So opens Tata Steel campaign with 3 draws

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  • Defending champion Grandmaster (GM) Wesley So posted three consecutive draws at the start of the prestigious 2018 Tata Steel chess tournament being held in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands.

    So opened his title-retention bid with a draw with GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan after 31 moves in the first round and another draw with GM Maxim Matlakov of Russia after 30 moves of Queen’s Gambit Accepted in the second round.

    The Cavite City pride also split the point with GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia after 46 moves in the third round of the tournament which offers +10,000 to the champion and +6,500 to the runner-up.

    So, Karjakin, GM Peter Svidler of Russia and GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia are in sixth place with 1.5 points each.

    GM Viswanathan Anand of India and GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands are sharing the top spot with 2.5 points each.

    Anand posted an impressive win over American GM Fabiano Caruana while Giri and Svidler agreed to a draw in their respective third-round matches.

    Mamedyarov, GM Gawain Jones of Great Britain and reigning world champion and three-time Tata Steel titlist GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway are in a three-way tie for third with two points apiece.

    At 10th place are Caruana, GM Wei Yi of China and GM Maxim Matlakov of Russia with one point each while GM Hou Yifan of China and GM GM Baskaran Adhiban of India are at the bottom of the rankings with 0.5 point each.

    In the fourth round, So shoots for his first win when he battles Caruana.

    The fourth-round features the following matches: Hou vs Matlakov, Karjakin vs Mamedyarov, Adhiban vs Anand, Wei vs Jones, Giri vs Carlsen, and Kramnik vs Svidler.

    So will also play against Adhiban (fifth round), Wei (sixth), Giri (seventh), Kramnik (eighth), Svidler (ninth) and Carlsen (10th).

    E.C. Noguera, TMT

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