Chess Tour Finals: Carlsen crushes Ding again, Nakamura in final

For the second straight day, Magnus Carlsen ended Ding Liren’s resistance in just three games and led 2-1 in the best-of-five-set semifinals of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals.

China’s Ding Liren.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

For the second straight day, Magnus Carlsen ended Ding Liren’s resistance in just three games and led 2-1 in the best-of-five-set semifinals of the $300,000 Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals on Tuesday.

In the other semifinal, Hikaru Nakamura continued his irrepressible form to shut out Daniil Dubov 2.5-1.5 to complete a 3-0 win for a place in the final.

Much like on Monday, Nakamura won the third and reached a winning position in the fourth game. But on this day, he chose to draw by repeating the moves.

After the 22-move first game ended following a three-fold repetition of moves, Carlsen cashed in on the Ding’s misreading of the positions to win from equal positions, twice in succession.

LIVE - CHESS TOUR FINALS

The day saw both players test each other in the sharp lines of Sicilian Najdorf. Carlsen, who is not known to play these lines very often since his 2018 World title-defence match against Fabiano Caruana.

But on this day, Carlsen came out of the opening without much trouble. Ding kept pace with Carlsen before pleasantly surprising his rival by faltering late in the middle game.

After the exchange of all major pieces, Carlsen’s king marched ahead to support an advanced queenside pawn and Ding saw the futility of continuing.

In the third game, Ding not only overlooked a winning knight-move but followed it up with a dubious pawn-push on the queenside. Carlsen did not miss his chance and sacrificed a knight to expose Ding’s castled king. He went on to win in just 29 moves.

A little later, Nakamura closed his semifinal clash by riding on his victory in the third game. As Nakamura explained later, Dubov overestimated his chances and faltered to lose the game.

  • The results: Set three: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Ding Liren (Chn) 2.5-0.5; Hikaru Nakamura (USA) bt Daniil Dubov (Rus) 2.5-1.5;
  • After three sets: Nakamura bt Dubov 3-0, Carlsen leads Ding 2-1.

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos