Perfect Wesley So run ends but semis spot secured

Roy Luarca

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Perfect Wesley So run ends but semis spot secured

CONTENDER. Wesley So in action in a FIDE tournament.

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Just a day after stunning world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So suffers his first loss but still nails an outright semis spot in the Champions Chess Tour

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So’s perfect run got broken by Fabiano Caruana in the Armageddon on Tuesday, December 12 (Wednesday, December 13, Philippine time) in the 2023 Champions Chess Tour (CCT) Finals at the 1 Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

A blunder that would lead to So losing his queen for a rook forced the Filipino-born American to surrender the Armageddon tiebreaker of their seventh-round encounter.

Owing to So’s six straight wins earlier, however, the three-time United States champion still topped the round-robin stage with 6.0 points and advanced outright to the semifinals of the eight-player $500,000 (P28 million) tournament.

Carlsen, despite losing to So, in the fifth round, matched So’s 6.0 points after eliminating Alireza Firouza in the seventh round, also via Armageddon, and also qualified for Thursday’s semifinals.

So, who held Caruana to draws in their first two games in Round 7, will tackle Nodirbek Abdusattorov while Carlsen will battle Caruana in the knockout affair.

Caruana, who tallied 5.0 points, and Abdusattorov, who posted 4.0 points, in the round-robin, made their way through the Survival Stage, where Caruana bested Abdusattorov via Armageddon after splitting their first two games.

Abdusattorov ousted Hikaru Nakamura, who prevailed over Maxime Vachier-Lagrave earlier, by way of a draw with the black pieces in Armageddon.

Vachier-Lagrave ended up sixth, while Nakamura placed fifth in the event serving as the concluding leg of the $2 million CCT circuit. –

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