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MANILA, Philippines – Magnus Carlsen won the first two games and proceeded to subdue Wesley So, 3-1, in their grand finals showdown for the online 2023 Aimchess Rapid crown on Friday, July 14 (Saturday, July 15, Manila time).
So fought back and won on demand with the black pieces in Game 3, only to be outplayed by Carlsen in Game 4, giving the former world champion and tournament favorite the title and the $30,000 top purse.
The Bacoor, Cavite-born So, a mainstay of Team USA, settled for second place and $20,000 in the event serving as the fourth leg of the $2 million (nearly P109 million) Champion Chess Tour 2023.
Reaching the finals is already a feat for So, as he was given up for lost after losing to Uzbek prodigy Nodirbek Abdusattorov via Armageddon in the quarterfinals.
So rebounded with successive victories over Russian Vladimir Fedoseev (via Armageddon), American No. 1 Fabiano Caruana (2-0), Spanish prospect Eduardo Iturrizaga (1.5-0.5) and Abdusattorov (1.5-0.5), who also bowed to Carlsen in the winners’ bracket finals.
Counting his victory in the Airthings Master, Carlsen now leads the CCT overall race with 375 points. Caruana climbed to second with 280 points, followed by Abdusattorov, the ChessKid Cup champion, with 275, Chessable Masters champion and absentee Hikaru Nakamura with 270, and So with 205.
The CCT fifth leg is slated August 28 to September 1 at a yet-to-be-announced venue. – Rappler.com