Carlsen beats Nakamura, leaps past So in Champions Chess Tour race

Roy Luarca

SLIP. Wesley So loses his hold of the top spot in the Champions Chess Tour standings to Magnus Carlsen.

Photo from FIDE

World champion Magnus Carlsen rules the New in Chess Classic to surpass Wesley So for the overall lead in the Champions Chess Tour

World champion Magnus Carlsen rebounded from a first game loss to subdue Hikaru Nakamura in their New in Chess Classic title tussle and topple Wesley So as the overall leader of the Champions Chess Tour (CCT).

After a draw in the second game, Carlsen prevailed in the third and was winning the fourth when Nakamura offered the draw, conceding defeat and the $30,000 winner’s purse on Sunday, May 2 (Monday, May 3, Philippine time).

Sustaining the form that made him the top qualifier, Carlsen clinched his first championship in 6 months and vaulted past So in the Tour points standing as well as in earnings.

Carlsen got the maximum 50 points for a total of 185, 40 points ahead of So, who yielded his quarterfinals match to Levon Aronian and settled for 5 points and $5,000.

So, the reigning United States champion, has garnered 145 points and $90,000 (over P4.3 million) in total.

Upstaged by So in both the Skilling Open and Opera Euro Rapid, Carlsen has stashed $95,000 in total.

Nakamura, who bowed to Carlsen, 1-3, in the first set of their two finals matches, collected 33 points and $15,000 to climb to 73 points and $45,000 overall.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov beat Aronian, 2.5-0.5 in their battle-for-third clash and posted 21 points and $8,500.

Airthings Masters winner Teimour Radjabov is No. 3 in points at 109 and No. 5 in earnings with $63,500 after another quarterfinals stint.

The sixth event of the $1.5 million CCT will start on May 23 with Carlsen, Nakamura, and So expected to be back. It will be the Tour’s third major with $220,000 at stake. –