The country's No.1 chess player GM Wesley So scored 7.5 in 13 rounds to settle for fourth top spot in Corus Chess 2010 Group B in the Netherlands.
Seeded No.6, So's Round 11 loss to the eventual champion, GM Anish Giri, and his draws against GM Howell and IM Anna Muzychuk in Round 12 and 13, respectively, proved costly not only to his tournament title campaign but also to his 2700-mark quest.
So was enjoying a two-piece up and time advantage against Giri in Round 11, but a “twist” of fate suddenly changed it all that shocked his whole legion of fans, including this blogger.
So was also enjoying the upper hand against Howell and Muzychuk, but opted to settle for truces which slightly dragged his Elo rating down.
The shocking loss to Giri as well as the ‘winnable’ draws against So’s last two opponents drew varied impressions from some quarters.
Some observers asked this blogger: “Ano kayang problema ni Wesley [What’s the problem of Wesley?]”
A very simple question indeed. But nobody, except GM Wes himself, could provide us the answers.
Overall, So gained 4.7 Elo points from this Category 16 event putting his live rating to 2660.7. He entered the tournament with 2656 rating. He finished the tournament with 3 wins, 1 loss, and 9 draws.
Here's the breakdown of his live rating changes:
Round 1 vs Naiditsch: +0.4
Round 2 vs L'Ami: -0.6
Round 3 vs Akobian: -0.4
Round 4 vs Negi: -0.5
Round 5 vs Harikrishna: +0.2
Round 6 vs Nisipeanu: +5.3
Round 7 vs Reinderman: +3.9
Round 8 vs Ni: +0
Round 9 vs Sutovsky: +0
Round 10 vs Nyback: +4.8
Round 11 vs Giri: -5.9
Round 12 vs Howell: -0.7
Round 13 vs Muzychuk: -1.8
Wesley topping this year’s Group B could have been a sure ticket for him to face the likes of GM Magnus Carlsen in Group A next year. Carlsen, by the way, ruled this year’s Group A also with one loss.
I just hope that Wesley be invited again to Corus next year –not to play in Group B but preferably in Group A, banking on his considerable crowd-drawing charisma. Then and there, the whole world of chess can expect fireworks from the “Real Deal.”
Corus (B Group) Tournament