Carlsen needed a draw to qualify for the semi finals,he opted for the Alapin variation against the Sicilian.He got slight edge out of the opening,but Gukesh kept playing good moves to keep the game going.Carlsen played a few inaccurate moves and slowly landed himself in the trouble.Critical moments happened around move 30-35 where Gukesh had more than one way to win some material.Soon afterwards,he won the pawn and reached the endgame where Gukesh had Rook,Bishop and 4 pawns against Rook,Knight and 3 pawns.Gukesh kept pushing but Carlsen comfortably held the game and thus qualified for the semis.
Vidit’s fantastic run came to an end against the local hero who have been playing fantastic chess through out the event.Having opted for the London system,he got some edge in the opening and kept pressurising.The game became sharper when Vidit decided to castle long.Abasov kept rolling the pawns on the queenside and soon got an winning position which he duly converted by playing precisely.He now faces Carlsen in the semi finals.
Arjun Erigaisi-Praggnanandhaa- 0-1
Like Carlsen,needing a draw to qualify for the semis,Arjun also opted for the Alapin variation against the Sicilian.By move 20,there were several piece exchanges and had the potential to end in a draw.However Pragg kept playing strong moves to keep the game going and managed to improve his position steadily.He got a winning position soon afterwards and won the game in a 75 moves marathon battle.Now they both will play the tie breaks to determine the semi finalist.
In the longest game of the day,Caruana opted for the English opening that soon transposed to Semi tarrasch. Soon,Black got into typical IQP position. White kept improving the position and decided to get rid of both the rooks to get into Queen,Bishop+ 6 pawns vs Queen,Knights+ 6 pawns.He kept pressurizing and improved the position gradually and won the game instructively in a 94 moves marathon battle. He now faces the winner of Arjun and Pragg in the semis.