So wins first game in Tata Steel

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Philippines’ only hydra Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So (Elo 2719) won his first assignment in the 76th Tata Steel Tournament Masters 2014 in Wijk ann Zee, The Netherlands by defeating Super GM Richard Rapport (2691) of Hungary after 56 moves of Larsen’s Opening.

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So has one full point together with three others, second seed hydra GM Hikaru Nakamura of the United States (2786), third seed hydra GM Fabiano Caruana of Italy (2782), and fifth seed hydra GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia (2756) who also won their first games.

The 20-year-old sophomore student of Webster University and the country’s top player forced Rapport, only 17-year-old and Hungary’s chess prodigy, to surrender upon realizing that an exchange of queens would leave the Filipino with two pawns and a bishop while the Hungarian with four pawns.

Nakamura defeated hydra GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany (2737) after 65 moves of Nimzo-Indian defense; Caruana subdued fourth seed hydra GM Boris Gelfand of Israel (2777) after 30 moves of Sicilian Najdorf Variation; and Karjakin crushed super GM Loek Van Wely of The Netherlands (2678) after 60 moves of Catalan Opening. Other games ended in draws.

Top seed hydra Levon Aronian of Armenia (2803) and super GM Pentala Harikrishna of India (2708) settled for a draw after 30 moves of Giuco Piano Opening. Hydra GM Anish Giri of The Netherlands (2737) split the point with hydra GM Leinier Dominguez of Cuba (2754) after 31 moves of Ruy Lopez Berlin.

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