As anticipated, World champion Magnus Carlsen and a fiercely competitive Hikaru Nakamura set up the final of the New in Chess Classic online rapid tournament after taking contrasting routes on Friday.
Carlsen, held 2-2 by Levon Aronian in the first match of their semifinal, won the second 3-1.
Nakamura, needing a draw to reach the final, was all at sea against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Shakhriyar won 3-0 to force the blitz tie-breaker. After both blitz games ended in draws, Nakamura won the decider in 54 moves.
Carlsen and Nakamura, searching for their first title on the Champions Tour, last met in the epic seven-day final of the 2020 Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The dramatic final saw the World champion hitting back thrice after trailing by a point in the contest and prevailing in a nail-biting Armageddon game.
The results: Semifinals: Match Two: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) bt Levon Aronian (Arm) 3-1; Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) bt Hikaru Nakamura (USA) 3-0.
Tie-breaker: Blitz games: Mamedyarov drew with Nakamura 1-1; Armageddon game: Mamedyarov lost to Nakamura.
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