Continuing their irrepressible form, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi needed just three games to race past Peter Svidler and Anish Giri in the first set of their semifinals of chess24 Legends of Chess on Friday.

Carlsen won the first and third games with black pieces while Nepomniachtchi battled long to save a draw before winning the next two to post 2.5-0.5 scorelines.

On Saturday, Svidler and Giri face a must-win situation to force Sunday’s deciding set.

In the opening game, Carlsen exploited Svidler’s mistake in the middle-game by bringing his queen into active play. With the knight-pair ready to unleash serious damage, Carlsen was looking to add to his three-pawn advantage when Svidler resigned.

After the second game ended in a draw with Svidler denying Carlsen any advantage with white pieces, the World champion managed to shut out the Russian by gaining a two-pawn advantage,…

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