Wesley So fights to stay alive vs Carlsen
MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So fights for life as teammate United States stalwart Hikaru Nikamura barged into the semifinals in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge on Monday, May 25 (Tuesday, May 26, Philippine time).
Forced to an Armageddon tiebreaker by Armenian Levon Aronian in their first quarterfinals mini match, Nakamura regained fiery form and prevailed, 3-1, in the second mini match for a 2-0 sweep and become the first round of 4 qualifier in the tournament serving as second leg of the $1 million Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour.
Dropping his first two games against world champion Carlsen, So opted to give up their first mini match with a draw by repetition in the third game for a 2.5-0.5 result.
By conserving his strength, So hopes to topple the Norwegian, who is also world No. 1 in rapid play, in their second mini match on Tuesday.
Also slated Tuesday is the second mini match between Russians Daniil Dubov and Sergey Karjakin. Dubov routed Karjakin, 3-0, in the round of 8 opener and needs only to repeat to advance to the semifinals.
Another loss would put So in the company of Aronian while sending Carlsen on collision course with Nakamura.
If So, ranked only 21st in rapid, manages to stun Carlsen, a deciding third mini match would be held Wednesday, May 27.
Already on tap Wednesday is the third mini match between Chinese aces Ding Liren and Yu Yangyi.
Yu bested Ding via Armageddon in their first mini match but Ding equalized with a 2.5-1.5 victory in the second.
As semifinalist, Nakamura, renowned for his speed chess prowess, is assured of $15,000 from the total purse of $150,000. – Rappler.com