Grandmaster Wesley So scored 3.5 points in the last five preliminary rounds to clinch a quarterfinal berth in the New In Chess Classic of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Tuesday, April 27.
So smashed Norwegians Aryan Tari and Johan-Sebastian Christiansen while splitting the point with Levon Aronian, world champion Magnus Carlsen and fellow American Hikaru Nakamura to finish third with nine points.
His feat arranged a Final 8 meeting with Armenia-born Aronian, who also made it through the next phase with a similar 9-point score.
Carlsen topped the prelims with 10.5 points and will play No. 8 Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan.
Nakamura and Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov were second and third with 9.5 points apiece, setting up a duel with No. 7 Le Quang Liem of Vietnam and Iran-born No. 6 Alireza Firouzja, respectively.
So is eyeing to do good here to keep his grip of the overall Tour lead ahead of Radjabov and Carlsen.