TBILISI — Levon Aronian bounced back from a deficit to beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 5-4. Ding Liren clinched the penultimate blitz game against Wesley So and drew the next for a 3.5-2.5 triumph.

Levon Aronian bounced back from a deficit to beat frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 5-4 to reach the World Cup final against Ding Liren of China in Tbilisi, Georgia on Thursday.

By virtue of reaching the final, they qualified for the eight-man Candidates tournament aimed at finding the challenger to Magnus Carlsen in the next World championship title match.

On the day of tie-break games, Aronian lost the first rapid game but hit back immediately to level the scores. Thereafter the next four blitz games ended in draws. Finally, in the Armageddon game, Aronian won with white pieces in 78 moves. In the Armageddon game, a player with black pieces gets four minutes to white’s five and needs only a draw to be adjudged the winner. In this case, facing a must-win situation, Aronian came out stronger.

Earlier, Ding Liren clinched the penultimate blitz game against Wesley So and drew the next for a 3.5-2.5 triumph.

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