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Wesley So tops Magnus Carlsen to win Opera Euro Rapid chess title

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LENNART OOTES

CHESS Grandmaster Wesley So of the United States defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen to win the Opera Euro Rapid chess championship on Monday.

Mr. So, 27, who hails from Bacoor, Cavite, defeated Norwegian Carlsen, 2.5-1.5, built on a victory and three draws on the final day of their two-set, four-game finale to win the $30,000 top prize (P1.5 million).

The win marked the second time Mr. So beat Mr. Carlsen in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, with the first coming last Nov. 30 at the Skilling Open on the date of the Norwegian’s birthday at that.

Mr. So took every opportunity he got throughout the match to fortify his push en route to the victory.

“I’m so happy. I apologize to Magnus for ruining Valentine’s Day. It’s big. It’s totally unexpected to beat Magnus in any matches. It’s a huge honor…” said Mr. So after his victory.

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In defeat, Mr. Carlsen was gracious, being quoted after as saying “Losing is OK, to Wesley. He clearly had the most convincing tournament coming up to today.”

While born in the Philippines, Mr. So has been representing the US since 2014. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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