Wesley So waylaid Indian rising star Arjun Erigaisi, 2.5-0.5, in the third round Wednesday, Nov. 16, to light up his flickering title hopes in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals in San Francisco, California.
After dropping his first two outings to reigning world classical champion Magnus Carlsen and Vietnamese Le Quang Liem, So licked his wounds and vented his ire on the 19-year-old Erigaisi, a member of India B’s bronze-medal-winning team in the World Chess Olympiad last August in Chennai.
The Philippine-born American drew his first game with Erigaisi and then went on attack mode on the second and third to complete the abbreviated victory that earned him his first three match points of the tournament.
“I’m very pleased with my first match win of the tournament,” said the former World Fischer Random king and two-time United States champion.
The recent result sent So at joint No. 6 with Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with three points each.
Carlsen and Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda remained tied on top with perfect scores of nine points apiece after triumphs over Mamedyarov, 3-0, and the Netherlands’ Anish Giri, 2.5-.5, respectively.
So hopes to climb up the standings even farther as he shoots for a win against 17-year-old sensation Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa of India in the fourth round Thursday, Nov. 17.