Magnus Carlsen plays 33-stroke draw with Ian Nepomniachtchi in Game 4 | 2021 World Chess Championship


Norway’s Magnus Carlsen and Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi made their fourth draw in as many games on Tuesday in the final leg of their € 2million world championship clash in Dubai, which left the best of 14 games in a 2-2 stalemate with 10 games. remaining.

The peaceful result after 2 hours 37 minutes was the shortest of the game so far, where no blood has yet been drawn, but which supercomputers assessing the movements have indicated to be the longest world title game. precise never played in the history of the event.

Carlsen, playing with the favored white pieces, opened with 1 e4 before the players quickly found themselves facing the Petrov Defense (1 … e5 2 Nf3 Nf6). The opener, rarely deployed by the Russian, surprised many observers but not Carlsen, who later noted that Nepomniachtchi had played it in the eight-candidate tournament where he secured his place as a challenger for the world title.

“It was one of the main openings I was expecting seeing as he played it in the Candidates and also, in the black opener (of Nepomniachtchi), he opted for a more classic approach rather than sharp, ”said Carlsen, who also faced Petrov in white in the sixth and eleventh clashes of his third world title defense against American Fabiano Caruana in London three years ago. “So it was eagerly awaited. I obviously couldn’t know which exact line Petrov he was going to choose, but the Petrov itself was eagerly awaited.

The queens came off the board in the first half hour amid a material exchange that heralded a quiet outcome to come, though Carlsen was the first to turn away from the annals of known games with the rare 18 Nh4 !? followed by the ambitious 19 g4. In addition, the Norwegian’s decision to refuse a repeat draw with 27 d5 (instead of Nf6 +) and the considerable time he spent on punches late in the game when the draw seemed imminent – over 22 minutes out of 25 Nf6 + and almost 35 minutes out of 30 Ne8 + – indicated that he was always looking for chances to win.

But just like the first three games, where Nepomniachtchi had to rely on precise play to secure a half point after Carlsen was the first to deviate from familiar theory, the challenger operated with extraordinary precision until what the case ends with a triple repetition of the position after 33 moves.

“It’s okay, I started with a lot more prints than that [in the 2016 and 2018 world title matches]Carlsen said, brushing aside questions of whether he was frustrated with Tuesday’s relatively dry proceedings. “When you play a hard line like today, you don’t expect to hit very often. But the idea is to hit every now and then, to surprise your opponent, and the other times you usually have to be very careful.

“Obviously I would have loved to win, I would have loved to find more chances than me, but I think overall it’s a normal result against an opponent prepared for the world. “

Carlsen, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Tuesday, was No.1 on the Fide table for 10 consecutive years and was considered the best player in the world even before removing Vishy Anand for the title in 2013. He is on his fourth defense. of the world championship against Nepomniachtchi, also 31, who is the world No.5.

When asked if the half point was a satisfactory result, Nepomniachtchi was to the point: “Since I played Petrov, indeed.”


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