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World Chess Championship: a Puzzling Draw

The second game of the World Chess Championship 2021 between the World Champion Magnus Carlsen and the Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi is has ended in a draw after 58 moves. It was a tense and complex game despite the peaceful outcome.

Photo: FIDE (Niki Riga and Eric Rosen)

The game started with the ceremonial e4 move played by the FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. Carlsen changed it a few seconds later to d4 and a very well prepared Catalan.

Carlsen puzzled the experts from the beginning by deviating from the mainstream theory and entering into a complicated middlegame. Even elite players who commented on the game couldn’t really get a grasp of the position, making it even more interesting.

Nigel Short, FIDE official and former challenger, replied to all the chess enthusiasts who were spotting inaccuracies during the game.

After two games in the 2021 World Championship match, both Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi have shown an exceptional level of preparation, but believe that Carlsen’s analysis is slightly stronger. However, the pundits commend Nepo for being able to create winning opportunities during the last game.

Carlsen himself confessed that he had completely missed Nepomniachtchi’s 18th move, but he still crafted some manoeuvres, which lead to a black’s error on move 24, and eventually to a draw.

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 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 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.

Games start at 12:30 UTC. You can follow the games live on World Chess.

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 1004   1 mo   Magnus Carlsen   Main feature   Match 2021   Nepo