Carlsen, So on track

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro (The Philippine Star) - November 29, 2020 - 12:00am

Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So posted contrasting victories at the Skilling Open Online semifinals the other day as each took the lead and pulled within one set of a potential  grand finals showdown.

Carlsen, the Norwegian world champion, saved two inferior endgames and held off a resurgent Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, 2.5-1.5. The 30-year-old Carlsen is going for his second straight champions tour plum.

So, 27, the reigning US champion and world No. 9, powered his way and eased past Hikaru Nakamura,  2.5-1.5, in an all-American semifinal matchup.

While Carlsen and So remained the favorites, their opponents are capable of mounting a comeback  as they illustrated during the quarterfinals.

The $100,000 online tournament is the first leg of the 10-event $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour.

Set two of the four-game semifinals will be played today (9 a.m. Pacific time) and can be followed live with commentaries at various websites.

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