Ding ousts So, faces Aronian for title
Wesley So bowed out of the World Chess Cup 2017 Thursday night, losing to Ding Liren in the first game of their semifinals blitz tiebreaker in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Representing the USA, So yielded to Ding after 69 moves of a Catalan Opening and crashed out of the finals, 2.5-3.5, after the Chinese No. 1 forged a draw in the second game after 47 moves of a Benoni Defense.
Their two standard and two rapid tiebreakers also ended in draws, the second in just nine moves of a Grunfeld Defense.
Ding will meet Armenian Levon Aronian, who tamed Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in their semifinal duel en route to a 4-3 decision.
Ding and Levon will dispute the title and the $120,000 that goes with it in a four-match affair. The loser gets $80,000. They also earned slots to the Candidates Matches 2018.
The Cavite-born So, meanwhile, earned $50,000. —ROY LUARCA
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