Wesley So is, of course, a Chessable author. Perhaps that explains why his recent form is excellent.
Malcolm Pein on…Super So
The semi-finals of the Opera Europe Rapid on Chess24 lined up Magnus Carlsen vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Wesley So vs Teimour Radjabov. In the quarter-finals, MVL overcame Levon Aronian, winning the first set and, somewhat fortuitously, drawing the second 2-2 after turning round a terrible position to win the first game. Aronian’s win in game three left him needing to win with white to force a tie-break, but MVL’s Sicilian Najdorf, which has taken a beating of late, held firm.
Teimour Radjabov’s match with Anish Giri was very tight. Both sets were drawn 2-2 with only one win apiece. The match was decided when Giri blundered in the second Blitz game.
Fine Form by Super So
Wesley So has looked in fine form and he breezed past Jan-Krzysztof Duda by winning the first two games of the second set.
Reti Opening 15+10
1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.b3 0–0 6.Bb2 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.h4!? f5 (Taking countermeasures against Ng5. The stem game was 9…b6 10.a3 Karjakin-Anand, Candidates Moscow, which Karjakin won) 10.g4!? (A Rapid chess adventure, not 10.Rc1 b6 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.d4 f4! Instead 10.a3 b6 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.h5 h6 13.d4 imitating Karjakin’s approach was better) 10…Nxc3 11.dxc3 (11.Bxc3 Qd5 12.Bg2 fxg4 13.Ng5! Qf5 14.Be4 Qxf2+ 15.Kd1 is good for White as if 15…g6 16.Bxg6 or 15…h6 is today’s puzzle. However, 11.Bxc3 Qd5 12.Bg2 e5 spoils all the fun)
11…e5 12.Bc4+ Kh8 13.Ng5!? e4 (13…Bxg5 14.hxg5 Qxg5 15.0–0–0 would be risky for Black) 14.Rd1 Qe8 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.Bxe6 Ne5 17.gxf5 Nd3+ 18.Rxd3 exd3 19.Qxd3 Rd8 20.Qe4 (Allowing Black to activate his queen; better 20.Qe2 Qc6 21.e4) 20…Qh5 21.f3 Bf6 22.Ke2 Rd6 23.Qg4 (23.Qxb7!? Rfd8 24.Bc1 Bxc3 25.Qe4) 23…Qe8 24.h5 Qd8 25.Bc1 Bxc3 26.h6 g6 27.Qc4 Rd2+! 28.Bxd2 Qxd2+ 29.Kf1 Qxe3 (Opposite-coloured bishops accentuate disparities in king safety. Black’s king is completely secure on h8) 30.Qe4 Qc1+ 31.Kg2 Qg5+ 32.Qg4 Qd2+ 33.Kh3 gxf5 34.Qh5 Be5 35.f4 Qxf4 0–1
The final position
Test Your Strength
A variation from the game.
White to play and win
Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.
16.Bh7+ Kh8 17.Bxg7+ Kxg7 18.Qg6+ Kh8 19.Qxh6 wins.