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MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So exacted revenge on Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the losers bracket finals to forge a grand title showdown with Magnus Carlsen in the Champion Chess Tour (CCT) Aimchess Rapid 2023.
The Filipino-born So, now representing the United States, yielded to the Uzbek prodigy via Armageddon in the quarterfinals to fall into must-win situations.
So, however, rose to the challenge, beating Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev, American No. 1 Fabiano Caruana, and Spanish star Eduardo Iturrizaga in succession to forge the rematch with Abdusattorov, who bowed to the top-seeded Carlsen in the winners bracket finals.
Since Carlsen wound up unbeaten in the online event serving as the fourth leg of the $2 million (P109 million) CCT, he will enjoy the twice-to-beat advantage over So, who’s seeded second.
Handling black, So bested Abdusattorov in Game 1 and was in control in Game 2 when the 18-year-old prodigy offered a draw, conceding the match.
For So, facing Carlsen, the world’s highest-rated player ever in the finals, presents another opportunity to shine.
During the post-match interview, So said: “It’s going to be tough to win two matches in a row… Magnus is only human, he can have an off day also from time to time.”
“I’ve lost way too many matches against Magnus in the past so things should be different at some point,” So added. “Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day!”
Of course, So humbled Carlsen, who relinquished his world title this year, for the First World Fischer Random championship in 2019, 13.5-2.5.
Carlsen earlier said he would like to face So in the championship of the $250,000 event dangling $30,000 to the champion. – Rappler.com