Magnus Carlsen, left, and Wesley So

Reigning world Fischer Random champion Wesley So brought down world classical titlist Magnus Carlsen to salvage a 2-2 tie in the first of their two four-game title showdown in the Opera Euro Rapid of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Sunday, Feb. 14.

The 27-year-old So blew his winning chances in the first game that ended in a draw as well as the second that resulted in a heartbreaking defeat before splitting the point in the third to trail, 1-0.5.

Needing nothing less than a win to forge a tie going into the deciding round Monday, the two-time United States champion delivered with a brilliant attacking game that ended with Carlsen resigning knowing a smashing checkmate is inevitable.

“I’m thrilled to win on demand with the white pieces,” said the Minnesota-based So in an interview with the official tournament website,

With their showdown knotted at 2-all, So and Carlsen will have four games to fight it out for the crown and the US$30,000 (P1.5 million) top purse that goes with it.

So is looking to duplicate his shock triumph over Carlsen in the tour’s opening leg—the Skilling Open—in December last year.

Source: Manila Bulletin (