Levon Aronian sealed the must-win fourth game to draw level at 2-2 with Magnus Carlsen in the first match of their semifinal clash in the New in Chess Classic rapid online tournament on Thursday.

After two drawn games, Carlsen took the lead after Aronian committed a serious blunder. In the fourth, just when it appeared that Carlsen had found a way to escape, Aronian slammed the door for a match-levelling triumph.

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In the other semifinals, Hikaru Nakamura won three out of four decisive games to lead 3-1 against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. It was also a day when Carlsen and Nakamura suffered their first defeat in the tournament.

The results:

Semifinals: Match One: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm) 2-2; Hikaru Nakamura (USA) bt Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) 3-1.

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