Magnus Carlsen blew away Teimour Radjabov on Wednesday to book his place in semi-finals of the $100,000 New In Chess Classic.
Norway’s World Champion was in scintillating form yet again as he broke through Radjabov’s defenses after being held to a draw yesterday.
It was a day of decisive quarterfinal results as Aronian blunted Meltwater Champions Chess Tour leader Wesley So’s comeback attempt to go through.
In the other ties, Hikaru Nakamura and Shakrhiyar Mamedyarov both held onto their overnight leads to make the last four.
Carlsen on top
Carlsen’s breakthrough came in game 2 as he put on a masterclass in strategic play and Radjabov just crumbled. It seemed effortless for the champion, while Radjabov was visibly angry with himself.
The Azeri then needed a fightback and it never came as Carlsen kept him at bay and eventually forced the draw he needed. It was over and Carlsen was through.
US star So also needed to up his game after losing yesterday’s first set against Aronian, the tournament’s oldest player.
After two draws, So found himself needing a win but Aronian turned on the style to cruise through.
Aronian, who expects to complete his move from his native Armenia to the US in August, said he was eager to win the event and make it to the Tour finals.
“I really want to go to San Francisco, because I watched many movies from there!” he said.
Meanwhile, Nakamura triumphed against Vietman’s former World Blitz Champion Liem Quang Le in a wild first game full of attacking intent, particularly from Liem.
American’s speed king knows how to hold onto a lead, however, and then shut up shop to close out the set and the match.
Nakamura is playing his best chess yet on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and eased into the semis with relative ease.
Nakamura said: “Overall I am pretty happy, I think it’s the first time I’ve won a quarterfinal in like four months or something, so it’s been a while.”
He added: “It’s going to be very exciting. Shakhriyar is very, very sharp tactically. He was a very deserved winner in his match.”
Mamedyarov, a former world number 2, used all his experience to boss the youngest player in the field, the exciting 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja.
Mamedyarov looked sharp and was dominant throughout. He won the first game then unleashed all his attacking prowess on the youngster in game 3. It was brutal – but good to watch!
Mamedyarov said: “It’s my first time in the semi-finals and, of course, it is a good result.”
Tomorrow’s semi-finals will see Mamedyarov face Nakamura and Carlsen take on Aronian. Play begins at 19:00 CEST.