Goldmoney Asian Rapid online chess: Carlsen and Ding take lead

After a 79-move draw in the first game, it was Ding all the way. He gained two kingside pawns and then cruised home in 41 moves.

China’s Ding Liren.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

Magnus Carlsen hit back to nullify Levon Aronian’s lead and regained his lost grip in the fourth game for a 2.5-1.5 victory after Ding Liren raced away to a 2.5-0.5 victory over Vladislav Artemiev in the first set clash of the Goldmoney Asian Rapid online chess tournament on Thursday.

Aronian, who topped the league phase following an unbeaten run before overpowering a fighting Arjun Erigiasi, stunned Carlsen in the first game after establishing a two-pawn advantage.

READ: Magnus Carlsen overpowers fighting Wesley So

Undeterred, Carlsen avenged the loss in the second game by riding home on a two-pawn cushion. The third game ended in a positional draw in just 28 moves.

The fourth game saw Carlsen craftily outplay Aronian, let the Armenian off the hook but luckily gained from his rival’s oversight to win in 66 moves.

Cruising home

After a 79-move draw in the first game, it was Ding all the way. He gained two kingside pawns and then cruised home in 41 moves. Ding closed the set to a quick end by launching a fierce kingside attack and won in 50 moves.

The results, semifinals:

Set One: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Levon Aronian (Arm) 2.5-1.5; Ding Liren (Chn) bt Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) 2.5-0.5.

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