Lindores Abbey: Carlsen Through To Semis As Karjakin Miraculously Survives
Nakamura and Carlsen, pictured in their 2018 Fischer Random match, will clash again. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Lindores Abbey: Carlsen Through To Semis As Karjakin Miraculously Survives

| 23 | Chess Event Coverage

Chess fans can enjoy another clash between GMs Hikaru Nakamura and Magnus Carlsen on Thursday in the semifinals of the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge as the world champion cruised to a second match victory vs. GM Wesley So today. GM Sergey Karjakin was on the verge of elimination but miraculously won an armageddon to make 1-1 vs GM Daniil Dubov.

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

Both of Tuesday's matches were exciting to follow, and both for their own reasons. In one, we saw a world champion confidently taking down one of America's best grandmasters; in the other, there was a fair share of sports drama.

Carlsen more or less cruised to victory against So and was pressing for most of the time in both of his wins. While So had his chances, he didn't grab them at key moments. 

In the first game, Carlsen assessed things better in a middlegame that became very tactical. In the remainder, he almost spoiled his advantage, but So failed to hold.

Wesley So
Wesley So. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

After a quick draw in game two where Carlsen used the 5.Re1 Berlin to get closer to match victory, the third game was critical and also highly tactical. First, So was close to losing, then close to winning (for one move) but eventually stumbled again:

Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The Dubov-Karjakin match was a thriller with five games in total and not a single draw. In the first two, the players traded wins while both showed a fantastic endgame technique. See the game viewer below for these instructive battles.

Dubov then won game three, using the 3...Qd6 Scandinavian and getting a winning advantage remarkably quickly. 

"I mixed it up completely," Karjakin later said about the opening phase.

Daniil Dubov
Daniil Dubov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

At that point, the press chief of the tournament must have had other evening occupations as he decided to rush out a press release stating that Dubov would be facing GM Ding Liren in the semifinal, but everyone who remembers the 2015 World Cup final knows that Karjakin has only lost for real when the fat lady sings. (And Ding isn't there yet either.)

After some patient maneuvering, the older of the two Russians grabbed his chance when he was offered one:

And it was armageddon time with Dubov behind the white pieces needing a win to move straight to the semifinals. He got as close as a +11(!) position, but somehow he couldn't deliver the knockout blow, and Karjakin took over in the endgame. A highly disappointing end of the day for Dubov, but at least it wasn't decisive.

Sergey Karjakin
Sergey Karjakin. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

"You try to play fast and when you play fast, it's normally not so good. It's hard to keep the balance," said Karjakin after the game. 

He knew he had come through without showing his best: "I am disappointed about my play; there was nothing good about my play."

On Wednesday, we'll see the third and all-decisive matches: Dubov vs. Karjakin and Ding vs. GM Yu Yangyi.  The winners of these matches will play each other on Thursday alongside Carlsen-Nakamura in the other semifinal.

"I think in the match we played, I played extremely well in the Magnus Carlsen Invitational. I feel like I'm playing better against him recently. I'm just gonna keep on trying to play well," said Nakamura about facing Carlsen in the semis.

All games of day 7

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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