Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge: Carlsen, Dubov in cruise mode

Wesley So lost two games to Magnus Carlsen and opted to draw the third in just 18 moves, while Daniil Dubov won all three games against Sergey Karjakin.

Magnus Carlsen got the better of Wesley So twice before drawing the third match.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

Taking the shortest possible way, Magnus Carlsen stopped Wesley So 2.5-0.5 and Daniil Dubov blanked Sergey Karjakin 3-0 in the first of their best-of-three mini-matches for a place in the semifinals of the $150,000 Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge.

Sunday proved an off-day for Karjakin in the four-game mini-match. In Karjakin’s words, “Strange match today as in the second game there was something wrong with the clocks and we played without increment.

“In the third game, I disconnected and thought that I already lost, but arbiter said to resume. Anyway, played badly and hope to do better next match.”

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Earlier, So lost two games to Carlsen and opted to draw the third in just 18 moves, following a three-fold repetition of moves.

This passive decision of So attracted criticism of British commentator and International Master Lawrence Trent who said, “What I think he did today is not in the spirit of the competition.”

Carlsen came to So’s rescue and responded. “I would say, let the man redeem himself in the next few days!”

Indeed, So and Karjakin have a chance to bounce back in the match. They have to win the second mini-match on Tuesday to stay alive in the competition. Should they win, the third mini-match on Wednesday will decide two of the semifinalists.

The results

Quarterfinals (First mini-match): Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Wesley So 2.5-0.5; Daniil Dubov (Rus) bt Sergey Karjakin (Rus) 3-0.

 

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