Wesley So advances vs Carlsen in Lindores rapid chess
MANILA, Philippines – After breezing through the preliminaries, Wesley So braces for a bumpy ride in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge quarterfinals.
Blocking the Cavite-born So’s path in the knockout stage is Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen, who placed 5th, a rung lower than So in the 11-round eliminations that ended Thursday, May 21 (Friday, May 22, Philippine time).
Hikaru Nakamura, So’s fellow stalwart in the United States team, emerged top qualifier with 4 wins and 7 draws for 7.5 points, towing Russian Sergey Karjakin with 7.0 points.
Chinese Yu Yangyi, So, Carlsen and Chinese Ding Liren all tallied 6.0 points and finished 3,4,5, 6 when the tiebreak was applied.
Russian Daniil Dubov placed 7th with 5.5 points while Armenian Levon Aronian took the 8th and last quarterfinals slot with the same score.
Other quarterfinal matches pit Yu against Ding, Karjakin against Dubov, and Nakamura against Aronian.
Nakamura drew with China’s Wei Yi in the 9th round, beat Poland’s Jan-Kryystof Duda in the 10th, then split the point with So in the 11th to flaunt his speed chess prowess.
So, the world’s first Fischer Random Chess champion at the expense of Carlsen, also drew his games with Aronian and Ding in Rounds 9 and 10.
Far from his best form, Carlsen needed to beat Iranian sensation Alireza Firouzja in his last game to advance in the tournament serving as second leg of the $1 million online chess tour bearing his name.
Russian Alexander Grischuk also scored 5.5 but crashed out due to low tiebreak. Firouza, Duda and Wei tumbled with 4.5, 4.0 and 2.5 points, respectively.
The S150,000 event featuring 12 Super Grandmasters took a break Friday and will resume with the quarterfinals Saturday. – Rappler.com