Carlsen pulls ahead as Wesley So tumbles in Champions Tour Finals

Roy Luarca
Carlsen pulls ahead as Wesley So tumbles in Champions Tour Finals

REBOUND. Wesley So looks to bounce back in the third round of the Champions Chess Tour Finals.

World champion Magnus Carlsen seizes a six-point lead over Wesley So as he remains perfect after two rounds in the Champions Chess Tour Finals

Magnus Carlsen survived a tough challenge, while Wesley So tumbled, enabling the world champion to pull away in the 2021 Champions Chess Tour Finals on Sunday, September 26 (Monday, September 27, Manila time).

Keeping his poise in the wake of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s spirited attacks, Carlsen won via Armageddon to remain perfect after two rounds and raise his tally to 21.5 points, including bonuses based on his performances in the past nine legs.

That is 6 points up over So, who bowed to French ace Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in just three games and stayed at 15.5.

Levon Aronian, also beaten by Vachier-Lagrave in the first round, thwarted Vladislav Artemiev, 2.5-1.5, and moved closer to So with 12 points.

Teimour Radjabov yielded to Hikaru Nakamura after the two-game blitz playoffs, 0.5-1.5, and was a distant fourth with 8 points.

Vachier-Lagrave improved to 7.5 points for joint fifth with Dutch star Anish Giri, who got tripped by FIDE World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 1.5-2.5.

So, the former spearhead of the Philippine team before switching to the United States where he is now the reigning national champion, will try to rebound in the third round when he tackles Artemiev.

Other matches pit Carlsen against Vachier-Lagrave, Duda against Mamedyarov, Aronian against Nakamura, and Radjabov against Giri.

The $300,000 (around P15 million) single round-robin event dangles $100,000 to the winner. –