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Wesley So escaped with a draw against India’s Pentala Harikrishna to slip to second in Pool D after two rounds in the first leg of the FIDE Grand Prix Series in Berlin, Germany on Saturday.

The Cavite-born American split the point after 49 moves of a Ruy Lopez duel for his second straight draw after also halving the point with United States teammate Leinier Dominguez Perez in the opening round.

Dominguez Perez seized the solo lead in their bracker after turning back Alexei Shirov, a Latvian who now represents Spain, to improve to 1.5 points.

So battles Shirov at press times with hopes of staying in title contention in this 16-player event using a double round-robin pool format.

The Berlin meet serves as the first of a three-event series that features 24 players. The players will have to compete in two of the three legs.

The two players after the series will qualify to the World Candidates slated June 16 to July 7.

So, the reigning world Fischer-Random champion and two-time US winner, is gunning for his first Candidates tournament appearance where he hopes to book a crack at challenging Magnus Carlsen for the world classical crown.

Source: Manila Bulletin (