Chessable Masters: Giri closer to semis, Nakamura leads Liren

Having clinched the first set on Friday, an upbeat Giri drew the first game easily, won the next game and comfortably held on to a draw in the third.

File photo of Anish Giri who moved within a draw of making the semifinals.   -  FILE PHOTO/RAJEEV BHATT

Dutch Grandmaster Anish Giri moved within a draw of making the semifinals of the $150,000 Chessable Masters after taking a 2-1 lead after three games of the best-of-four second set match in his quarterfinal against Alexander Grischuk on Sunday.

Having clinched the first set on Friday, an upbeat Giri drew the first game easily, won the next game and comfortably held on to a draw in the third.

The second game saw Giri, playing black, manage to establish the rook-pair on the seventh rank. With his knight joining the attack, Grischuk could not find an escape route and resigned after 46 moves.

Chessable Masters: Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi in semifinals  

In the other quarterfinals, Hikaru Nakamura survived a possible defeat in the first game against Ding Liren and then won the second to raise visions of a deciding set, scheduled on Monday. The third game, where Liren played black, ended in a draw following repetition of moves.

Nakamura, playing far below the form that saw him play finals of the previous two legs of the Chess Tour, clinched the second game after gaining from Liren’s misjudgement on the 40th move. In an equal position, Liren opted to move his castled king to the queen’s side and Nakamura quickly seized the opportunity. He exchanged a couple of pieces, brought his queen into active, attacking play and eventually caught Liren’s king into a checkmating net in 56 moves.

Quarterfinal results (Set Two, after Game Three): Hikaru Nakamura (USA) leads Ding Liren (Chn) 2-1; Anish Giri (Ned) leads Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 2-1.

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