Wesley So tangles with Carlsen in Aimchess US Rapid 1st round

Roy Luarca

RIVALS. Wesley So (R) and Magnus Carlsen compete in the Aimchess US Rapid online.


Magnus Carlsen leads the race for the Champions Chess Tour overall title, with only So having minimal chances of overtaking him

Less than two days after topping the Grand Chess Tour, Wesley So takes aim at the Champions Chess Tour (CCT) as well when he tackles world champion Magnus Carlsen in the opening round of the Aimchess US Rapid online on Saturday, August 28 (Sunday, August 29, Philippine time).

Carlsen leads the race for the CCT overall title, with only So having minimal chances of overtaking him.

Apart from Carlsen, the Filipino-born So, the CCT’s only three-leg winner will also tangle with Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Santosh Gujrathi Vidit, Le Quang Liem, and Alireza Firouzja in the first set of 15 preliminary matches.

Carlsen’s other assignments are Vidit, Le, Firouzja, and Daniel Naroditsky, respectively.

Both So and Carlsen, a two-leg winner, have advanced to the quarterfinals in each of the first eight legs of the $1.6-million CCT and are expected to qualify again.

Completing the elite 16-man field are Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Leinier Dominguez, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vladislav Artemiev, Jorden van Foreest, Eric Hansen, and Awonder Liang.

The top 8 after the single round-robin will qualify for the quarterfinals, where play shifts to knockout.

So competed in the recent Sinquefield Cup won by Vachier-Lagrave and wound up joint second with fellow Americans Fabiano Caruana and Dominguez to duplicate his overall triumph in the 2016 Grand Chess Tour. –

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