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MCCT Finals: Magnus Carlsen escapes to victory against Ding Liren

Magnus Carlsen. File Photo.

Magnus Carlsen. File Photo.   | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Magnus Carlsen just about managed to slip out of the tightening grip of Ding Liren and escaped to a 3.5-2.5 victory in the fourth set for a 3-1 triumph in the semifinals of the $300,000 Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals on Wednesday.

Before Carlsen entered the final, with a set to spare, against Hikaru Nakamura for the best-of-seven-set title-clash beginning on Friday, Ding checkmated the World No. 1 in the second rapid game and then made his rival suffer in three games. Finally, Carlsen pulled off a stunning win in the second blitz game after Ding appeared close to forcing the deciding set.

Carlsen won the first rapid game after punishing Ding in the Anti-Moscow Gambit. The strongest Chinese in the game bounced right back by checkmating Carlsen after pulling out the black king to the centre of the board.

In the third and fourth rapid games, Ding continued to dominate Carlsen. Though Carlsen was finding it tough to stay in the fight, Ding somehow failed to land the knockout punch. Carlsen felt he was a shade better in the third game as compared to his “completely lost” position in the fourth.

The results: Semifinal: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Ding Liren (Chn) 3-1 [Set Four, Rapid, Game one: Carlsen bt Ding; Game two: Ding bt Carlsen; Game three: Carlsen drew with Ding; Game four: Ding drew with Carlsen; Blitz, Game one: Carlsen drew with Ding; Game two: Ding lost to Carlsen].

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 11:57:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/carlsen-escapes-to-victory-against-ding/article32348277.ece

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