Magnus Carlsen continued his remarkable run by taking the first game of the fourth set against a fighting Ding Liren to inch closer to a place in the title-clash of the $300,000 Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals on Wednesday.
Having beaten Liren 2.5-0.5 for the second successive day on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead, Carlsen faced the desperate Chinese who opted for a dynamic opening line. The Norwegian offered a gambit pawn and then gave up another central pawn for gaining more space and piece-movement.
Later, Carlsen proved that his reading of the position was better than his rival's. He collected three pawns as he drove the game to a rook-and-pawn ending and won in 45 moves.
On Tuesday, Hikaru Nakamura became the first finalist by completing a 3-0 victory over Daniil Dubov in the other best-of-five-set encounter. Nakamura's 2.5-1.5 victory came after he came out stronger in the third game, the only decisive game of the day.
After two uneventful draws, Nakamura carved out a victory once Dubov tried to be more creative in an equal position. Dubov paid heavily for his flamboyance. In the fourth, in a better position, Nakamura forced a draw by a three-fold repetition of moves to gain the half-point needed to close the match.
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