Sunday, January 18, 2009

Corus 2009. Round 2. Group C. Well, our man Wesley So didn't do badly today. His fans, like myself, would like to see him win every game, but today it was a draw. He was up against the old guard Oleg Romanishin, rated 2533, approximately 100 points less than So. Their Ruy Lopez followed the usual opening lines, and ended up with a rook and pawn ending with So nursing a passed C pawn and Romanishin with a passed H pawn up his sleeve. The position above was after 40...Rd4, both Romanishin and So obviously wanting to get behind the C pawn. Play continued 41. Ke2 h5 42. Rc1 Kf7 43. Ke3 Rd8 44. f4 h4 45. f5 h3 46. Kf3 rd3+ 47. Ke2 Rd8 48. Kf3 Draw. There is 41. c6 to consider, instead of 41. Ke2, and we would have seen something like 41... Rc4 42. Rb8+ Kf7 43. Rb7+ Ke6 44. Rg7 Re4 45. Rh7 Rc4. That looks like a draw as well. Both sides played very accurately. The endgame guru, Karsten Mueller, himself would have been proud.
Mecking, by the way, suffered his second consecutive loss, in a Ruy Lopez, playing black against GM Caruana. Mecking gave up a knight for two pawns, and then lost a pawn in the endgame.


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