Facing a must-win situation, Daniil Dubov struck early and drew thrice in succession to beat Hikaru Nakamura 2.5-1.5 in the second mini-match of the $150,000 Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge final on Tuesday.
The top-prize of the $45,000 will be decided when the players clash in the third mini-match.
Against all expectations, following Nakamura’s triumph in the first mini-match, Dubov came back impressively. He won the first game with black pieces after foxing his more experienced rival with his choice of opening lines of Sicilian Defence.
Nakamura, whose position started showing cracks from around the 20th move, came under further pressure following a mouse-slip on the 45th move. He eventually gave up after playing his 57th move.
The remaining three games saw Dubov hold on to his lead rather comfortably. After drawing the second game in 37 moves and third in 45, Dubov briefly faced trouble around the 40th move of the fourth game but the timely exchange of bishops on the 45th move, neutralized Nakamura’s advantage. The resultant draw in 72 moves ensured the title-deciding third mini-match.
Final results (second mini-match): Daniil Dubov (Rus) bt Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 2.5-1.5.
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