Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's another draw for GM Wesley So, and that makes three draws and one win in four rounds at Corus 2009. Considering that he is the top rated player in Group C, this is not the performance we would expect from him. But he is in the hot seat and not us. Let's not overlook who he played against today, GM A. Gupta, the reigning world junior chess champion. We should commiserate with Wesley, and wish him the best. There is nobody else out there who would want to win more than Wesley himself. It must be very tough for a 15-yr old, even a gifted one like So, to stand up to the pressure of a highly publicized tournament and run the gauntlet of world class opponents. Could the weather have more of an effect on him than we thought? In an interview with ICC, So deplored the cold temps of Holland, much colder than Dresden according to Wesley. Well, Wesley, if you are going to make the circuit of international tournaments, you better get use climate changes and plummeting mercury readings. You have a long and promising career ahead of you.

The final position is a bit bizarre, after 27...Qe1+. Obviously, there is a perpetual check in the works here but not via 28. Kg2 because 28...Ne3 mate. As one observer remarked, sometimes it is not easy to make a good move when you're two pieces ahead. Well, that's true even before they got to this position. Here at this very moment, white actually has a two piece and a rook advantage. So's rook and dark-squared bishop are still in their original squares. They were unable to participate in defending the white king from attacks. Take note that Qb8 will lead to mate so black must not waste a tempo. In this position, Fritz9 suggested 28. Nf1, giving a piece back but the perpetual is still there via the f1 and h3 squares. If 28. Qg1, then 28...Qh4+ 29. Kg2 Nf4+ 30. Kf1 Qh3+ 31. Kf2 Nd3+ and Fritz scores it as 0.00.


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