Abdusattorov foils Wesley So; Carlsen trips Caruana in Champions Chess semis

Roy Luarca

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Abdusattorov foils Wesley So; Carlsen trips Caruana in Champions Chess semis

TOP FOUR. Wesley So in action in the 2023 Champions Chess Tour semifinals.


After topping the round-robin segment, Wesley So now faces a must-win encounter against Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the semifinals of the elite chess tourney

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So ran out of tricks and yielded the first set of his semifinal tussle with Nodirbek Abdusattorov on Wednesday, Dececember 13 (Thursday, December 14, Philippine time) in the 2023 Champions Chess Tour (CCT) Finals at the 1 Hotel in Toronto, Canada.

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, on the other hand, subdued world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana via Armageddon in the other semifinal clash of the $500,000 (P27.8 million) tournament.

The Bacoor, Cavite-born So won the first game after 89 moves of a Ruy Lopez Classical variation, only to suffer back-to-back losses and drop to a must-win situation in game 4, which ended in a draw by repetition and gave Abdusattorov a 2.5-1.5 victory.

Despite losing his queen, Carlsen won the opener, but Caruana rebounded by taking the next two games.

Carlsen prevailed on demand in game 4 to force a 2-2 tie and then bested Caruana in the Armageddon tiebreaker to move closer to the crown he clinched in 2021 and kept in 2022.

So, who topped the round-robin segment, and Caruana must win in the second set on Friday to force a third-set tiebreaker.

Abdusattorov, the 2021 world rapid champion, was very happy with his victory over So, claiming that it was his first-ever match win over the three-time United States champion.

The four semifinalists are assured of $50,000 plus $1,000 for every match win in the event serving as the concluding leg of the $2 million 2023 CCT circuit. –

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