• So snatches solo lead in Tata Steel Masters

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    Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So grabbed the solo lead after blasting GM Pentala Harikrishna of India in the fifth round of the 2017 Tata Steel Masters Chess Tournament on Friday being held in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.

    The 23-year-old So raised his score to four points on three wins and two draws.

    Erstwhile leader GM Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine dropped to second spot following his fifth-round loss to GM Levon Aronian of Armenia.

    Eljanov has 3.5 points to share the No. 2 position with defending champion GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who has the same score.

    Carlsen split the point with GM Ian Nepomniatchtchi of Russia in the other game.

    Aronian zoomed into the fourth place with three points.

    Harikrishna, GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands, GM Wei Yi of China, GM Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia are in sixth place with 2.5 each while Nepomniatchtchi and GM Baskaran Adhiban of India are in joint 11th with two points apiece.

    GM Richard Rapport of Hungary is in 13th with 1.5 and GM Loek Van Wely of the Netherlands in last with 0.5 point.

    Adhiban defeated Karjakin while Wojtaszek outplayed Van Wely.

    The games of Wei and Giri, and Andrekin and Rapport ended in a draw.

    So will take on Adhiban in the sixth round of the tournament which offers +10,000 to the champion and +6,500 to the runner-up.

    The other pairings are Aronian versus Carlsen, Giri versus Nepomniatchtchi, Rapport versus Wei, Van Wely versus Andreikin, Harikrishna versus Wojtaszek, and Eljanov versus Karjakin.

    Meanwhile, Filipino GMs Julio Catalino Sadorra and Mark Paragua shared the top honors in the 9th Chesapeake Open in the US.

    Sadorra toppled International Master Tegshsure Enkhbat while Paragua beat compatriot GM Oliver Barbosa in the final round.

    Sadorra and Paragua finished the seven-round tournament with six points each.

    Barbosa placed seventh with four points.

    EMIL C. NOGUERA

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