A day after Hikaru Nakamura bounced back from the brink of elimination against world No. 3 Ding Liren, the Chinese No. 1 shut out his gritty rival 2.5-0.5 in the deciding set and entered the semifinals of the $150,000 Chessable Masters on Monday.
After the first game was drawn following a three-fold repetition of moves in just 29 moves, Liren won the next two by dominating Nakamura for a comprehensive 2.5-0.5 victory.
In Tuesday’s semifinals, Liren faces Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri, the conqueror of Alexander Grischuk 3-1, plays another Russian, Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Nakamura’s first error of the day came on the 26th move following a choice to shift his rook from the central file. Liren found a tactical shot that earned him Nakamura’s queen for a rook and knight.
Thereafter, Liren converted his advantage to a well-crafted win in 63 moves.
Having lost the game with white pieces, Nakamura was under tremendous pressure to draw level, as he did on Sunday. But that was not to be. Liren produced a master-class beginning from the 10th move.
He brought Nakamura’s castled king under tremendous pressure in the Kings Indian game. He got his plan right from the queen’s side without allowing Nakamura any counter-play. Nakamura resigned on the 41st move when faced with the possibility of losing a piece.
Quarterfinal results (Set three): Ding Liren (Chn) bt Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2.5-0.5; (Set Two): Anish Giri (Ned) bt Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 3-1.
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