Standings after seven rounds:
14 points â€“ A. Onischuk (US), G. Meier (Germany)
9 â€“ W. So (RP), Z. Almasi (Hungary)
4 -- E. Perelshteyn (US)
3 -â€“ R. Robson (US)
LUBBOCK, Texas, Nov. 5 (PNA) -- GM Wesley So battled to a draw with GM Eugene Perelshteyn of the United States to keep his hopes alive in the 2010 SPICE Cup chess championship at the Texas Tech University here Friday.
So, who played white, split the point with Perelshteyn after 42 moves of the Queenâ€™s Gambit Declined Exchange variation to raise his score to nine points on two wins, three draws and two losses in this six-player, category-16 tournament.
When the game was agreed drawn, So had a rook, knight and three pawns against Perelshteynâ€™s rook, bishop and two pawns.
The lower-rated American player, however, had nine minutes and 14 seconds left on his game clock against So's 35 seconds.
With the draw, the 17-year-old Filipino champion remains five points behind GMs Alexander Onischuk of the United States and George Meier of the Germany with three rounds remaining.
Onischuk outduelled Meier in 35 moves of the Catalan in the other featured seventh-round encounter Friday.
Top seed GM Zoltan Almasi of Hungary also halved the point with GM Ray Robson of the United States to keep his share of third to fourth places with So with nine points.
So, who is hoping to improve his fourth-place finish in the same tournament last year, gets another chance to improve his score when he meets last-placed Robson in the eighth round Saturday.
So defeated Robson in their first meeting in the first half of the competition last week.
Meanwhile, So finished second to Meier in the accompanying SPICE Cup blitz chess tournament.
So finished with five wins, one draw and one loss to clinch runner-up honors with 5.5 points, half a point behind Meier. He pocketed the runner-up prize of US$ 300.
So won over IM Bryan Smith, GM Gergely Antal, GM Simen Agdestein of Norway, FM Darwin Yang and IM Danny Rensch and drew with Onischuk.
His only setback came at the hands of Meier.
Onischuk, Rensch, Agdestein and GM Anatoly Bykhovsky tied for third to sixth places with 4.5 points.
Soâ€™s eighth major international campaign this year is being supported by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines, headed by president/chairman Prospero â€œButchâ€ Pichay and secretary-general and Tagaytay City Mayor Abraham â€œBambolâ€ Tolentino. (PNA)