Two-time United States champion Wesley So had a costly misstep and absorbed a 3-1 defeat in the first of their two-set quarterfinal duel with Armenia-born Levon Aronian in the New In Chess Classic of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Wednesday, April 28.
The 27-year-old So committed a mouse slip that allowed Aronian to turn a drawish position into a victory in the first of the scheduled four games for the day, unnerving the Cavite-born Grandmaster and taking the early 1-0 lead.
The 38-year-old Aronian later admitted he “got lucky.”
So, the Fischer-Random king, will have a chance to bounce back and snatch their second and final match to force a deciding blitz playoff.
He aims to do good in this fifth leg with hopes of keeping his grip on the overall tour lead against closest pursuers Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and world classical champ Magnus Carlsen.
Interestingly, Radjabov and Carlsen fought to four draws and both are expected to go at it again in the decisive second set.
Other results saw Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov smash Iran-born Alireza Firouzja, 3-1, and American Hikaru Nakamura turn back former world blitz king Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, 2.5-1.5.