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Wesley So won twice and drew with top seed Magnus Carlsen to share the early lead in the 2023 Superbet Rapid & Blitz Poland on Sunday, May 21 (Monday, May 22, Manila time), at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw.
The Cavite-born So trounced Bogdan-Daniel Deac in the first round and Richard Rapport in the third after forcing Carlsen to a standoff in the second to join fellow Team USA member Levon Aronian and defending champion Jan Krzysztof Duda at the helm of the all-Super Grandmaster field in the $175,000 (P9.7 million) tournament serving as the second leg of the 2023 Grand Chess Tour.
Duda prevailed over Anish Giri and Deac before forcing Carlsen to another draw, while Aronian, a substitute for new world champion Ding Liren who withdrew due to fatigue, drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and bested Kirill Shevchenko and Giri, respectively.
With a win worth 2 points and a draw 1 point, So, Duda, and Aronian have 5 points each, towing 4-pointers Radoslaw Wojstaszek, who stunned Carlsen in the first round, and Vachier-Lagrave, who handed Deac a third straight defeat.
So will try to break free from Aronian and Duda on Monday, when the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds are held.
Pitted against So in the 25-minute, 10-second increment event are Wojtaszek, Shevchenko, and Duda in succession.
Carlsen, with only 2 points to show, is expected to bounce back when he tangles with Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian, and Giri, in that order.
So is aiming to better his joint second effort in the 2023 Superbet Classic Romania, won by absentee Fabiano Caruana, in Bucharest last week. – Rappler.com