By Bert Eljera
LAS VEGAS – Wesley So bounced back from his opening-day loss with a smashing win over highly-regarded Fabiano Caruana in the second round of the Dortmund Sparkassen chess championship in Dortmund, Germany.
The 21-year-old So came through with the precise moves in a rook, pawn and minor pieces endgame to prevail over his potential U.S. teammate and rival.
So’s connected pawns on the kingside decided the issue, with Caruana failing to prevent the pawn advance with his knight and bishop.
“Exciting game with a lot of actions from both sides, ” said Chessbomb.com analyst Alexander Dechev. ” If So continues to play like that, he has very good chances to win the tournament.”
Dechev, a grandmaster, had a very technical analysis of the game on the Chessbomb.com website, pointing out that Caruana had several chances to pull out a draw and even had potentially winning lines.
In the end, So appeared more prepared in the complicated game that eventually settled into a Sicilian and ended after 69 moves.
The victory somehow erased concerns after So’s preparation and fitness to play against some of the world’s best after a disastrous first game, which he lost to Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu.
Nisipeanu, a former Romanian No. 1, now playing for Germany, is respected for his creative games and is now leading the tournament with two points after his second straight victory against Arkadij Naiditsch of Germany.
Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik also recovered from his first-round loss with a quick 28-move win over female grandmaster Hou Yifan of China.
He now shares a crowded tie for second with So and four other players, each with one point in two games.
Caruana vs. So