Grandmaster Wesley So fought Russian Vladislav Artemiev to a 2-2 standoff in the last of their two-set semifinal showdown Friday to arrange a title duel with Vietnamese Le Quang Liem in the $1.6 million Chessable Masters of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.
The 27-year-old So bounced back from a 59-move loss to Artemiev in the first game by hacking out a 33-move triumph in the second and drew the last two matches to seal the match win.
The world Fischer-Random king and two-time United States champion booked the first finals berth since a deadlock was what he needed after downing Artemiev, 2.5-1.5, in the first set the day before.
So will clash with Le, who needed the deciding Armageddon tiebreaker to outlast Armenian Levon Aronian, starting Saturday.
The Cavite-born So will come into this match as the favorite after topping the elimination round with 11 points while boasting of two titles in the tour—the inaugural Skilling Open in November last year and the Euro Opera Rapid in February.
A victory here will also push So closer to overall team leader and world classical champion Magnus Carlsen.