New In Chess Classic: Nakamura, Carlsen In Finals
Nakamura (left) and Carlsen advance to the finals. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

New In Chess Classic: Nakamura, Carlsen In Finals

NiranjanNavalgund
FM NiranjanNavalgund
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45 | Chess.com News

GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Hikaru Nakamura have qualified for the finals of the New in Chess Classic. Carlsen beat GM Levon Aronian in their third and fourth games while GM Hikaru lost three games to GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov but clinched the armageddon.

How to watch?
The games of the New in Chess Classic can be found here as part of our live events platform. IM Levy Rozman and IM Anna Rudolf are providing daily commentary on GM Hikaru Nakamura's Twitch channel starting at 10:00 a.m. Pacific / 19:00 Central Europe. 

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Carlsen-Aronian 3-1

Carlsen equalized in the first game and fell short of winning the second game. In a critical position, he decided to force the exchange of queens with 25.Rd6 that turned out to be a mistake and gave Aronian the chance to equalize: 

In the third game, Carlsen made optimal use of all his pieces, posed a lot of practical problems, and eventually outplayed Aronian:

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In the fourth game, Aronian was in a must-win situation, and Carlsen tried the Moscow with the white pieces. He remained unfazed by Aronian's early g7-g5 and later exploited the underdevelopment of Black's position:   

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Carlsen said: "I'm just very happy to be in the finals and to have dispatched a very strong opponent." Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Nakamura-Mamedyarov 0-3 | 0.5-0.5 | 1-0 

After a great first day at the semifinals, Nakamura struggled to find his form and lost three games in a row. In the first game, Mamedyarov deviated from a Topalov-Ding (2018) game and got a pleasant position out of the opening. They reached a queen endgame that seemed possible to hold, but Nakamura fell into a mating net:

Nakamura could not stop the bleeding in the second game. Mamedyarov successfully launched a king-side attack and outclassed him with a petite combination (36...Rxf3):

After getting into an uncomfortable position in the third game, Nakamura never managed to make a comeback in the game. In the blitz portion, he got decent positions out of the opening and drew them both with ease.

Nakamura chose black in the armageddon and won a pawn quite early in the game. Mamedyarov tried to muddy the waters with a piece sacrifice, but Nakamura was always in control and won the game. The exciting final matches between Carlsen and Nakamura await us!

As a tip on how to play as Black in armageddon games, Nakamura said: "If you get those first 15-20 moves in the armageddon, you are always going to be in good shape. So, try to play openings which allow that."

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Nakamura: "If you play good chess, generally good things will happen." Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

All Games SF Day 2

The New in Chess Classic runs April 24-May 2 on chess24. The preliminary phase is a 16-player rapid (15|10) round-robin. The top eight players advanced to a six-day knockout that consisted of two days of four-game rapid matches, which advanced to blitz (5|3) and armageddon (White had five minutes, Black four with no increment) tiebreaks only if a knockout match was tied after the second day. The prize fund is $100,000 with $30,000 for first place.


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