Grandmaster Wesley So settled for a 2-2 draw with world classical champion Magnus Carlsen in the first of their two-set finale in the FTX Crypto Cup of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Monday, May 31.
So stumbled in their first game that ended his 29-game winning streak before recovering his wits to split the point in the second.
The Cavite-born American then seized the win in the crucial third game before drawing the fourth to forge a 2-2 deadlock heading to Tuesday’s pulsating four-game duel.
The two-time United States champion hopes to conquer Carlsen in the finals for the third time after besting the Norwegian superstar in the Skilling Open in November and the Opera Euro Rapid in February.
It could also hand So back the overall tour lead after Carlsen took the top leaderboard with a victory in the New in Chess Classic early this month.
The winner will also pocket the top purse worth $60,000 in cash and 2.18 bitcoin.
Carlsen complained he played sick.
“I don’t feel good today (Monday), hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow (Tuesday),” said the Norwegian champion in an interview with the tournament website.
Meanwhile, Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi and Azeri Teimour Radjabov also drew all their four encounters to end up with a 2-2 deadlock in the battle for third place.