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

Magnus Carlsen dominated Teimour Radjabov for a 3-1 verdict for a place in the final of the FTX Crypto Cup.

Magnus Carlsen

File picture of Magnus Carlsen.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

Magnus Carlsen dominated Teimour Radjabov for a 3-1 verdict for a place in the final of the FTX Crypto Cup.

In the second match of the semifinals, Carlsen won the first game with black pieces, faced some anxious moments in the third game and clinched the fourth with white to keep Radjabov at bay.

In the other semifinals, Wesley So stretched his unbeaten run to 29 games by stopping Ian Nepomniachtchi 2-1 with a game to spare. Since Wesley won the first match on Friday, the tie stood decided.

READ: Carlsen rallies to knock out Nakamura

This will be the third time this season when Carlsen and So meet in a title-clash. Nepomniachtchi will take on Radjabov in the battle for the third place.

This season, So won both the finals against Carlsen, the Skilling Open in November last and Opera Euro Rapid in February. Carlsen will be hoping to get third time lucky.

Looking ahead to the final, So said, “He’s not showing any signs of slowing down at this point in his career, so he’s still the favourite in any match, but again, as usual, I hope to put up a good fight and [bring] some entertainment. It’s hard to say, but any match with Magnus is a big honour already and a good learning experience.”

Carlsen was keen to play better than he did so far in the competition. “It’s been awfully tense. I can’t say that my play is flowing great, but I’m in the finals and that’s the most important thing! You can always improve as you get there, but as I’ve said before as well, I think I need to play better to beat Wesley than I have so far, but the way the tournament has been going even being in the final is obviously a massive achievement for me.”

The results

Semifinals: Match Two: Wesley So (USA) bt Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 2-1; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Teimour Radjabov (Aze) 3-1.

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