Wesley So gets the chance to snap out of fellow Super Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave’s spell over him when they tangle in the last 16 of the 2015 World Chess Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The Cavite-born So, now representing the United States, has yet to beat the French stalwart in seven games, losing twice and drawing the rest, and needs to play his best to enter the quarterfinals and surpass his best showing in the biennial $1.6-million event.
So bested Vietnamese rival Le Quang Liem, 2.5-1.5, in the round-of-32 tiebreakers Saturday to reach the last 16, matching his feat in the 2009 World Cup.
The other pairings pit Peter Svidler (Russia) against Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Ding Liren (China) versus Wei Yi (China), Anish Giri against Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland), Hiraku Nakamura (US) versus Michael Adams (England), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine) against Dmitri Jakovenko (Russia), Dmitry Andreikin (Russia) versus Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Fabiano Caruana (US) against Shakhiyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan). Roy Luarca