Home favourite Nijat Abasov is set for a dream semi-final tie with Norway's Magnus Carlsen ©FIDE/Anna Shtourman

Home favourite Nijat Abasov is set for a dream semi-final tie with Norway's Magnus Carlsen at the International Chess Federation (FIDE) World Cup here.

Abasov, ranked only 69th as he entered this tournament, continued his remarkable run by defeating India's Vidit Gujrathi.

The pair had drawn their opening game but Abasov won the second encounter to earn his first competitive meeting with Carlsen.

"I have never faced Magnus in an official tournament, It will be a wonderful feeling to play against the world number one," Abasov said.

Carlsen sealed his place in the semi-final  with a halved second game against India's D Gukesh. 

"I am happy to be in the semi-final not playing the very very top guys," Carlsen said.

"Of course, it will not be easy, I don't think I have to do anything too unusual, play my game, and hopefully it will be fine."

Carlsen has never won this tournament but reached the last four in 2021 before losing to Poland's Jan-Krzysztof Duda, the eventual champion.

In the other half of the draw, world number three Fabiano Caruana defeated his American compatriot Leinier Domínguez to book a place in the last four, but immediately played down his chances of  lifting the trophy.

"I wasn't confident of winning this match," Caruana admitted.

"I would be lying if I said I was confident of winning the World Cup, or even confident of winning my next match."

He knows he will face Indian opposition but exactly who remains unknown because Arjun Erigaisi and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa will have to be separated by tie break after their match finished 1-1.

In the women’s competition, Aleksandra Goryachkina is through to the final.

Goryachkina, a Russian playing under a neutral flag drew her second game against China’s former World Champion Tan Zhongyi to make sure of her passage.

Her opponent will be either Ukraine’s Anna Muzychuk or Nurgyul Salimova of Bulgaria who face tie breaks tomorrow.