Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So and Chinese GM Ding Liren settled for a draw in the first match of their semifinals showdown in the 2017 FIDE (International Chess Federation) World Chess Cup being held in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The second-seeded So and the 11th pick Ding agreed to a draw after 47 moves of the Giuoco Piano.
So, who represents the United States Chess Federation in international tournaments, shoots for a crucial win against Ding in the second game of their two-game standard chess match.
The 23-year old Cavite City pride is already assured of a $50,000 cash prize for reaching the Final Four stage.
“I don’t really think too much about it (candidates). Of course it would be very nice to qualify for the candidates. I think every top player wants to do so. I just think one day at a time, one game at a time,” So said in an interview posted on chessbase.com.
In the other semifinals pairing, the match of fifth seed GM Levon Aronian of Armenia and eighth seed GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France also ended in a draw after 32 moves of Gruenfeld Defense.
The four remaining players are all eyeing the $120,000 champion’s purse and $80,000 consolation prize for the runner-up.
So reached the semifinals by ousting 26th seed GM Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia in the quarterfinals (184.108.40.206). He also defeated GM Joshua Daniel Ruiz Castillo of Colombia (first round), GM Matthias Blubaum of Germany (second round), GM Pons Francisco Vallejo of Spain (third round) and GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia (fourth round).