Magnus Carlsen (upper right) of Norway plays against Hikaru Nakamura (upper left) of U.S., May 28, 2020. (Photo: CGTN)
In an online chess tournament, the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge, World Champion Magnus Carlsen had a 3-0 clean sweep against Japanese-born American Hikaru Nakamura in their first leg while China's Ding Liren was beaten by Russian Daniil Dubov 2.5 to 1.5 in the opening leg of their best of three matches on Thursday.
The Norwegian's win was a repeat of the final of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational last month in which Carlsen had won two four-game matches against Hikaru, but on each occasion the U.S. star had also drawn blood. But this time, Carlsen dominated this game from the first minute and gave his opponent no chance by sweeping 3-0 to lead 1-0 in the best of three semi-final.
Magnus Carlsen (C) of Norway wins the top prize, Jan-Krzysztof Duda (L) of Poland finishes second and Hikaru Nakamura of U.S. finishes third during the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Saint Petersburg, Russia, December 30, 2018. (Photo: VCG)
However, the game was closer in the other semi-final in which Chinese player Ding Liren played against Daniil Dubov of Russia. Dubov started well to win the opening game before Ding drew the contest by winning the second. But the Russian then made his first draw in 14 knockout games in the tournament before beating Ding in the decisive fourth game for a 1-0 lead in the series.
Both Carlsen and Dubov can advance to the final with match victories on May 29 while Nakamura and Ding will need wins to force a decisive third day of semi-final play.