MANILA, Philippines – World champion Magnus Carlsen downed Wesley So anew on Tuesday, May 26 (Wednesday, May 27, Philippine time) to barge into the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge semifinals against perennial rival Hikaru Nakamura of the United States.
Carlsen repeated his 2.5-0.5 conquest of So in their first mini match for a 2-0 victory that put him in a rematch with early qualifier Nakamura in the round of 4 of the online chess tournament.
Nakamura, who disposed of Armenian Levon Aronian in the round of 8 to book the first semis seat, will try to avenge his loss to the Norwegian in the Magnus Carlsen Invitational final last month.
The Cavite-born So went a pawn up in the first game, but eventually lost it back after a passive rook move which the Norwegian exploited to gain control and prevail.
They played to a quick draw in the next game after which Carlsen showed why he’s also world No. 1 (Elo 2881) in rapid by taming No. 21 So (Elo 2741) again.
Humbled by Daniil Dubov in their first mini match (3-0), Sergey Karjakin fought back to equalize with his fellow Russian, 2-2, and force the third mini match on Wednesday by winning the Armageddon tiebreaker.
The winner between Dubov-Karjakin will be up against either Ding Liren or Yu Yangyi, both of China, who will clash in another quarterfinal tussle.
Yu bested Ding via Armageddon, 3-2, in their first mini match but Ding knotted the count with a 2.5-1.5 victory in the second mini match.
All semifinalists are guaranteed $15,000 each out of the total purse of $150,000. – Rappler.com
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