MANILA, Philippines – When Wesley So is in form, even world champion Magnus Carlsen pales in comparison.
So handed Carlsen another beating on Wednesday, June 1 (Thursday, June 2, Philippine time), boosting his chances in the 10th Norway Chess Tournament in Finasparken, Stavanger.
After drawing their classical match in the second round, So trounced Carlsen in their Giuoco Piano Armageddon decider, putting the back-to-back United States champion right behind the returning Viswanathan Anand, who notched his second straight win at the expense of Veselin Topalov in the single round-robin, 10-man tournament.
The Filipino-born So also prevailed over Carlsen and ruled the blitz segment of the event offering 750,000 kroner (P4.2 million) to the champion.
So’s performance was reminiscent of the way he vanquished Carlsen, 13.5-2.5, also before his countrymen and became the world’s first Fischer Random champion in 2019.
Under the event’s novel scoring system that gives 3 points for an outright win, Anand has a perfect 6 points while So, who subdued Teimour Radjabov in the first round, totes 4.5.
Anish Giri was at third with 3 points following another Armageddon victory, this time over Wang Hao, with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Carlsen, who has ruled the last three stagings of the event, notching 2.5 each.
Mamedyarov also lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave via Armageddon.
Anand, the five-time world champion from India, and So will try to keep their 1-2 spots when they tackle separate opponents in the third round on Thursday.
So will handle black against Giri while Anand plays white against Wang, who’s making a comeback after announcing his retirement in 2019 due to health concerns.
Other matches pit Carlsen against Radjabov, Mamedyarov versus Topalov, and Norwegian Aryan Tari against Vachier-Lagrave. – Rappler.com