Newly crowned United States chess champion Wesley So overpowered teenage sensation Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan, 18-10, to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2020 Speed Chess Championship over the weekend.

The 27-year-old So won all three time controls, 5.5-4.5 in the five minutes plus one-second increment, 7-2 in the three plus one, and 5.5-3.5 in the one plus one to complete the one-sided win.

The triumph sent So to the quarters where he will face the winner between US teammate and world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana and Poland’s Jan-Krysztof Duda, who qualified by topping the Speed Chess Invitational.

While it was a one-sided affair, So had to overcome some struggles early as he blew a 4.5-0.5 lead by losing three of his next five games in the 5+1 time control for a 5.5-4.5 deficit.

But he recovered from there and just totally destroyed the 15-year-old Abdusattorov, a former world youth champion, in the faster time controls to claim the match victory.“

Actually, I was quite angry at myself. I thought the match will be comfortable but I got a bit careless,” said So during the post-game interview at “Overall it was a tight match.”

So joined reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen, France’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Russia’s Vladimir Fedoseev in the next round.

Carlsen, seeded only second behind defending champion Hikaru Nakamura of the US, waylaid India’s Parham Paghsoodloo, 24-5. Vachier-Lagrave trounced India’s Nihal Sarin, 16-11.5, and Fedoseev stunned Alireza Firouza, 15-14.

Source: Manila Bulletin (