So battles Duda in Elite Speed Chess quarters

Roy Luarca
So battles Duda in Elite Speed Chess quarters

REPEAT. Wesley So seeks to reassert his mastery over Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Photo by Anastasya Karlovich/FIDE press officer

Wesley So will try to advance to the Final Four of the Elite Speed Chess Championship against Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who he defeated in the same tournament two years ago

Wesley So will try to assert his superiority over fellow Super Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the quarterfinals of the 2020 Elite Speed Chess Championship later this month.

Duda, Poland’s No. 1 player, trounced world No. 2 and Team USA ace Fabiano Caruana, 17-9, in the round of 16 on Sunday, November 15 (Monday, November 16, Manila time) to advance against So.

So, the Philippines’ top player before switching to the US federation, booked his quarterfinals spot following an 18-10 beating of Azerbaijan’s teen sensation Nodirbek Abdusattorov earlier.

Though So dominated Duda, 20-7, in the 2018 Speed Chess semifinals, the 22-year-old Pole has improved a lot based on his conquest of Caruana, who got crushed in the bullet section.

Trailing by just a point, 8-9, after the five-minute and three-minute sections, Caruana was left behind, 8-13, after Duda swept the first 4 games of the one-minute section.

Caruana, who raced to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead in the five-minute section, snatched a victory in Game 22, but Duda sealed the match by taking the next 4.

Duda, a former world junior champion, then finished off the match by taking the next 4 and set himself for a grudge rematch with So.

The youngest player among the world’s top 20, Duda was booted out by defending champion Hikaru Nakamura, 15.5-11.5, in last year’s Speed Chess edition.

Other quarterfinal matches pit Armenian Levon Aronian against Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, and Nakamura against Russian Vladimir Fedoseev.

World champion Magnus Carlsen will be facing the winner between the Netherlands’ Anish Giri and Russia’s Vladislav Artemiev in the last match of the round of 16. –

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