Wesley So overpowered Jorden van Foreest of Netherlands in the second and final set, 2.5-0.5, to barge into the semifinals of the Chessable Masters of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour on Wednesday.
The Cavite-born So posted decisive victories in the first two games and drew the third to finish off van Foreest, who showed some fight in their first duel Tuesday after the Dutch forced a 2-2- standoff.
The win set So a semis match against giant-killing Vladislav Artemiev of Russia, who eliminated higher-ranked American Hikaru Nakamura in a series that was decided by the “Armageddon” playoff.
So regained the form that saw him top the elimination round with an unbeaten score of 11 points highlighted by seven victories.
In the first set of the quarterfinals, it was van Foreest who dictated the match by winning one game and almost taking two more wins before So escaped with draws.
So didn’t leave anything to chance on this one and made sure to take the fight out of van Foreest early.
The other semis match pits Armenian Levon Aronian and Vietnamese Le Quang Liem, who trounced French Alireza Firouzja and Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, respectively.
So is gunning for his third title after topping the Skilling Open in November last year and the Euro Opera Rapid in February.
He is also hoping to catch up on the overall tour leader and reigning world classical champion Magnus Carlsen.