Wesley So rules Norway Chess Blitz tourney

Wesley So went on a giant-slaying spree as he topped the Norway Chess 2022 Blitz tournament in Stavanger, Norway Monday.

Photo from Norway Chess Facebook page

The Cavite-born American overcame an opening round defeat to Chinese Wang Hao by coming through with five straight wins starting in the fourth round including two triumphs at the expense of reigning world titlist Magnus Carlsen and former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

The two-time United States champion also beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, Aryan Tari of Norway and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan during that impressive streak and then drew his ninth and final-round game with Dutch Anish Giri to seal the title with 6.5 points.

Carlsen was actually leading early but the loss to So as well as to Vishwanathan Anand in the sixth and seventh round derailed his bid to settle for second with 5.5 points.

The feat gave So the right to choose the starting number in the main standard event of the Norway Chess 2022 starting Tuesday.

So is seeking his first title in the 10th edition of this annual event, which uses a scoring format of three points for a match win instead of the usual one and 1.5 if the duel was won via an Armageddon tiebreaker.