FILIPINO grandmaster Wesley So avoided complications and played Armenian Levi Aronian to a draw in 38 moves in Round 9 of the ongoing 2017 Tata Steel Chess Masters in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.
Playing white, So used the delayed Open Catalan in his opening moves and it turned into a complicated Vienna Game later on.
A repetition of moves by the rook compelled So to split his point with Aronian and keep the solo lead with six points.
Analyst Alejandro Ramirez of chessbase.com looked at So’s 19th move with his rook as a novelty against Aronian in a complicated Vienna.
Aronian did not have an advantage afterwards and the game simplified into a completely drawn rook endgame quite early, according to Ramirez’s analysis.
The 23-year-old So is half a point ahead of world no. 1 GM Magnus Carlsen, who bounced back from his upset loss to Richard Rapport.
Carlsen pulled off a 54-move triumph over Loek Van Wely in a Sicilian Defense game.
He enjoyed an opening advantage, which Carlsen used to gain an extra pawn at endgame.
Carlsen shares 5.5 points with Pavel Eljanov and Wei Yi.
Eljanov drew with Dmitry Andreikin in 54 moves of a Queen’s Pawn Game, while Wei halved his point with Baskaran Adhiban in 85 moves of a King’s Indian Defense.
Aronian has five points with Adhiban and Sergey Karjakin.