Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So outclassed GM Vladimir Akopian of Armenia in the fourth round to share the top spot with four other players in the 2015 Qatar Masters Open being held at the Aspire Zone in Doha, Qatar.
So needed 48 moves of Slav Defense to beat Akopian and improve his score to 3.5 points in the tournament which offers $25,000 to the champion and $15,000 to the runner-up.
Joining So in the lead are GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands, GM Li Chao of China, GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway and GM Maxim Matlakov of Russia, who also scored 3.5 points each.
Giri and Li agreed to a draw while Carlsen and Matlakov defeated GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland and GM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia, respectively.
GM Xu Yinglun of China, GM Saleh Salem of United Arab Emirates, GM David Howell of England, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia, GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland, GM Yu Yangyi of China and GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia are in a group of three-pointers.
In the fifth round, So faces Giri, Carlsen battles Li, Matkov meets Kramnik, Karjakin fights GM Daniil Dubov, Mamedyarov takes on GM Denis Khimatullin of Russia, Yu tackles Xu, and Wojtaszek plays GM Viktor Bolohan of Moldova.
EMIL C. NOGUERA