FTX Crypto Cup: Carlsen, So trade blows in drawn first match

In between the two surprisingly quick draws for Carlsen with white pieces, So posted a crushing victory in the third game to draw level.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen (in picture) and Wesley So won a game each to be tied 2-2 on Monday.   -  Getty Images

An “unwell” Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So won a game each to be tied 2-2 after the first four-game match of the FTX Crypto Cup final on Sunday.

Carlsen, behind So on the clock by 10 minutes by the 14th move of the first game, switched gears to launch a decisive attack. His eventual victory ended So’s 29-game unbeaten run.

In between the two surprisingly quick draws for Carlsen with white pieces, So posted a crushing victory in the third game to draw level.

Later, Carlsen admitted, “I don’t feel good today. Hopefully, I’ll feel better tomorrow."

When probed if he was banking everything for the second match (on Monday), Carlsen responded, “It’s not about banking everything on tomorrow, it’s just that I think if you don’t feel well you should listen to your body.”

READ| FTX Crypto Cup: Magnus Carlsen faces Wesley So in the final

About the first game, Carlsen said, “I think I reacted kind of poorly to his idea in the opening and then he went wrong at some point and I got a bit lucky. I’m not dissatisfied with the overall result.

Obviously, it’s a pity to play as poorly as I did in the 3rd game, but it happens, so overall I should be relatively satisfied with a draw.”

So was unhappy with his play in the first game but expressed delight with the result of the third game. He also heard Carlsen saying he was unwell and responded jokingly, “I hope Magnus will feel better on Tuesday!” considering the final concludes on Monday.

The first match for the third place between Ian Nepomniachtchi and Teimour Radjabov turned out to be farcical. The players blitzed out three draws before Carlsen and So finished their first game.

Several Grandmasters criticised the players on social media for enacting these apparently planned draws.

After all, the mutual agreement behind these speedy draws was quite clear if one considered the gain of a couple of minutes on the clocks of both players after each drawn game.

The results (Match One):

Final: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Wesley So (USA) 2-2.

For the third place: Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) drew with Teimour Radjabov (Aze) 2-2.

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