Levon Aronian took a big stride towards the semifinals of the World Cup chess by making short work of Vassily Ivanchuk in the first game of the quarterfinals here on Friday. Aronian, the lone winner of the day, gained largely due to some inept moves made by his temperamental rival in this short, 24-move encounter.

Although the position was materially equal, Ivanchuk could visualise the loss of pawns on the queenside and gave up. The Armenian now needs to stay undefeated with black pieces against the Ukrainian on Saturday for a place in the semifinals.

Of the three drawn games, Peter Svidler and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played over three hours before signing peace in 41 moves. Vladimir Fedoseev and Wesley So drew in just 19 moves, eight more than what Richard Rapport needed against Ding Liren.

Results: Quarterfinals: Game One: Levon Aronian (Arm) bt Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr); Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus) drew with Wesley So (USA); Richard Rapport (Hun) drew with Ding Liren (Chn); Peter Svidler (Rus) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra).