Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge: Nakamura, Yangyi take lead

Hikaru Nakamura and Yu Yangyi secured big wins in their first mini-matches of the best-of-three quarterfinals in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge.

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura plots a move. (File Photo)   -  Special Arrangement

Blitz-king Hikaru Nakamura bounced back from 1-2 to beat Levon Aronian 3-2 in their first mini-match of the best-of-three quarterfinals in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge on Saturday.

Aronian won the first regular game and proved equal in the next two. In the fourth, Aronian needed a draw to prevail but fought back to win. Later, in the shorter time-control of the Armageddon game, Nakamura once again proved his superiority.

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In another clash that went the distance, Yu Yangyi was lucky to beat his more illustrious Chinese compatriot Ding Liren 3-2. After the four regular games were drawn, Liren gained a winning position in the deciding Armageddon game, but unfortunately lost on time.

Should Aronian and Liren win the second set of mini-matches on Monday, the deciding mini-match will take place on May 27.

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In the first mini-matches of the remaining two quarterfinals, Magnus Carlsen (Norway) takes on Wesley So (USA) and Daniil Dubov plays fellow-Russian Sergey Karjakin.

Quarterfinal results:
First mini-match: Hikaru Nakamura (USA) bt Levon Aronian (Arm) 3-2; Yu Yangyi (Chn) bt Ding Liren (Chn) 3-2.
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