Ding Liren got revenge for the first game of the World Cup semifinal by torturing Wesley So with the white pieces until a draw was finally reached with only bare kings left on the board on move 58. That means they play tiebreaks on Thursday for a place both in the final and in the 2018 Candidates Tournament. Levon Aronian and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are in the same boat, though they’ll barely be warmed up after playing out an even quicker draw than the day before. In fact Levon didn’t need more than 9 seconds for any of his 18 moves, despite playing with the black pieces.
Up to this point Wesley has needed tiebreaks twice, beating Matthias Bluebaum in the 10-minute games in Round 2 and Baadur Jobava in the 25-minute games in Round 4. Ding Liren also needed tiebreaks only twice, and got the job done fast both times, beating Martyn Kravtsiv and Vidit in rapid games. Neither of them have yet lost a game in Tbilisi.
Needless to say, the tiebreaks will be unmissable, since by the end of them we’ll know not only the finalists for the 2017 World Cup but two of the players in the 2018 Candidates Tournament.
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