Wesley So got off to a solid start as he shared second place with world champion Magnus Carlsen after Day One of the Super United Rapid and Blitz Croatia of the Grand Chess Tour Thursday in Zagreb Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).
The Cavite-born American scored four points in three rounds on a 64-move, third-round win over the Netherlands’ Jorden Van Foreest of a Giuoco Piano.
So opened his campaign in the nine-round rapid part of the event with two draws with fellow United States bet Leinier Dominguez Perez and France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.
It was the same output of Carlsen, who recently announced he would not defend his world title against Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi this year.
They trail Iran-born French Alireza Firouzja, who has five points.
So was playing Croatian Ivan Saric, Nepomniachtchi and Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in Day Two Friday and will clash in the last three rounds of rapid with Carlsen, Firouzja and Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Saturday.
The world Fischer-Random king and two-time US champion is eyeing to improve on a second-place finish in the Bucharest, Romania leg and fifth in Poland early this year.