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Carlsen, So seal showdown

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2021 - 12:00am

Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So posted contrasting  victories yesterday to set up a finals showdown at the Opera Euro online tournament, the third leg of the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour.

Carlsen, the Norwegian world champion, was pushed to the  limit by  a resurgent Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France before finally clinching a 2.5-0.5, 1-3, 2-1 semifinal victory in three sets and Armageddon tie break.

In the other semifinal matchup, So (USA) made light work of second-leg champion Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), 2.5-1.5, 2-1, to reach the finals.

It was the Azeri who leveled the count at 1.0 apiece, but his American opponent scored 1.5 points and won the first set.

The second set was far more effortless with the American easily drawing games one and two, and winning the third to secure the match.

So defeated Carlsen in the Skilling Open finals, the first leg of the Champions Tour last November.

The best-of-three title match  is underway, and can be viewed live with commentaries at various chess websites, starting at 1600 utc.

MAGNUS CARLSEN
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