Carlsen puts So in must-win hole with Day 1 thumping
World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen dished out the brand of play expected of him to win Day 1 of his quarterfinal duel with Philippine-born Wesley So, 2.5-.5, in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Chess Challenge on Sunday night.The Norwegian rode out a stormy opening in the second game before stacking two victories and forcing the Fil-American to take a draw in the third match of the online chess championship.
“It was obviously a pleasant surprise for me,” Carlsen told chess24.com. “I would say, let the man (So) redeem himself in the next few days.”
So will have to win Day 2 of their matchup on Tuesday night to force a deciding Day 3. Otherwise, Carlsen runs away with outright semifinals ticket.
Another win will put Carlsen into a semis series against either American Hiraku Nakamura or Armenian Levon Aronian. Nakamura holds a 1-0 edge going into Day 2 of their own series on Monday night.
Daniil Dubov scored a 3-0 win over fellow Russian Sergey Karjakin in the other quarters duel played on Sunday.
After winning the first match, So came out aggressively against Carlsen’s Berlin defense. “I made a number of questionable decisions in the opening,” admitted the 29-year-old reigning world champion.But Carlsen handled himself well and eventually forced So to resign for a 2-0 lead.
Trying to cut his losses, So took a draw by repetition in the next match after only 18 moves. INQ
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