THE presence of opposite colored bishops compelled Wesley So to accept a draw offered by grandmaster Fabiano Caruana in 66 moves last Wednesday in the Altibox Norway Chess 2017 at the Clarion Hotel Energy in Stavanger, Norway.
So’s seventh draw in as many rounds saw him moving down to a share of fourth spot with three others.
Playing the classical lines of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, the white-playing So forced Caruana to an early queen exchange.
After that, the game simplified when So gained a pawn advantage with his bishop d4 move on the 40th push.
It was an interesting round after GM Levon Aronian overtook Hikaru Nakamura for the solo lead.
Aronian won over Sergei Karjakin in 41 moves of a Guioco Piano to snatch first place with five points.
Analysts talked much about Aronian’s game, which saw him gain an advantage he when sacrificed a pawn for the initiative. Karjakin held on to his pawn edge before time pressure caught up with him and he blundered with a d5 move on the 31st.
The fate of Nakamura changed when he drew with Indian GM Viswanathan Anand in 48 moves of a Guico Piano. Nakamura dropped to lone second with 4.5 points.
Anish Giri advanced to a tie for third with Vladmir Kramnik after he defeated Maxime Vachier Lagrave in 33 moves of a Sicilian.
Kramnik held his ground with his stunning 40-move upset of world no. 1 Magnus Carlsen.