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Carlsen strikes anew; So gets draw


Magnus Carlsen continued to wreak havoc, beating fellow Norwegian Aryan Tari to lead nine other Round 3 opening day winners Saturday in the FIDE World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Carlsen, the five-time world champion who has not won the World Cup, a best-of-two-games knockout format eliminator, needs only to secure a draw Sunday night to advance outright into the fourth round as Filipino-American ace Wesley So was held to a draw.

Employing his deep knowledge of opening theories, Carlsen played a dubious ninth move that allowed Tari to capture an extra pawn—a momentary sacrifice that opened gates for multiple attacks and the “easy” win on the 49th move.

Peter Svidler, the eight-time Russian champion, who at 47 is now considered as a “senior” citizen in the group, defeated Jorden Van Foreest of the Netherlands with the white side of the Sicilian Najdorf to match contrasting wins by 17-year-old Rameshbabu Pragnanandhaa of India over David Navara of the Czech Republic.

Other winners include Vincent Keymer and Danish Svane Rasmus of Germany, Leinier Dominguez, the five-time Cuban champion now donning the US flag, Salem Saleh of the United Arab Emirates, Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran, Daniele Vocaturo of Italy and unheralded Ivan Schitco of Moldova.

Schitco, 20, upset veteran Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland with the black pieces to move closer to the elite final 16 boards.

So drew with Frenchman Jules Moussard with the black side of the Berlin defense of the Ruy Lopez and was playing white Sunday at press time.

Other notable players who were held to draws were second seed Hikaru Nakamura of the USA, third seed Italian-American Fabiano Caruana and Russian Ian Nepomniatchi, who is playing under the FIDE banner because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Also vying for the title is Ukrainian veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk.

Defending champion Jan-Krzystof Duda of Poland is also competing, was held to a draw by Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria.

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