• So eyes World Chess Cup finals entry

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    Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So guns for a spot in the finals when he takes on Chinese GM Ding Liren in the semifinals of the 2017 FIDE (International Chess Federation) World Chess Cup being held in Tbilisi, Georgia.

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    So and Ding will be playing in a two-game standard chess.

    The 23-year old Cavite City pride made history by becoming the first Filipino player who reached the semifinals of the World Cup.

    So reached the Final Four after ousting 26th seed GM Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia in the quarterfinals via a quick 1.5-0.5 decision while Ding also posted the same score (1.5-0.5) in beating 51st seed Richard Rapport of Hungary in their quarterfinals meeting.

    For making it to the semifinals, So and Ding are already assured of $50,000 cash prize in the tournament which has a total prize fund of $1.6 million with a whopping $120,000 to the champion and $80,000 to the runner-up.

    So also defeated GM Joshua Daniel Ruiz Castillo of Colombia in the first round, GM Matthias Blubaum of Germany in the second round, GM Pons Francisco Vallejo of Spain in the third round and GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia in the fourth round.

    So has been predicted to win against Ding by chess fans, analysts and players.

    In the 2011 World Chess Cup held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, So defeated Ding in the first round via 2.5-1.5 score.

    Seeing action in the other semifinals match are fifth seed GM Levon Aronian of Armenia and eighth seed GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.

    Aronian blasted 29th seed GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine (1.5-0.5) while Vachier-Lagrave outlasted 2011 World Cup champion and 16th seed GM Peter Svidler of Russia (2.5-1.5).

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