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16 Draws In a Row In World Chess Championship Games

Game 2 of the World Chess Championship Match taking place in Dubai marked the 16th draw in a row for the event in classic time controls. The last decisive game was played in November 2016 — that’s more than five years ago.

Carlsen and Nepo talking to the arbiter and submit their score sheets after game 2 of the World Chess Championship match in Dubai. Photo by Eric Rosen/FIDE

Carlsen won game 11 of the 2016 Match against Sergey Karjakin in New York to level the score. He eventually won the match on tie-breaks in rapid time controls. All 12 games of the Carlsen — Caruana 2018 match were drawn, attracting criticism to the fact that the World Championship crown in classic chess is being decided in speed chess.

This year, FIDE, the sport’s governing body, has decided to increase the number of games from 12 to 14 and changed the time controls: now the players have 120 minutes for their first 40 moves and another 60 minutes for their next 20, making them mindful of time.

When asked during the press conference about potential time trouble, Carlsen said that the current time control is appropriate in his opinion and makes players take into account both strategy and time management. Carlsen’s challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi is less pleased with the new time controls: they were less demanding in the qualifiers for the Match and the new system requires some getting used to.

Game 3 of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match takes place today, followed by a rest day. Nepo plays with White. You can follow the game and commentary live on World Chess.

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