Carlsen extends reign in Norway tourney, Wesley So winds up 5th

Roy Luarca
Carlsen extends reign in Norway tourney, Wesley So winds up 5th

DISAPPOINTED. Wesley So fails to follow up on his strong run in the blitz competition.


Wesley So settles in the middle of the pack of the elite 10-man Norway Chess Tournament as world champion Magnus Carlsen dominates

MANILA, Philippines – World champion Magnus Carlsen stretched his domination of the Norway Chess Tournament on Friday, June 10 (Saturday, June 11, Philippine time) as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Viswanathan Anand failed to win on demand.

United States champion Wesley So also settled for a draw with Wang Hao in classical play and wound up fifth behind Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the elite 10-man event held in Stavanger.

All ninth-round classical matches ended in draws, assuring Carlsen of his fourth straight and fifth title overall in 10 editions of the event even with the Armageddon tiebreakers yet to be held.

Handling black, Carlsen held former world champion Veselin Topalov to a draw in the Armageddon, awarding the Norwegian icon another win that raised his total to 16.5 points.

Mamedyarov, who was forced to a draw by the black-playing Teimour Radjabov, finished with 15.5 points, a full point ahead of Anand, who bested Norwegian No. 2 Aryan Tari in another tiebreaker.

Although So prevailed over Wang in their tiebreaker following a draw with black, the pride of Bacoor, Cavite was too far to challenge and posted 12.5 points, trailing Vachier-Lagrave who bested Anish Giri and tallied 14.0 points after their tiebreaker.

It was a disappointing stint for So, who topped the blitz competition and started strong with Anand.

So opened up with an outright victory over Radjabov, an Armageddon win over Carlsen, an Armageddon triumph over Giri, an Armageddon conquest of Anand, before getting derailed by Mamedyarov, also via Armageddon.

So rebounded by beating Tari in Armageddon in the sixth round only to be beaten by Vachier-Lagrave in classical play in the seventh.

Another loss to Topalov, this time via Armageddon, doomed So, who failed to dispose of Wang outright.

So pocketed 180,000 kroner (P984,000), a paltry sum compared with Carlsen’s 750,000 kroner (P4.1 million) prize. –