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So, Carlsen pave path to championship showdown in rich tournament

/ 04:20 AM June 13, 2020

Filipino-American chess grandmaster (GM) Wesley So could find himself on collision course for the championship with the World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen. That is if they continue their respective semifinal rampage in the Clutch Chess International.

The two GMs left their opponents by the ropes on Day 1 of the semifinals on Thursday night in the richest ever online chess tournament.

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Victories on Friday (early morning Saturday in Manila) will allow them to dispute the championship in the meet staking a total prize of $265,000.

So bested fellow former child prodigy Fabiano Caruana, 6-2, in their duel, which served as rematch of their final showdown in last month’s Clutch Chess USA won by the Cavite native.

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“It’s not over yet, there are six points on the line in Friday’s last two games,” said So who expects the Italian-American World No. 2 to mount a rally in Friday’s Day 2 of the semis.

Carlsen, who beat So in the semifinals of last month’s Lindores Abbey Rapid Chess tournament, also fashioned out similar 6-2 win over Armenian Levon Aronian in their own series.

The format, yet another variation to make the sport appealing to mainstream, is played on rapid chess rules (players given 15 minutes each to make all their moves.)

But instead of usual one point for each won game, it gives additional points to the “clutch games,” to encourage comebacks and wild finishes in the 12-game, two-day semifinal matchups.

The meet gives two points for each won game in Games 5 and 6.

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TAGS: Clutch Chess International, Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So
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