Magnus Carlsen and Liem Quang Le, the two form horses, both put in dominant performances today to storm into the semi-finals of the Charity Cup. Carlsen clinched a 2.5-0.5 victory over the young American hope Hans Niemann to go through to the next stage of the UNICEF fundraiser with a game to spare. More about Charity Cup: Charity Cup 2022 participants and preview / Charity Cup 2022 live / Charity Cup 2022 video) Round reports: Hans Niemann and Liem Quang Le lead after Day 1 / Le Quang Liem is sole leader after Day 2 / Carlsen closer to the top in Day 3 / Le Quang Liem wins the Prelims Day 4
In Liem’s match the in-form Vietnamese speedster recovered from only his second loss of the event to beat the Czech David Navara 2.5-1.5. It was the only match of the quarters to go the distance – but it never seemed in doubt. Carlsen’s win over Niemann, meanwhile, was event more commanding. The Norwegian said afterward: “I thought the first and second games we very, very tense and pretty tough. Up to a certain point I was definitely in command of both of those but they got a bit out of hand.
“He fought very well in both of those games and they were both pretty tough, but I guess the last games was relatively easy.”
Carlsen, the world No.1, will face the world No.3 Ding Liren in the semi-finals tomorrow after the Chinese star pulled off a similarly dominant win over the Dutchman Jorden Van Foreest.
In the other quarter finals, Poland’s World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda was another to finish early with a quickfire win over the Spaniard David Anton.
Duda won the first two and then secured the draw he needed to sail through.
The 23-year-old said: “It’s of course it’s great to reach a semi-final and win in such a convincing manner but I don’t think I played great chess today, I just didn’t commit too many great errors and just grabbed my chances.”
Commentating on the action, International Master Jovanka Houska said: “He was just simply a better player than David Anton and when opportunities arose, he took them.”
The event is supported by NEAR Foundation and is being held as a fundraiser for UNICEF.
The semi-finals start tomorrow with Carlsen facing Ding and Liem vs Duda. Tune in at 17:00 UTC / 18:00 CET for day 6 of the Charity Cup.