Saturday, April 19, 2008

So captures third in Dubai blitz
by Jobannie Tabada

Grandmaster Wesley So continued to showcase his chess prowess in Dubai after he secured the third spot in Friday's Dubai Blitz Open 2008 at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

The 14-year-old high school sophomore from Cavite finished with seven points in the nine-round Swiss system tournament after a final-round draw with top-seed and eventual champion GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan. Guseinov had 7.5 points in a tie with Ukrain's GM Yuri Drozdovski, who won his final assignment against Armenia's GM Tigran Kotanjian. Guseinov won the title with a superior tiebreak score.

So had an unbeaten run in a tough field that included 18 grandmasters, 10 international masters, a woman grandmaster and 10 Fide Masters, highlighting his solid performance in five-minute speed chess with a repeat victory over World Junior Champion Ahmed Adly of Egypt and a penultimate-round win over China's GM Li Chao, the reigning PGMA Cup champion.

So actually finished in a tie with GM Sarhan Guliev of Azerbaijan, but the Filipino emerged third with a superior tiebreak score.

The rest of the top 10 players: Li, FM MA Soozankar (Iran), Omid Noroozi (Iran), Kotanjian, Zou Weiqi (China) and IM RR Laxman (India).

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