Wesley So’s pursuit of Magnus Carlsen in the Champions Chess Tour is over


Grandmaster of Norwegian chess Magnus Carlsen (L) and Grandmaster of Filipino-American chess Wesley So. (Photo by Berit Roald / NTB Scanpix / AFP) / Norway OUT (Photo by BERIT ROALD / NTB Scanpix / AFP via Getty Images)

The bid for the title of Philippine-born Wesley So in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final ended on Sunday (October 3, Manila time).

The Filipino-American grandmaster couldn’t avoid a decisive seventh-round collapse after falling to Levon Aronian, who took a dominant 2.5-0.5 victory.

With just two rounds remaining in the tournament and a maximum of six points remaining, So, who holds 21.5 points and lags behind world champion Magnus Carlsen (28.5 points) by seven, has bid farewell to his hopes of championship.

“Things didn’t go well from the start. I played good matches early on, but somehow I never felt the stability I needed. ‘is that one of those days, “lamented So, the proud 27-year-old. Cavity.

Carlsen was crowned champion of the tournament on the same day he suffered an unusual loss to Teimour Radjabov.

Radjabov carved out a 3-1 result at the expense of the fanciful Norwegian, who was quick to ignore defeat with the prestigious title already in his hands.

“Right now I’m just happy to win the overall standings,” Carlsen said with a beaming smile.

Worse for So, Radjabov, who gained momentum in the second half of the Tour final, finished with 21 points at the end of the seventh inning to strike a half point behind the United States champion in title.

Further results in the seventh round saw Hikaru Nakamura overtake Maxime Vachier-Lagrave via Armageddon; Jan-Krzysztof Duda won over Vladislav Artemiev with a 2.5-1.5 victory; and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov asserted his dominance over Anish Giri with a result of 2.5-0.5.

Here is the rest of the standings after the seventh round: Aronian with 18; Nakamura with 16; Artemiev with 13.5; Vachier-Lagrave with 13.5; Giri with 11.5; Duda with 11; and Mamedyarov with 9.5.

The tournament resumes on Monday (October 5, Manila time) with the penultimate round featuring the following duos: So-Duda, Radjabov-Mamedyarov, Giri-Vachier-Lagrave, Nakamura-Artemiev and Aronian-Carlsen.

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The opinions expressed are his own.

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