MANILA -- Wesley So’s astounding run in the 2009 World Chess Cup came to an end after the Filipino grandmaster lost his playoff match against Russian GM Vladimir Malakhov in the fourth round of the competition in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
So (ELO 2640), who twice held Malakhov (ELO 2706) to a draw, yielded to the Russian GM in three straight tie-break matches of rapid chess.
The Bacoor-based chess player yielded to the 22nd-seeded Russian in 55 moves using the black pieces during their first-tie break match. This was followed by another win by Malakhov after 61 moves in the second match.
The 59th-seed So tried to fight back in the third game but Malakhov took advantage of the momentum to win the round in 32 moves.
The score was 4-1 in favor of the Russian.
Thus ended So’s campaign in this year’s World Chess Cup, which saw him winning over two chess heavyweights on his way to the fourth round.
Prior to facing Malakhov, So shocked Chess Cup defending champion super GM Gata Kamsky of the US in Round 3. He also pulled the rug from under World No. 12 GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in Round 2.
So, who is already assured of $30,000prize money for reaching Round 4, also defeated GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan in Round 1.
Best showing for RPSo’s fourth-round finish is arguably the country’s best showing in World Chess Cup history, surpassing the efforts of his compatriots, GMs Rogelio Antonio Jr. and Mark Paragua.
Antonio and Paragua reached the second round of the competition.
GM Eugene Torre, Asia’s first GM, reached the quarterfinal stage under a different elimination format.
So earlier said he will be working to achieve super GM status by breaking the 2700 ELO barrier.
"I dream that sooner or later, I will come to the magical point 2700. I don't know how much time I will need for that," he said.
as of 12/02/2009 10:36 PM
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