The Norwegian won the match 3-1. On Friday, he will play the semifinals in rapid chess against either Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (India) or Vincent Keymer (Germany).
Carlsen got off to a very weak start in Thursday’s duel. Poor timing affected his game and contributed to a couple of ugly mistakes. After 30 moves, Aronian had ten minutes left on the clock, and right after that the Armenian-born American had a winning position.
Nevertheless, Carlsen did not give up. He was well underway with a rescue operation when a huge mistake made the effort in vain. The game was over after 53 moves.
With black pieces, Carlsen needed an upturn in game two, and he was to get it startlingly early. Already after twelve moves, Aronian made a clear miss and faced a loss. He was checkmate in the 49th move.
Carlsen saw his rival’s problems persist in the third game as well. After only 13 moves, it was a Norwegian advantage that stood for victory. The game continued for a while longer, but there was no going back.
Now Carlsen only needed a draw in the fourth and final game, but was not satisfied with that. He again outmaneuvered his opponent and collected his third straight victory.