Ganguly, using the disadvantageous black pieces, in 30 moves of French defense.

“Wesley played solid and accurate against Ganguly,” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) President/ Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr. who watches the games live thru Chessdom website.

With the win, So raised his total scores to 3 points on one win and four consecutive draws against GMs Le Quang Liem of Vietnam (36 moves of Slav defense variation), Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia (26 moves of Scotch defense), Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway (63 moves of Queen’s Gambit declined), and Zahar Efimenko of Ukraine (46 moves of Bogo-Indian defense), respectively.

Also with 3 points were GM’s Sargissian, Laurant Fressinet of France, and Radek Wojtaszek of Poland.

GM Luke McShane of England still leads the field with 4 points after settling for a draw against Fressinet after 37 moves of Reti Opening.

In second spot is Efimenko, who also won against GM David Navara of Czech Republic after 35 moves of Sicilian defense, Najdorf variation to notch 3.5 points.

In the sixth round in this B Group of players, 14-player, category-17 tournament, formerly known as Hoogovens, So will play the disadvantageous black pieces against Fressinet.

“I think, na kay Wesley ang momentum sa 6th round dahil galing siya sa panalo habang galing naman sa draw sa 5th round si Fressinet,” said Pichay. – By Marlon Bernardino