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Wesley So drew with Alexei Shirov to inch closer to advancing to the semifinals of the FIDE Chess Grand Prix 1 2022 in Berlin, Germany Wednesday.

So needed 31 moves of a Ruy Lopez Berlin to split the point with his Spaniard foe to remain at the helm of Pool D with 3.5 points on two wins and three draws.

He was half a point ahead of fellow American Leinier Dominguez Perez, who outlasted Indian Pentala Harikrishna in 51 moves of a Sicilian Alapin.

A victory for So against Harikrishna in his last match in the group stage would earn him an outright berth to the knockout semifinals.

Should So and Dominguez Perez finish tied at the helm of Pool D, the two players would have to play a tiebreak match.

So is using this tournament to gain Grand Prix points and propel him to claiming the two spots to the Candidates Tournament 2022 slated June 16 to July 7 in Madrid, Spain.

The winner of the Candidates will earn the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the world title.

Source: Manila Bulletin (