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The Last Game: Magnus Retains His World Champion Title Ahead of Schedule

‘Time to say Dubai’ came to an end with Magnus Carlsen retaining his Title over Ian Nepomniachtchi, with a 7.5 to 3.5 total score.

Photos: Eric Rosen and Niki Riga (FIDE)

Hopes were high for the 11th game of the Championship. Even though Nepo’s comeback was an unimaginable concept, his today’s privilege of the white pieces brought early tension to the chess enthusiasts.

The Challenger chose to start game 11 with 1.e4 and the commentators rushed to announce another Spanish Game. Nepo on the other hand opted for the Italian game, followed by a rather unusual plan with Na3.

Once more the World Champion made clear that balance and equality were at the top of his agenda until Nepo blundered a pawn...again. Carlsen took the lead of the game, but even he missed an obvious and terminal move for the game.

Under the pressure of his fifth title, the Champion took a more technical but still accurate road, and after 49 moves, the Challenger resigned.

“In simple positions, I make very few mistakes. A few times the position was very complicated, we both made mistakes, but he made the last one.” Carlsen said at the Press Conference, sealing his dominance to the crown.

The former World Champion Vishy Anand commented that Nepo couldn’t get over his disastrous game 6, and Nepo admitted that the match wasn’t down to chess but to other factors that influenced his errors.

Nepomniachtchi’s refrain about the match was that he didn’t feel it had come down much at all to chess and that his task now was to examine how other factors influenced his error-filled collapse in the second half of the match and try to understand and eliminate what happened.

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