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Sports

Rapport shows way in Norway

LET’S PLAY CHESS - Edgar De Castro - The Philippine Star

Richard Rapport of Hungary executed his endgame strategy without trouble, beat Frenchman Alireza Firouzja and took an impressive 2.5-point lead after four rounds of the 9th Norway Chess Classic in Stavanger, Norway.

Rapport, 25, who moved into ninth spot in the latest live chess ratings, had 8.5 points total in the six-player, double-round robin classical event, where a win is scored three points and a draw is immediately decided by an Armageddon tie-break.

Local hero Magnus Carlsen had six points in second spot, followed by the Russian tandem of Ian Nepomniactchi and Sergey Kariakin at four apiece, Firouzja and hometown GM Aryan Tari, with three each.

Games can be followed live starting at 5 p.m. local time or 11 a.m. EST.

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Meanwhile, the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad elimination phase concluded with eight teams (Russia, United States, India, China, Ukraine, Hungary, Poland and Kazakhstan) advancing to the knockout stages set to begin tomorrow. Quarterfinal pairings will be Kazakhstan vs USA, Ukraine vs India, Russia vs Hungary and China vs Poland.

Time control is 15 + 5 and team composition will be six players in each match, composed of two open spots, two women, one male under-20 and one female under-20.,

Matches can be viewed live at various chess websites.

* * *

Still in online chess, Carlsen defeated Russian Vladislav Artemiev in the finals to rule the AimChess US Rapid, the final leg of the $1.6 million online Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.

The Norwegian world champion has regained his excellent form, winning convincingly, 3-2 and 2.5-0.5, in two sets.

The bitter pill of losing to Firouzja in the preliminary seemed to have awakened his uncertainty, and he marched to victory with an unbroken series of dominant performances.

EST

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