Grand Final: Nakamura Qualifies Early


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Grand Final Set 3Hikaru Nakamura has qualified for the final after winning the third set against Daniil Dubov.

The danger of having a ‘best of five’ format is the risk of one player powering through to a 3-0 winning advantage, leaving a gap in the schedule.

As Nakamura qualifies early, he won’t mind the rest days. However, for the chess fans around the world there will only be one game on display for the remainder of the semi-final stage.

Good Day for Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen had another good day in round three. He beat Ding Liren 2.5-0-5 – just as he had done in the second round.

The World Champion’s endgame skills were once again well to the fore.

Endings with opposite-colored bishops have strong drawish tendencies. They can never be directly exchanged and it is often impossible for a player to impact upon the opponent’s territory. One player will completely control the white squares and the other will keep a grip on the black squares.

As usual, there are exceptions. Carlsen’s passed a-pawn and very active king enabled him to win from this position.

Three Steps to Success

In fact it was in three easy steps.

Carlsen - Ding Grand Final

Carlsen – Ding

White to play

Step One: Push the passed a-pawn as far as it can safely go.

50 a5 Bd8 51 a6 Bb6

Activate the KingStep Two: Activate the king

52 Kb3 Kf6 53 Kc4 Ke5 54 Kb5 Ba7 55 Kc6

Dominate the bishop

Step Three: Dominate the blockading bishop.

Ding Liren resigned here as it is quite clear that the bishop will be lost after 56 Kb7.

Carlsen needs to win just one of the two remaining sets to join Nakamura in the final.

Ding Liren, who must have been so full of hope after winning the first, needs to find his best form to try and equalise the match in the fourth set.

As usual, chess24 is the place to follow all of the big game action.

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