Skilling Open: Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So make it to the final

Carlsen overcomes the loss of the opening game to hold Ian Nepomniachtchi 2-2; So-Nakamura contest also ends in a draw.

Carlsen...“I’m not playing that great, but it’s been enough so far. I’ll have to step it up in the final because Wesley’s extremely strong.”   -  RAJEEV BHATT (FILE)

Magnus Carlsen overcame the loss of the opening game to hold Ian Nepomniachtchi 2-2 while Wesley So squandered clear winning opportunities in two first games during his all-drawn 2-2 result against Hikaru Nakamura in the second set of the semifinals of USD 100,000 Skilling Open online chess tournament on Saturday.

REPORT - SEMIFINALS, SET ONE

As a result, Carlsen and So advanced to the final by riding on their victories in Friday’s first set.

So, who took the much-needed draw in a winning position in the final game after Nakamura blundered away a knight, reflected on the first two games and said, “It’s always very tricky, because Hikaru’s very tactical and slippery and he makes use of all his chances and he never gives up. He has this tremendous fighting spirit.”

Carlsen, after walking into a checkmating net in the first game and bouncing right back to take the second, admitted, “It’s been like most others, frankly - very difficult! I haven’t been able to gain much momentum. Even the game that I won was very unclear, and I was at some point even worse. Frankly, I’m not playing that great, but it’s been enough so far. I’ll have to step it up in the final because Wesley’s extremely strong.”

The results (Semifinals, Set Two)
  • Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 2-2;
  • Wesley So (USA) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2-2;
  • Carlsen and So advance to the final by virtue of winning the first set.

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