Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So blasted GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the sixth round to occupy the second spot in the ongoing 2017 Shamkir Chess-Gashimov Memorial Chess Championship at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir, Azerbaijan.
The 23-year-old So scored his second victory in the nine-round tournament after 64 moves of an English showdown.
So improved his score to 3.5 points on two wins and three draws to join fellow 3.5-pointers GM Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and GM Michael Adams of England in the No. 2 position.
Topalov outplayed GM Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine in 60 moves of a Queen’s Indian in their own sixth-round game.
Adams, for his part, drew with GM Pentala Harikrishna of India in 37 moves of a Ruy Lopez.
GM Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan is still leading with 4.5 points.
He clobbered former world titlist GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in 70 moves of a Scotch Opening.
Eljanov is in fifth spot with three points while Karjakin, Kramnik, GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland and GM Radjabov Teimour of Azerbaijan are in sixth place with 2.5 points each.
Harikrishna is at the bottom of the standings with two points.
So will be gunning for another win in the seventh round as he battles Eljanov.
Also seeing action are Karjakin against Kramnik, Radjabov against Topalov, Harikrishna against Wojtaszek and Mamedyarov against Adams.
The Filipino chess wizard will wrap up his campaign against Radjabov in the eighth round and Harikrishna in the final round.
EMIL C. NOGUERA