MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So settled for a draw with Armenian GM Gabriel Sargissian in the 2nd round of the 2011 Tata Steel Corus Group B chess championship, which was held in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands on Sunday (Monday in Manila).

The 17-year-old So agreed to a draw after 26 moves of Scotch Opening using the advantageous white pieces to tally 1 point in 2 outings.

The Filipino prodigy, however, remained a full point behind the leaders in the B Group of players, 14-player, category-17 tournament, formerly known as Hoogovens.

When the draw was offered, Sargissian had 6 pawns, a knight, a white bishop and two rooks, while So also had six pawns, a knight, a white bishop and 2 rooks.

“Mahirap pilitin y’ung posisyon and I hope sa mga susunod na round, makakakuha na din si Wesley ng full point,” said National Chess Federation of the Philippines President/Chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay Jr.

Also with 1 point are GM’s:

  • Laurant Fressinet of France;
  • Surya Ganguly of India;
  • Le Quang Liem of Vietnam;
  • Friso Nijoboer of the Netherlands; and
  • Vlad Tkachiev of France.

On the other hand, Sargissian tallied 1.5 points after a draw against So, the same output of GM’s Zahar Efimenko of Ukraine and David Navara of Czech Republic.

Meanwhile, GM Luke McShane of England toppled GM Li Chao of China after 55 moves of King’s Indian defense, to raise his total 2 points and grab the solo leadership board. – By Marlon Bernardino