Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wesley So advances into the 2nd round, will face Ivanchuk

Wesley So easily made it through the second round by sweeping (impressive!) his three rapid tie-break matches against Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan, 3-0 of the currently held Chess World Cup in Russia. To some, the sweep wasn't so much of a surprise since Wesley has been excellent in blitz game both in over-the -board and online chess. He was once rank among the top blitz player in ICC.

GM Darwin Laylo however, failed to move on to the next round as GM David Navarra also sweep his last two games after two consecutive drawn games. Nevertheless, the effort of GM Darwin Laylo far exceed my expectation. He lost his game one against Navarra but it was a fighting effort nonetheless as he succumb to severe time trouble which resulted in series of blunder moves in the end. The second game against Navarra, Laylo defeated him in just under 30 moves. Antonio earlier lost to defending chess world cup champ Gata Kamsky, 1.5-05 in round 1.

Moving on to the next round, Wesley So will be facing one of the true elite chess player at the moment, GM Vassily Ivanchuk, considered by many as the best player never to win a world championship. This is going to be the fourth time, if my memory serves me right, that So will be pitied against a 2700+ opponent. So defeated Ni Hua of China in 2008 Dresden Olympiad, his first 2700, drew against Alexei Shirov, also at Dresden and then drew with Sergei Karjakin in an Asian team championship tournament in UAE. If I missed something here, please let us know. At the moment I could hardly content my excitement with the So-Ivanchuk match up. This one should be in a "pay-per-view" live games. But thankfully, there's no such thing as that for chess, at least not in four or six years time.

Complete round 2 pairings is available at the official site in PDF format. Check them out here.

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