Wesley So hopes to topple Carlsen in Lindores chess q’finals

MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So will try to ride on his crushing victory over Magnus Carlsen in the first Fischer Random Chess Championship when they begin their quarterfinals tussle in the Lindores Chess Challenge on Sunday, May 24 (Monday, May 25, Philippine time).

The Philippine-born So, now playing for the United States, routed the Norwegian world champion, 13.5-2.5, in their final series last November to become the first recognized king of the chess variant conceptualized by the late Bobby Fischer.

In their Lindores preliminary game, Carlsen played white and drew with So in the eighth round.

So and Carlsen wound up with 6.0 points each after the 11-game round robin and ranked 4th and 5th, respectively, paving the way for their knockout clash.

Rating-wise, Carlsen enjoys the edge over So being world No. 1 in rapid play at 2881. In contrast, So is rated 21st with 2741.

The other quarterfinal duel pits Russian Daniil Dubov against Sergey Karjakin.

Preliminary topnotcher Hikaru Nakamura of the United States and Yu Yangyi of China took the lead in their quarterfinal matches against Armenian Levon Aronian and fellow Chinese Ding Liren, respectively.

After dropping the first of his mini matches with Aronian, Nakamura drew the next two and then forced the Armageddon tiebreaker by winning the fourth game. Nakamura chose black in the decider and prevailed when Aronian blundered on his 60th move.

The first 4 games between Yu and Ding, stalwarts of the Chinese team which topped the first Online Nations Cup at the expense of Team USA, ended in draws, necessitating the extra match. Ding was winning but ran out of time.

Aronian and Ding will attempt to bounce back on Monday, when the second pair of mini matches will be held. – Rappler.com