Dubov Reaches Lindores Abbey Final As Nakamura Levels Score Vs Carlsen
Daniil Dubov defeated Ding Liren 2-0. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Dubov Reaches Lindores Abbey Final As Nakamura Levels Score Vs Carlsen

| 48 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Daniil Dubov became the first player to reach the final of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge as the Russian GM beat GM Ding Liren once again on Friday. GM Hikaru Nakamura managed to level the score against Magnus Carlsen to secure a third match on Saturday.

How to watch?
The games of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge can be found here as part of our live events platform. GM Robert Hess and WFM Alexandra Botez are providing daily commentary on Nakamura's Twitch channel, embedded on

It's hard not to be a fan of Dubov. Compared to GM Alexander Morozevich today by Nakamura, the 24-year-old Russian grandmaster has been showing similar, creative fighting chess and on a level strong enough to beat the world number three in classical chess 2-0 in matches.

Dubov's coffeehouse-style play in game one, a combination of first holding on to his c-pawn and then start running with the h-pawn, wasn't all his. The game followed Aronian-So, Leuven 2016 for 12 moves when Dubov deviated, already setting up the plan of going for a quick checkmate. 

Can you really do this? Apparently you can, in rapid, against a chess giant like Ding. Don't miss Black's final move!

The second game was fantastic from both sides. Dubov's push of the h-pawn was a novelty ("quite a cool move actually," Dubov said in the official broadcast), and involved sacrificing his c-pawn. A very interesting middlegame ensued, which at some point became highly tactical. In time trouble, Ding missed the correct way to give a perpetual and then was lost instead:

Game three was a relatively quiet affair, where Ding couldn't create serious chances against the solid play from Dubov (see the game viewer below), and the match was decided after just three games.

Daniil Dubov
Daniil Dubov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The other match saw just one decisive game but was no less exciting. Afterward, Nakamura stressed the importance of the first game in a match like this, and it was that first one where he scored.

The American grandmaster was actually under pressure from the start in this game, where Carlsen played a prepared bishop sacrifice in the Berlin Ruy Lopez. "A very creative opening idea," Nakamura would call it later in the day when he joined the stream on his Twitch channel.

Nakamura joining the stream after his games.

"He was probably much better or even winning, but it was always a position that was very tricky. I kept my head together, and then he blundered."

Game two was also very complicated. Again Carlsen had the better chances, and again Nakamura kept his cool. "I didn't lose my head like I have done many times against Magnus," he said.

A key moment was move 50, when Carlsen played a suboptimal rook move and then got his bishop trapped. Nakamura thought his opponent was annoyed he didn't play 50.Rd5 or 50.Re5 to win the h-pawn, while Carlsen himself said it was a mouse slip.

As White, Nakamura more or less played for a draw from the start in game three and succeeded without trouble. That proved to be a good match strategy as he also held the last game as Black to a draw (see below).

He then tweeded an identical tweet that Carlsen had sent the day before, with the single word "monkaS" and the tournament hashtag:

In the Chess24 broadcast, Nakamura had stated that his "good luck" tweet before match one had been innocent: "That was just a general tweet, because I think whoever wins this match is a big favorite to win the tournament. There was no trolling."

GM Anish Giri didn't buy it:

On Saturday we'll see the third and all-decisive match between Carlsen and Nakamura, while Dubov can simply enjoy it as a spectator, take his rest and prepare for the final.

All games of day 10

The Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge runs May 19-June 3 on Chess24 in association with the Lindores Abbey Heritage Society. The prize fund is $150,000 with a first prize of $45,000. The time control is 15 minutes for all moves with a 10-second increment after each move. No draw offers are allowed before move 40. 

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Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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