So takes lead at ACP Golden Classic


Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So took the lead at the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) after clobbering his third-round opponent GM Daniele Vocaturo of Italy in 43 moves of King’s Indian Classical.

So has now 2.5 points on two wins and a draw. Vocaturo was a member of Italy’s team that won gold medal in 2006 Turin Olympiad. He will see action again in 2014 Tromso, Norway Olympiad.

Today is rest day and players will have time to tour the scenic Bergamo City, a northern part of Italy and part of highly urbanized Lombardi region. But for Vocaturo and GM Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, it is serious playtime anew as they have to return to the board to resume their second round adjourned game.This ACP tournament uses a different format by returning to the old practice of giving players the option to adjourn their match after 40 moves.

For So, he will actually have a two-day respite as he will draw a bye in the fourth round. The tournament is a single-seven-man round robin. The games in Bergamo are held beginning 2 p.m. (7 p.m. in Manila).

Other third round winners were GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia and GM Sabino Brunello of Italy.

Jobava, who defeated world No.1 player Magnus Carlsen of the Netherlands sometime in 2010, outplayed GM Ian Nepomniatchi of Russia in 47 moves of Sicilian Alipin.

Brunello, Italian champion for blitz and rapid plays, thrashed GM Emil Sutovsky of Israel in just 29 moves of Gruenfeld Defense.

Interestingly, Brunello will also join the Italia team to Tromso Olympiad this August.

The third-round win of So earned him more points in the FIDE, the world governing body of chess, ratings. The Filipino chess phenomenon jumped to number 12th in FIDE live rankings, with 2753.4 points. His goal is to reach the top ten so he would be invited in the strongest tournaments where he will have the chance to face the likes of former world champion Viswanathan Anand of India, GM Levon Arinian of Armenia and Carlsen, among others.

ACP is considered as one of the top 15 chess tournaments of 2014.

So, who is eager to join the US Chess Federation, is still awaiting approval of his transfer from the National Chess Federation of the Philippines.


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