Daniil Dubov halted Hikaru Nakamura’s title charge today to force a third-day decider in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge final. The Russian, as his rival did yesterday, won the key first game and steadfastly held on to take the day.
It squares the best-of-three final 1-1 and means Dubov and Nakamura will play-off tomorrow for the title, $45,000 first prize, and a place in the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Grand final.
Dubov said afterward: “Yesterday, Hikaru played really fast and for today I decided OK, I will do pretty much the same thing, just play some random, sort of normal moves quickly and it kinda worked out.”
After yesterday’s nightmare start, Dubov needed to get back in the Rapid Challenge final fast and he comfortably outplayed Nakamura with the Black pieces. Nakamura, the online chess specialist, did suffer a rare mouse-slip and was visibly annoyed with himself – but he was already in a bad position.
Dubov, the former World Champion in rapid chess, held firm in Games 2 and 3, steering both to draws. It left yesterday’s leader Nakamura with a final chance to win in Game 4 and force an Armageddon tiebreak.
Dubov seemed in trouble but a nice comeback gave him the draw he needed to win the day 2.5-1.5 and level the final.