Wesley So's game in round 3 of the Tata Steel Chess Masters turned out to be "a hard-fought draw", as he put it - although the American GM was White. Sergey Karyakin's excellent preparation turned it that way. Wesley gave a short commentary to the Chess-News reporter Andrey Deviatkin:
WS: For half of the time, I had to fight for the draw, because the opening went really well for him. He was very well-prepared. I'm not sure but I probably made some mistakes somewhere, that's why it became not so easy. I mean, in the opening I had compensation for the pawn.
AD: Yes, I'd like to ask: optically the position looked better for White, but he was playing really confident, so was it all his preparation?
WS: Well, at first it looked very good for White, but when he played e5-e4 to block my bishop on g2, it was difficult to find the correct plan.
I'm not sure if it was all his preparation including this e5-e4 move, but if it is, then it's very well done. If it's his preparation then probably Black has absolutely no problems here. And in the end, the bishops' pair was just enough to hold the balance.
AD: The final position - I mean, the endgame with the f5-pawn - was it also drawish? Because optically it also looked like White could fight for something.
WS: No, it was just a draw.
As for the Russian GM, he mentioned an amusing moment in his Twitter after the game:
SO - KARYAKIN
"In my today's game I was very much hoping for 31.Ba7, where Black has a fantastic answer 31...e3!!"
[Event "78th Tata Steel GpA"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2016.01.18"] [Round "3.6"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2769"] [ECO "E10"] [Opening "Queen's pawn game"] [EventDate "2016.01.16"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Qc2 b6 9. Rd1 Nbd7 10. Bf4 Ba6 11. Ne5 Rc8 12. Nc3 Bxc4 13. Nxc4 dxc4 14. e4 b5 15. a4 a6 16. d5 cxd5 17. exd5 e5 18. Bg5 b4 19. d6 bxc3 20. Qxc3 h6 21. Be3 e4 22. Qa3 Re8 23. dxe7 Qxe7 24. Qxe7 Rxe7 25. Rd6 Re6 26. Rad1 Ne5 27. Bh3 Rxd6 28. Rxd6 Rb8 29. Kg2 c3 30. bxc3 Nc4 31. Rxa6 Nxe3+ 32. fxe3 Nd5 33. a5 f5 34. c4 Nxe3+ 35. Kf2 Nxc4 36. Bxf5 Rf8 37. g4 Nxa5 38. Rxa5 g6 39. Re5 gxf5 40. gxf5 Ra8 41. Kg3 Kf7 42. Rxe4 Kf6 43. Kf4 Ra6 44. h4 h5 1/2-1/2