After his slow star in the 2015 Qatar Masters, Magnus Carlsen has gone full 'beast mode' and now leads the event after 5 rounds. After playing a few opponents who could be described as 'unfamiliar' he came up against his first 2700+ player in round 5, in the shape of Li Chao (a former Doeberl Cup winner btw). As there was only an 84 rating point difference between the two players, it might have been plausible for Chao to draw the game, or even cause an upset. However Carlsen seemed quite determined to not let that happen, and basically tore him apart on the kingside. As with games that involve opposite side castling, pawns and pieces tend to rush up the board, but Carlsen's attack carried a lot more force. He was clearly better by move 20, and totally winning a few moves later.
The win moved him into a half point lead over a group of 8 players. Tonight there is no play, but in tomorrows round he will be up against Wesley So.
Carlsen,Magnus (2834) - Li,Chao b (2750) [D70]
Qatar Masters Open 2015 Doha QAT (5.1), 24.12.2015