Wesley So takes down World No. 1 Carlsen, tops Skilling Open chess tiff
GM Wesley So

Wesley So takes down World No. 1 Carlsen, tops Skilling Open chess tiff

Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - December 1, 2020 - 2:50pm

MANILA, Philippines – Cavite-born Wesley So showed the world he could challenge for the world title after he brought down the reigning world champion himself, Magnus Carslen, to rule the Skilling Open of the Champions Chess Tour.

So cashed in on his chances and hung tough enough in escaping with a 4-4 draw in their eight-game showdown and then beat Carlsen in the blitz playoff, 1.5-.5, to rule the event and pocket the top prize worth US$30,000, or a whopping P1.5 million, that went with it despite being the overwhelming underdog.

The recent feat also showed So’s ability to beat Carlsen and realize his dream of becoming world champion in classical chess someday.

“If he keeps up with his standard play and rating of 2880, he’ll be very difficult to beat. But if he focuses on other things in life, if he loses some of his devotion in chess, maybe other players could challenge him,” said So during the post-game interview.

It was the second time So stunned Carlsen in a match after the former shamed the latter, 13.5-2.5, to emerge the world Fischer-Random champion last year.

It also spoiled the birthday party of Carlsen, who turned 30 years old a few hours before.

“I’d like to apologize to Magnus for semi-ruining his birthday,” said So.

In the first set of their two four-game matches Monday, So swapped victories with Carlsen with the pieces that resulted to a 2-2 truce.

The final set likewise wound up with the same 2-2 result after So came back from an ugly defeat in the first game by seizing the second game with black and the last two games ended up in draws.

It forced a two-game blitz playoff that went to So after beating Carlsen in the first game and digging himself out of a losing position in the second to force a draw.

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