Chess Tour Finals: Nakamura strikes back to regain lead, Carlsen in must-win situation

Hikaru Nakamura stormed to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven-set final and Magnus Carlsen now faces a must-win situation to force the deciding set at the Chess Tour Finals.

File photo of Magnus Carlsen who is now up against Hikaru Nakamura in the final clash of Chess Tour Finals.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

For the third time in five days, the odd-numbered set came
Hikaru Nakamura's way.

Trailing by a game, the gritty American bounced back to win 4-3 against Magnus Carlsen in the fifth set of the title-deciding clash of the $300,000 Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals on Tuesday.

As a result, Nakamura leads 3-2 in the best-of-seven-set final. Carlsen now faces a must-win situation on Wednesday to force the deciding set.

Highlights - Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Final: Nakamura claims set five 4-3 against Carlsen

After the four rapid games ended in draws, with neither player really coming close to victory, Carlsen took the lead by claiming the first blitz game. Nakamura, needing to win to stay in the set, hit back with black pieces after the World champion got into trouble early in the game. He converted his advantage to make it 3-3 and forced the Armageddon game.

Carlsen, looking to deny Nakamura the psychological advantage of playing black for the second straight game, chose white pieces in the Armageddon game.

Armed with five minutes on the clock to Nakamura's four, Carlsen took up the challenge to play for a win. Since a draw was enough for Nakamura to claim the set, it was important for Carlsen to get a good position out of the opening.

RELATED| Chess Tour Finals: Carlsen takes fourth set, draws level with Nakamura

But Nakamura played a perfect game with black pieces, improved his position against a desperate Carlsen and eventually won with two extra pawns on the board.

The results:

Final: Set Five:
Hikaru Nakamura (USA) bt Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 4-3; After five sets; Nakamura leads Carlsen 3-2.

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