KHANTY-Mansiysk, Russia —Grandmaster Wesley So, the biggest revelation in the ongoing 2009 World Chess Cup, battles GM Vladimir Malakhov in the Round of 16 of the 2009 World Chess Cup Monday at the Khanty- Mansiysk Center of Arts here.
After toppling two of the tournament’s biggest names, So seeks a seat in the quarterfinals against Malakhov, the first time he will be facing a Russian in the knockout-style tournament.
“I know that I should always do my best in the classical games of each round. If I win one game, I’m almost there,” said So, who is already assured of $30,000 (about P1.46 million) in prize money.
So, 16, has been described by the foreign media as a “a fantastic gold nugget causing the World Cup irreplaceable losses with his upset victories.”
His victory over Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine in the second round was so shocking, the all-time great is contemplating on quitting the sport.
Heartbroken over his defeat, Ivanchuk said he would leave professional chess and become a chess fan.
World Cup champion Gata Kamsky of the United States, So’s victim in the third round, took his defeat better.
“My opponent was better prepared,” Kamsky conceded after the loss. “So was playing better and he deserved the victory.
So opened his campaign with a win over GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan, winning all three playoff matches after splitting their first two classical games.
Ranked 59th, So is the second lowest seeded player still in the field and is the only Asian remaining apart from two players from Azerbaijan.
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– GM Susan Polgar