Legends of Chess: Carlsen beats Nepomniachtchi to clinch title

Magnus Carlsen's victory over Ian Nepomniachtchi also helped Ding Liren qualify for the Tour’s Grand Final beginning on August 9.

Magnus Carlsen won the first set 4-2 after sweeping the two blitz games.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

Magnus Carlsen needed just three games, spread over two hours, to complete a commanding 2.5-0.5 victory over Ian Nepomniachtchi in the second set for the $150,000 chess24 Legends of Chess title on Tuesday.

After battling to win the first set 4-2 by sweeping the two blitz games on Monday, Carlsen stretched his winning run by clinching the first rapid game in 27 moves and battled harder in a complicated second game to take a 2-0 lead.

Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi: As it happened

Nepomniachtchi erred early, traded his rook for a bishop but thereafter for nearly 50 moves, Carlsen searched for victory that eventually came after 76 turns.  Needing only a draw to close the final with a set to spare, Carlsen attained a better position and split the point in 36 moves.

Carlsen’s victory also helped Ding Liren qualify for the Tour’s Grand Final beginning on August 9. Ding was second on the points tally aggregated from the Tour.

As a result, title winners Carlsen and Daniil Dubov will be joined by Hikaru Nakamura and Liren in the finale that offers $300,000 in prize-money.

The result:

Final: Set Two; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) 2.5-0.5; (Game One): Carlsen bt Nepomniachtchi; (Game Two): Nepomniachtchi lost to Carlsen; (Game Three) Carlsen drew with Nepomniachtchi.

Set One: Carlsen bt Nepomniachtchi 4-2.

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