Grandmaster Wesley So played solidly in neutralizing fellow United States bet Hikaru Nakamura’s attacking game to take the first set of their two four-game semifinal duels, 2.5-1.5, in the Skilling Open of the Champions Chess Tour Sunday.
The Cavite-born So stepped up in the second duel with his own attacking game that forced Nakamura to resign. He settled for draws in the first, third and fourth games.
“When you give me attacking chances, I feel like I just have to go for it. So when he gave me a piece sacrifice, I didn’t think twice,” said So during the post-game interview.
It was an impressive performance for the reigning Fischer-Random world champion, who drew his last eight games with Nakamura.
And that is what So would need to do to advance to the finals as he faces Nakamura in the second four-game set Monday in this tournament that stakes US$30,000 (P1.5 million) to the winner.
Reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen also came through with a win at the expense of Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, 2.5-1.5.