Wesley So sweeps French foe to book semis berth in FTX Crypto Cup

Published May 28, 2021, 1:11 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

Wesley So

Grandmaster Wesley So completed a two-game sweep of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France to advance to the semifinals of the FTX Crypto Cup of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Friday, May 28.

The reigning Fischer-Random king and two-time United States champion drew their first two games before winning the third game to wrap it all up for 2-1, in their second quarterfinal duel.

The fourth game was rendered non-bearing and was not played after So smashed the Frenchman, 3-1, in their first quarters duel Thursday.

With the win, the Cavite-born So set up a semis meeting with Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, who needed a two-game blitz tiebreak to turn back world No. 2 Fabiano Caruana of the United States, 1.5-0.5

While So surprisingly encountered little trouble, world classical champion Magnus Carlsen had to fend off an upset-conscious Hikaru Nakamura of the United States by winning their blitz tiebreak, 2-0.

Carlsen arranged a meeting with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, who bested Anish Giri of the Netherlands.

So hopes to top this tournament to regain the overall tour lead to Carlsen, who seized the upper hand after reigning supreme in the New in Chess Classic early in the month.