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Carlsen is a point away from the Title

Game 10 of the World Chess Championship 2021 between the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi ended in a draw after 41 moves.

Photo: Eric Rosen and Niki Riga (FIDE)

The first move was made by Amna Al Qubaisi, the first Emirati female racing driver. She was invited to do the ceremonial first move by Kaspersky, the official cyber security partner of the FIDE World Championship 2021, and a known supporter of Formula 1.

Magnus chose 1.e4 in hopes of a dynamic and complicated Sicilian, but the Russian GM chose to defend with the black pieces, initiating the Petroff. Giri had predicted this course of game 10, saying it made sense to try and stabilize, have a rest day, and then see if a miracle could be started with Ian’s next white.

The Champion spent a considerable amount of time thinking, but this time his inner debate was: “Should I unleash the chaos or go for the easy draw?”. Eventually, Carlsen chose to simplify the position even more and agreed to a draw after move 40.

At the Press Conference, Carlsen said he felt he had managed to extract a tiny edge from the position, but that the game was ‘pretty boring’, and a draw was fine. Nepo commented on the game as well as his strategy. “I have a couple of white games in the remaining four, a couple of tries. Of course, it depends on what I will produce in the 11th game. But today the idea was just to play a normal game and try not to blunder something in one move.” Nepo said.

When the Russian was asked if he was still trying to win this match, he replied: “That’s an absurd question”. Also, on what he would have done differently, the Challenger said: “I guess I would lose less and win more.”

Meanwhile, GM Sergey Karjakin, being surprisingly casual, commented: “Nepo is a dynamic player, and I cannot force him to play not in his style. It’s just a different match, different chess, but unfortunately this time it’s not working.”

The match is best-of-14 games with a prize fund of 2 million euros, with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw is half a point. The first player to reach 7.5 points will be the winner. (If the match should be tied after 14 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breaker games.) It’s two more games than in the 2018 World Championship Match.

The venue for the event is located in downtown Dubai at the Dubai Expo.

The match’s sponsors include Algorand, a leading blockchain company; Kaspersky, the official cyber security partner; and PhosAgro, a giant international fertilizer group.

Game 11, with challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi having the advantage of the white pieces, will take place on December 10, with tomorrow being a rest day. You can follow the games live on World Chess.

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 2200   1 mo   Magnus Carlsen   Main feature   Match 2021   Nepo