So eventually loses, but stays in the Norway Chess title hunt

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time in five rounds, Wesley So conceded defeat to Azeri Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in their Armageddon game at Norway Chess in Stavanger on Monday.

Luckily, the Cavite-born American two-time titlist is still pretty much in the title hunt despite the heartbreaking result.

So succumbed to Mamedyarov in their tiebreaker game after a misstep in his attempt to get an attack and the initiative led to the latter launching a vicious kingside attack instead.

When it was over, Mamedyarov was winning from all angles – position, material and time – before So resigned after 39 strokes from their England encounter.

But defeat kept So close with lone leader Vishwanathan Anand of India and reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen as the former tied for third with 8.5 points apiece.

Five-time world titlist Anand regained the top spot after killing Carlsen at Armageddon to take his production to 10 points, half a point above the latter with 9.5 points.

But there is still hope for So although he still has games against players who are in the bottom half of this 10-man squad – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France, Aryan Tari from Norway, Wang Hao from China and former No.1 Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

Additionally, the tournament uses a new scoring format where a win in Standard is worth three points while a win and loss in Armageddon are worth 1.5 points and one point respectively, giving everyone including So, a chance to come back strong.

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