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Carlsen dumps Ivanchuk

Magnus Carlsen (left) makes his presence felt in the FIDE World Cup. (Carlsen Magnus' Instagram)

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway easily disposed of veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk and led four other opening game winners of the FIDE World Cup quarterfinals Saturday in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The five-time world champion Carlsen served notice of his serious bid to annex the only title that is still missing in his trophy room, beating the eldest qualifier in 43 moves of a Queen’s pawn, Zukertort game, matching separate wins by young Indian teenagers Dommaraju Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi, Leinier Dominguez of the USA, and local bet Nijat Abasov.

Gukesh, 17, the new No. 1 player among 1.4 billion Indians, showed the exhausted Chinese Wang Hao his deep knowledge of the black side of the Nimzo-Indian, classical variation in only 38 moves.

Gukesh, well-rested after a relatively easy Round 4 match, beat Wang who had to play nine games previously to reach thus far. Gukesh’s winning ways has moved him to No. 7 in the world’s live ratings.

Erigaisi, 19, won in a fine endgame with the black side of the French defense against Swedish star Nils Grandelius.

Dominguez avenged the loss of his countryman Wesley So to Alexey Sarana of Serbia in a sharp Sicilian Four Knights even as Abasov won with the London system against A. R. Salem Saleh of the United Arab Emirates.

Abasov, 28, is coming off a big upset win over eight-time Russian champion Peter Svidler and is the lowest ranked player who has survived the energy-sapping matches.

Defending champion Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland remained solid with his Petroff defense against No. 3 seed Fabiano Caruana of the US.

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