So rules Havana chess tournament


Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So drew his last game to win the 49th edition of the prestigious Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba, on Monday.

It was the biggest title so far for the 20-year-old So, and the win improved his world ranking from 21 to 15.

He drew his 10th-round game against defending champion Zoltan Almasi of Hungary in just 12 moves of Nimzo-Indian defense to collect 6.5 points on three wins and seven draws.

Born in Manila, So achieved the GM title at the age of 14 years, 1 month and 28 days, making him the 8th youngest chess grandmaster in history.

The Filipino captured the Capablanca title in his maiden appearance. His opponents are all previous winners of the tournament.

All games in round 10 ended in draws.

Cuban Grandmaster Lazaro Batista Bruzon placed second with 5.5 points. He drew his
last assignment against compatriot Grandmaster Leiner Dominguez Perez who collected 4.5 points.

The match between Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain ended in a draw. Pons had 4.5 points, while Ivanchuk collected 4 points.

So defeated Pons, Perez and Almasi in the 6-man double round robin being held in honor of Cuban chess legend and former world champion Jose Raul Capablanca.

The remarkable win in Cuba will definitely boost So’s Elo rating. According to Live Chess Rating, So now has an Elo of 2744.4.

So started leading after five rounds where he defeated Almasi in 48 moves of French Defense. Since then, he never gave up the lead, and assured himself of the title after winning his eight-round game against Perez, and drew his last two matches.

So, a student at Webster University in the United States, will next join the US National Open 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 13 to 15. He faces Ivanchuk again in the 9th Edmonton International in Canada from June 21 to 29.

So targets an Elo rating of 2750 this year, a goal reachable if he will perform well in the June tournaments.


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