In a reversal of fortunes, Ian Nepomniatchtchi, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So bounced back from first-set defeats to reach the semifinals of the USD 100,000 Skilling Open online chess tournament on Thursday.
On a dramatic day, Nakamura raced away to 2.5-0.5 victory in the rapid games against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave after winning twice from the white side. However, he stared at elimination against losing the first tie-break blitz game as Vachier needed just a draw in the second blitz game.
REPORT – QUARTERFINALS, SET ONE
Undeterred, Nakamura levelled the blitz score and then pulled off the much-needed draw from the black side to claim the Armageddon game for a place in the semifinal against American compatriot So.
In another well-contested game, So won the second game and drew the rest in the rapid section against Teimour Radjabov. Following the two drawn blitz games, So came out…