For Grandmaster Wesley So to realize his dream of becoming a world champion in the future, he needs to hurdle the biggest name in chess—Magnus Carlsen.
So faces Carlsen once again, this time in the Chess24 Banter Series Final set on Wednesday.
So, the Philippines’ former No. 1 player who is now representing the United States, smashed former Webster University teammate Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, 6-3, to arrange a title showdown with Carlsen.
Carlsen, meanwhile, turned back Armenian bet Levon Aronian, 5.5-2.5, for the other spot in the finals.
It will be a match between two giants, with Carlsen, the reigning world champion the of standard, rapid and blitz, going up against So, the Fischer Random titlist.
The tournament, however, applies a blitz format (three minutes, two-second increment) that should give Carlsen the big edge.
Interestingly, both So and Carlsen ended up co-champions of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament a week ago.
The winner in this event will take US$12,000 (PhP600,000) while the runner up earns US$6,000 (P300,000) as consolation.
And should So manage to eventually pull an upset of Carlsen, his bid to steal the world classical title in the next championship cycle would be closer to reality.