Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So dropped to second spot after settling for a draw in the fifth round of the 2015 Qatar Masters Open being held at the Aspire Zone in Doha, Qatar.
The 22-year old So split the point with erstwhile co-leader GM Anish Giri of Netherlands in the tournament, which offers $25,000 to the champion and $15,000 to the runner-up.
So and Giri are leading the group of four-pointers that also include GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia, GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azer¬baijan, GM Dariusz Swiercz of Poland and GM Yu Yangyi of China.
GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway grabbed the solo lead with 4.5 points. He defeated GM Li Chao of China in their fifth-round game.
In other results, Karjakin outplayed GM Dubiv Daniil of Russia, Kramnik clobbered GM Maxim Matlakov of Russia, Mamedyarov toppled GM Denis Khismatullin of Russia, Swiercz nipped GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine and Yu blasted compatriot Xu Yinglun.
So hopes to regain the top spot as he faces Carlsen in the sixth round.
The other interesting sixth-round matches are Kramnik versus Mamedyarov, Giri versus GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly of India, Karjakin versus Swiercz, and Li versus Yu.
EMIL C. NOGUERA