Grandmaster Wesley So grabbed the solo lead in the Edmonton Chess Festival after beating top Canadian grandmaster Anton Kovalyov in 59 moves of Catalan opening in the sixth round of the tournament being held in Edmonton, Canada.

Kovalyov, handling white pieces, resigned after realizing that he could not prevent the queening pawn of the Filipino on a-file.

So masterfully turned his triple pawn position into an advantage in registering his fifth win in six games. He now has 5.5 points. Kovalyov remains at 3.5 points.

The chance of So of winning this tournament became evident after Ukraniane Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk halved the point against Grandmaster Irina Krush of US in 80 moves of Nimzo Indian Defense. Ivanchuk has 5 points, while Krush has 3 points.

Other winners in the sixth round were Canadians IM Richard Wang and FM Vladimir Pechenkin. Wang crushed American GM Samuel Shankland in 37 moves of Queen’s Pawn Game. Wang now has 3 points, while Shankland has 3.5 points. Pechenkin dismantled FM-elect Alex Yam in 52 moves of Reti Opening. Yam has six straight loses.

Canadians FM Dale Haessel and IM Raja Panjwani ended in a draw. Haessel has .5 point, while Panjwani has 3.5 points.

So will face Pechenkin in the sixth round, while Ivanchuk will test the mettle of Haessel.


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