Friso Nijboer - Wesley So

Round 1
Corus 2009
Wijk Aan Zee


The first round of the Corus chess tournament begins at 13:30 CET. will provide live commentary. The other featured games are Carlsen - Radjabov and Volokitin - Caruana. The C event of Corus is usually the scene where promising young players come into the spotlight and become known to the chess audience. The young Philipino Wesley So could turn into one of the next generation top GMs, so it could be worthwhile to have a look at a couple of his games provided with live comments.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 Unlike many young players who favor the sharp lines of the Najdorf or the Dragon, So goes for the solid Paulsen System.

3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 The Dutch chooses the most aggressive line involving castling in opposite flanks.

7... Nf6 8.O-O-O Bb4 9.f3 Ne5 10.Nb3 b5 11.Qd4 A rare move. It is recommended in a book of Halifman but if Black reacts correctly he should not experience opening problems.

11... Nc6 12.Qb6 This is the idea behind White's 11th move - top transfer the game into slightly preferable middlegame without Queens.

12... Qe5 13.Bd2 Rb8 14.Qf2 The timely retreat of the Bishop enables the Queen transfer to 'g3'.

14... O-O 15.f4 Played after a prolonged thought. The natural 15.Qg3 seems a good alternative.

15... Qc7 16.Bd3 d6 Bb4 didn't have time to get back to 'e7'.

17.Qh4 Bxc3 18.Bxc3 e5 Black stabilized the center and is ready to launch a strong attack against opponent's King.

19.Rhf1 Preparing an eventual exchange sacrifice on 'f6'.

19... b4 20.Bd2 a5 21.Kb1 a4 22.Nc1 It's a pity that this time is no exception of the rule for problematic 1st round transmission from any major tournament - the server at coruschess is down for more than 15 minutes.

22... Bg4 23.Rde1 Rfc8 24.Rf2 Bd7 25.f5 Nd4 26.Bh6 Ne8 27.Bxg7 Nxg7 28.f6 Nijboer found an interesting way to create counterplay.

28... b3 29.axb3 axb3 30.Qg3 Nde6 31.cxb3 Qa5 32.Rc2 Rxc2 33.Kxc2 Rc8+ 34.Kb1 Bb5 35.Rd1 Misses 35...Qc7

35... Bxd3+ So does So.

36.Rxd3 Qb4 37.fxg7 Qxe4 38.Qe3 Qg6 39.Qg3 Qe4 40.Qe3 Qg6 41.Qg3 The opponents exited the time trouble. Black has clear advantage thanks to his central pawns.

41... Qf5 42.Qh3 Qxh3 43.Rxh3 Nd4 44.b4 Rb8 45.Nb3 Played after a prolonged thought.

45... Ne6 (45... Nf5 is more precise)

46.Na5 Rxb4 47.Nc6 White is desperately trying to start pushing a 'b' passed pawn but that shouldn't be sufficient to save the game.

47... Rb6 ( So spent 30 minutes calculating the consequences of the double-edged 47... Rg4 and preferred this one.)

48.Ne7+ Kxg7 49.Nf5+ Kg6 50.Ne7+ Kg7 51.Nf5+ Kf6 52.g4 e4 53.Rxh7 Nc5 54.Kc2 Na4 55.b4 Rxb4 56.Nxd6 Ke5 57.Nxf7+ Kd4 58.g5 Rb2+ 59.Kc1 Rg2 60.Rh8 Nc5 Another mutual time trouble passed.The game should finish in a draw but after 6 hours of play with two heavy time troubles anything may still happen.

61.Rd8+ Kc3 62.Kd1 Nd3 63.Rc8+ Kd4 Now Black is winning.

64.Nd6 Rg1+ 65.Kc2 Rc1+ 66.Kb3 Rxc8 67.Nxc8 e3 White resigned. An impressive game by the young Asian. His play still lacks maturity but he managed to outplay his experienced opponent several times after spilling his advantage due to inaccuracies. His talent and will for the win really impress and we may expect of him to become one of the new young chess stars. 0-1