MANILA, Philippines — Wesley So played the spoiler’s role on his way to claiming the Skilling Open title in thrilling fashion on Tuesday.
The Filipino-born So, who began representing the United States in 2014, toppled reigning World chess champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway to bag the $30,000 (P1.5 million) prize.
“I have to apologize to Magnus for semi-ruining his birthday,” said So.
“I’m very shocked, of course, to beat Magnus. He’s the best player in the world,” he added. “Coming to the match, all I wanted to do is to put up a good fight and make the games interesting.”
Carlsen, the world classical, rapid and blitz chess champion, couldn’t make it a double celebration on his birthday following his loss to the underdog So, but still took the defeat graciously.
“First of all, huge congratulations to Wesley on a deserved win,” Carlsen, who also rued making crucial blunders in the match, said.
“It was a very exciting match. Frankly, to lose to him is not a shame, it’s not a disaster.”
The win also put So on top of the rankings with 46 points.
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