So’s 7th round match with Russian ends in draw

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Filipino Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So settled for a draw in the seventh round to stay in contention in the 2015 Qatar Masters Open being held at the Aspire Zone in Doha, Qatar.

So and former world champion GM Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine agreed to a draw after 41 moves of Ruy Berlin in the tournament which offers a whopping $25,000 to the champion and $15,000 to the runner-up.

So and Ponomariov, however, dropped to fourth place with five points each along with 14 other players.

GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and GM Sanan Sjugirov of Russia are sharing the top spot with 5.5 apiece.


Mamedyarov and Sjugirov scored huge victories in their respective matches to catch up with erstwhile solo leader Carlsen, who drew his seventh-round game with GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands.

Mamedyarov toppled GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly of India while Sjugirov outclassed GM Dmitry Jakovenko of Russia.

Joining So and Ponomariov in the group of five-pointers are Giri, Xu Yinglun of China, GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia, GM Dariusz Swiercz of Poland, GM Yu Yangyi of China, GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia, GM Pendyala Harikrishna of India, GM Ni Hua of China, GM Nils Grandelius of Sweden, GM Vladimir Akopian of Armenia, GM Nikita Vitiugov of Russia, GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam, GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and International Master Lin Chen of China.

So must win his two remaining games to strengthen his chance of claiming the top honors.

He will be facing Lin in the eighth round.

The other pairings are Mamedyarov and Carlsen, Kramnik and Sjugirov, Giri and Ponomariov, Nguyen and Karjakin, Ni and Harikrishna, Grandelius and Yu, Swiercz and Vitiugov, and Ivanchuk and Akopian.

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