Magnus Carlsen reached the semi-finals of the FTX Crypto Cup on Thursday. – Getty Images
Magnus Carlsen outstripped Hikaru Nakamura in the two blitz games to reach the semifinals of the FTX Crypto Cup on Thursday. Carlsen lost the opening game of the second game to follow for the third time in the competition, but recovered to draw with black pieces level. The next two games ended in a draw, with Nakamura enjoying a better exchange. In the two Blitz tie-break games, Carlsen did not reveal anything. Carlsen reflected on the defeat in the opening match with white pieces: “It was of course uncomfortable, but I had this experience against him on another day, or on many other days I had the feeling that the first time he won, he tended to break maybe toughen up a bit and be a bit nervous so I was hoping it would be good to happen today too. «
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In the second game, Nakamura fell victim to a provocation to the King of Carlsen and sacrificed a knight for two pawns. Carlsen’s plays, including the queen, were practically out of play and he began a peasants’ march against Nakamura’s castle king. Nakamura accepted the offer to swap another knight for Carlsen’s tower before the world champion lost ground again and improved the score. At this point, the two champions had been involved in six crucial fights, with the last two wins for Black. After two draws, Carlsen drew first blood in the blitz games. Hikaru made another mistake on move 12 and on move 22 to lose a knight. In the second game, Nakamura’s white queen withdrew on move 16 to give Carlsen a clear advantage. After that, Carlsen tightened the noose without any major problems to win in 37 moves.
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Carlsen now meets Teimour Radjabov, who knocked out Anish Giri.
Radjabov, the winner of the first game, was equal to Giri in all four fast games in the second game, waiting for the winner of the tie between Carlsen and Nakamura. In the upper half of the draw, Ian Nepomniachtchi picked up leader Fabiano Caruana in the lightning tie-breaker 1.5-0.5 after four draws in the quick encounters. Nepomniachtchi now meets a formidable Wesley So, who in the second game against Maxime Vachier- Lagrave took an unbeatable 2-1 lead. The win in the first game paved the way for So to move closer to a third title on the Tour this season. The results: Quarter-finals: Second game (fast): Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) drew with Fabiano Caruana (USA) 2-2 (draw) Blitz): Nepomniachtchi wins 1.5-0.5; Wesley So (USA) defeated Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 2-1; Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew 2-2 with Hikaru Nakamura (USA); (Blitz): Carlsen wins 2-0; Teimour Radjabov (Aze) draws 2-2 with Anish Giri; Radjabov advances on winning the first game. Semi-finals: Nepomniachtchi-So; Carlsen-Radjabov.
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