Friday, May 6, 2011
GM WESLEY SO AND THE RP CONTINGENT HALF WAY THROUGH THE ASIAN CONTINENTAL
( GM Wesley So pondering his move vs. GM Ismagambetov in 1st round action at the Asian Individual Open Chess Championship 2011. Photo from the official tourney website )
A 5 man RP contingent headed by GM Wesley So is currently waging battle over the 64 squares board in Iran which is the host of the Asian Individual Open Chess Championship 2011. Other members of the team includes GM's Mark Paragua, John Paul Gomez, Darwin Laylo and IM Oliver Barbosa. The event also serves as a qualifier for the 2011 World Cup to be held later this year.
After 5 rounds of play, GM Darwin Laylo leads the RP contingent with 3 points after a draw in the 5th round against former world champ GM Kasimdzhanov while the rest of the members of the RP team have 2.5 points each. IM Barbosa had a good start holding his ground against 3 super GMs in the first 3 rounds but got ambushed by GM Zhao Jun in a wild Kings Indan game in the 5th round. The RP contingent needs a determine push in the last 4 rounds to figure prominently in the standing.
As the vanguard of the RP team, GM So had his hands full fending off the challenge of other Asian chess players notably that of China and India. With a rating of 2667 GM So is seeded 3rd in the event next only to Former World Cup champ GM Rustan Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan ( 2685) and Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran. GM So's game is still full of excitement but being a marked man, it seems that his lower rated opponents are just content to eke-out a draw with him thus sometimes he over extend himself just to win which proves costly as what happened in his round 4 loss.
Below is a sample of GM Wesley So's energetic play which ended in a
draw as his opponent was not willing to enter into complications but
was rather content to simplify by exchanging pieces. It's like Manny
Pacquiao raring to go toe to toe but his opponent keeps on back-
pedalling and not willing to mix-up.
[White "GM Wesely So"]
[Black "IM Santosh Gujrathi Vidit"]
CARO -KANN DEFENSE
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6
6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Ngf6
11. Bd2 e6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qd3
O-O 16. g4 Nxg4
GM Mark Paragua essayed the move 17. Rhg1 in winning a beautiful
attacking game against IM Sarkar in the 2010 Marshall Chess Club
Championships. You can view the annotated game of GM Paragua at
http://metrolirot.blogspot.com/2010/11/gm-paraguas-annotated-game.html However, it seems that with correct play Black
can hold on to his position.
17. Kh8 18. Rhg1 Nf6 19. Ne5 Qd5 20. Qe3
In the game Saric, I (2456) vs. Dizdarevic, E (2521) 19th Pula
Open 2005 White blundered with 20.f3? and after 20...Qxa2! Black
obtained a big advantage and eventually won the game. The text
move maintains pressure on Black's kingside with the threat of
21. Rxg7 and 22. Qxh6 hanging in the air. Black is now left to
choose whether to enter into complications and play for a win
with 20... Qxa2 or just play solidly and be content with a draw.
Black choose the latter. After 20...Qxa2 21 c4! The complications
that will follow give chances to both sides. The text leads to a
forced exchange of pieces.
21. Qg3 Nxh5 22. Qh2 Qh4!
White cannot refused to exchange Queens otherwise Black would
consolidate his material advantage.
23. Qxh4 Bxh4 24. Rh1 g5 25. Nf3 Ng7 26. Nxh4 gxh4
27. Bxh6 Rg8 28. Bg5 Nf5 29. Bxh4 Nxh4 30. Rxh4+ Kg7
Replay the game below