[Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.11.26"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Europe-Echecs"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 $5 (8. c3 d5 $5 {aurait mené au gambit Marshall.}) 8... Na5 $5 (8... Bb7 9. d3 d5 (9... Na5 10. Nxe5 Nxb3 {1-0 (61) Bellegotti,G (2415)-Sychov,A (2196) ICCF email 2016}) 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Rxe5 Qd6 13. Re1 Rae8 14. Nd2 c5 15. Ne4 Qc6 16. c4 Nb6 17. cxb5 axb5 18. Qf3 c4 19. Bc2 (19. dxc4 bxc4 20. Bc2 f5 21. Nc3 Qxf3 22. gxf3 Bxf3 23. Bf4 {1/2 (44)-1/2 (44) Svidler,P (2749) -Muzychuk,A (2580) Caleta 2012}) 19... Qd7 20. Qg3 f5 21. Ng5 Nd5 22. dxc4 Bd6 23. f4 Rxe1+ 24. Qxe1 Re8 25. Qh4 Nf6 26. Qf2 Qc7 27. b4 Bxb4 28. Bb2 Bc5 29. Bd4 Bxd4 30. Qxd4 h6 31. Nf3 Bxf3 32. gxf3 bxc4 {0-1 (59) Kovalev,V (2661) -Esipenko,A (2611) Poikovsky 2019}) 9. Nxe5 Nxb3 10. axb3 Bb7 11. d3 d5 12. exd5 Qxd5 13. Qf3 Bd6 14. Kf1 $1 (14. Qxd5 Nxd5 15. Bd2 f6 16. Nf3 Ne7 17. Nd4 c5 18. Ne2 Ng6 19. Nbc3 f5 20. Kf1 {1-0 (42) Korneev,O (2638)-Nataf,I (2592) Evora 2006}) 14... Rfb8 $5 15. Qxd5 Nxd5 {[%csl Yb2,Yb3,Gb5,Yc2,Yd3][%cal Yc7c5] Les Noirs ont sacrifié leur pion e5 dans le style du gambit Marshall. Ici, le point important est de se rendre compte que le pion blanc de plus est sur l'aile-Dame et qu'il sera très difficile de le valoriser de ce côté.} 16. Bd2 c5 17. Nf3 {16 minutes de réflexion.} (17. Nc3 Nb4 18. Rac1 f6 (18... Rd8 19. Ng4 f5 20. Ne5 Rac8 21. Re2 Re8 22. Nf3 Rf8 23. Re6 Rfd8 24. Bg5 Kf7 25. Re3 Re8 {1-0 (61) Bellegotti,G (2415)-Sychov,A (2196) ICCF email 2016}) 19. Nf3 Re8 20. Rxe8+ Rxe8 21. Ne2 Nc6 22. Bf4 Bxf4 23. Nxf4 Kf7 24. Re1 {1-0 (52) Schreuders,A-Neale,M (2260) ICCF email 2018}) 17... Rd8 $5 {21 minutes de réflexion.} 18. Nc3 Nb4 19. Rec1 Rac8 20. Ne2 Nc6 21. Be3 Ne7 22. Bf4 $6 Bxf3 23. gxf3 Bxf4 24. Nxf4 {[%csl Yb2,Yb3,Yf2,Yf3,Yh3]} Rc6 {[%csl Ga6,Gc6][%cal Yc6h6]} 25. Re1 Nf5 26. c3 {Après seulement 19 secondes !} Nh4 27. Re3 $5 Kf8 $5 (27... g6 28. Ng2 $6 Nf5 $17) 28. Ng2 Nf5 {[%csl Yg2]} 29. Re5 g6 30. Ne1 ( 30. Ke2 $5 {[%csl Gb3,Gc3,Gd3][%cal Ye2d2,Yd2c2]}) 30... Ng7 31. Re4 $5 f5 32. Re3 Ne6 33. Ng2 b4 $1 34. Ke2 Rb8 35. Kd2 bxc3+ 36. bxc3 Rxb3 37. Kc2 Rb7 38. h4 Kf7 (38... Rcb6 $5) 39. Ree1 Kf6 40. Ne3 Rd7 {[%csl Ya6,Yc5,Yf2,Yf3,Yh4]} 41. Nc4 {[%csl Yc6,Yd7][%cal Yc4e5,Ye5d7,Ye5c6]} Re7 42. Ne5 Rd6 43. Nc4 Rc6 44. Ne5 Rd6 45. Nc4 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai, United Arab Emirates"] [Date "2021.11.25"] [Round "1.1"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 $5 {The main move in this position is c3, but Nepo went for the 2nd most popular move. It is also called the Anti-Marshall.} (8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6) 8... Na5 $5 {Now this comes as a huge surprise. This has only been played in 35 games before.} (8... Bb7) (8... d6) 9. Nxe5 Nxb3 10. axb3 Bb7 11. d3 d5 $5 12. exd5 Qxd5 13. Qf3 Bd6 (13... Rab8 14. Qxd5 Nxd5 ( 14... Bxd5 15. Rxa6) 15. Nd7) 14. Kf1 $5 {There have been two games that have continued with Kf1 in this position.} (14. Nc3 Qxe5 15. Qxb7 Qxe1#) (14. Bd2 Qxe5 15. Qxb7 Qh2+ 16. Kf1 Rfe8) 14... Rfb8 {Now a massive threat is to take on e5 with the queen. So White is forced to trade the queens.} (14... Qxe5 15. Qxb7 $14) 15. Qxd5 Nxd5 (15... Bxd5 16. Nc3 $16) 16. Bd2 {Ian took five minutes for this move so clearly he was in his preparation.} c5 17. Nf3 { A solid 16 minute think.} (17. Nc3 Nb4 18. Rac1 Rd8 19. Ng4) 17... Rd8 { Magnus was out of his preparation and took 21 minutes for this move.} 18. Nc3 { This position looks slightly more pleasant for White as Black has to fight hard to prove his compensation for the pawn.} Nb4 {Rook a1 to c1 looks natural in this position, but Nepo decided to play his other rook.} 19. Rec1 Rac8 20. Ne2 {White is not really threatening to take the knight on b4, he is preparing Ne1 with the idea of c3.} Nc6 (20... Be7 21. Ne1 Bf6 22. Bc3 $14) 21. Be3 Ne7 22. Bf4 $6 {This proved to be dubious move by Nepo as now Magnus liquidated into an endgame which looks quite easy for Black to play.} (22. Nd2 $14) (22. Ng3 $14) 22... Bxf3 23. gxf3 Bxf4 24. Nxf4 Rc6 $1 {A very nice move which protects the pawn on a6 and also prepares to swing over the rook to f6 or h6 on the third rank.} 25. Re1 Nf5 26. c3 Nh4 27. Re3 Kf8 28. Ng2 Nf5 29. Re5 g6 30. Ne1 (30. Ke2 $5 Ng7) 30... Ng7 31. Re4 f5 32. Re3 Ne6 {Magnus has brought his knight to an excellent square from where it puts pressure on both d4 and f4. The next step is to create an outpost on d4.} 33. Ng2 b4 $1 34. Ke2 Rb8 35. Kd2 $1 {Nepo takes a good decision of giving up a pawn in order to gain some activity and coordination.} (35. Rb1 a5 $1 $15 {With a lot of pressure on White.}) 35... bxc3+ 36. bxc3 Rxb3 37. Kc2 Rb7 38. h4 {Just taking the g5 square under control.} Kf7 39. Ree1 Kf6 40. Ne3 Rd7 {40 moves have been completed and both players get an extra hour on their clocks. The position is round about even.} 41. Nc4 Re7 42. Ne5 Rd6 43. Nc4 Rc6 44. Ne5 Rd6 45. Nc4 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.11.26"] [Round "1"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] {[%evp 0,89,19,28,25,25,25,15,8,2,-10,-10,-2,1,8,-11,17,3,49,45,28,22,33,31,19, 19,19,19,19,19,19,11,16,23,39,14,26,28,27,-15,27,13,30,0,43,34,28,17,8,20,20,5, 0,-23,-21,0,22,6,0,0,22,-14,-14,-15,0,12,29,5,-9,17,0,-60,-85,-48,-55,-47,-63, -82,-86,1,0,0,34,11,11,11,19,20,20,20,12,20]} 1. e4 {Greetings everyone! This is Sam Shankland, and I will be with throughout the duration of the World Championship match, annotating each and every game. I was on Magnus Carlsen's team in the past, helping him prepare for his second match with Anand and his match with Karjakin, but this time around I have no role on any side whatsoever, which means I can speak entirely freely as a complete spectator. The first game was an interesting affair, where both sides have things to be satisfied with and not satisfied with. In general, modern World Championship matches almost always start with two draws. When you are playing White and you don't know what is coming and Black gets to play his World Championship preparation for the first time, he almost always equalizes easily. Then, once games three and four come, the players tend to be able to put more pressure. This match has been different, as I don't believe Magnus fully equalized in game one. While this may be surprising and a bad sign for his preparation, it has to be said that before long, he was the only one who could think about winning. That has to speak in Magnus' favor and not be a confidence booster for Nepo. Without further ado, on to the game!} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 {Magnus chooses the classical Spanish, much like he did against Karjakin. In both of his last two matches, he stuck with the same black repertoire vs 1.e4 all the way through. Based on how today went, and that the match is a little longer, I suspect he may deviate later on.} (3... Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3) 4. Ba4 (4. Bxc6 $6 dxc6 5. d4 (5. Nxe5 $2 Qd4 6. Nf3 Qxe4+ 7. Qe2 Qxe2+ $17 8. Kxe2 {[%cal Gh1e1,Ge2f1]})) 4... Nf6 5. O-O Be7 (5... Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. c3) 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3 $5 {All of this has been seen before many times, and now Magnus is the first to play a somewhat unusual move.} (8. c3 d6 (8... d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 $14) 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4) 8... Na5 $5 {[%mdl 512] This move is not too common, for obvious reasons. Black goes down a pawn but quickly forces through ...d5 and hopes his activity and bishop pair will be enough for it. The main moves are ...d6 and ...Bb7.} ( 8... d6) (8... Bb7) 9. Nxe5 {Now play takes on a very forcing character.} Nxb3 10. axb3 Bb7 11. d3 d5 12. exd5 Qxd5 {[%csl Ge7,Gg2][%cal Gb7d5,Rd5g2]} 13. Qf3 {[%csl Ge7][%cal Re1e7] This position had only seen play in four human games in the past, with White winning all four. But, it has been a much hotter topic in correspondence chess.} Bd6 14. Kf1 {Nepo blitzed this move out, he was surely still in preparation. We have now left human practice.} (14. Qxd5 Nxd5 15. Bd2 f6 16. Nf3 Ne7 17. Nd4 c5 $44 18. Ne2 Ng6 19. Nbc3 f5 20. Kf1 b4 21. Na4 f4 22. Nb6 Rad8 23. Nc4 Bc7 24. f3 Nh4 25. d4 Rd5 26. dxc5 Rg5 27. c6 Bxc6 28. Nd4 Bd7 29. g4 Rd5 30. Ne6 Nxf3 31. Nxf8 Nxe1 32. Bxe1 Kxf8 33. Rxa6 h5 34. Ra7 Bd8 35. Bxb4+ Kg8 36. Ra8 Bc6 37. Rc8 hxg4 38. hxg4 Bb7 39. Rb8 f3 40. Be7 Rd1+ 41. Kf2 Kh7 42. Rxb7 {1-0 (42) Korneev,O (2638)-Nataf,I (2592) Evora 2006} ) 14... Rfb8 $1 {An important move. Black overprotects the bishop on b7, so now he is threatening to move his queen. White is forced to capture.} ({ Stockfish 14:} 14... Qxe5 15. Qxb7 Qh2 16. Qf3 Rae8 17. Be3 Nh5 18. Qxh5 f5 19. f4 Bxf4 20. Qf3 Bxe3 21. Rxe3 f4 22. Re4 Rxe4 23. Qxe4 f3 24. gxf3 Qxc2 25. Qe6+ Kh8 26. Qe2 Qc1+ 27. Kg2 Qg5+ 28. Kf2 Qc1 29. d4 h6 30. b4 c6 31. h4 Kg8 32. Rxa6 Qxb1 33. Rxc6 Qh1 34. Qe4 Qh2+ 35. Ke3 Qg1+ 36. Ke2 Qg2+ 37. Kd1 Qxb2 38. d5 Qa1+ 39. Ke2 Qa2+ 40. Rc2 $14 {[%eval 80,37] [%wdl 217,779,4]}) ({ Stockfish 14:} 14... Rfe8 $4 15. Nc3 Qxf3 16. Nxf3 Rxe1+ 17. Nxe1 c5 18. Be3 Nd5 19. Nxd5 Bxd5 20. Nf3 Bb7 21. Ng5 Rc8 22. Ne4 $16) 15. Qxd5 (15. Nc3 $2 Qxe5 $1 $19 {Since the bishop on b7 is defended, Black wins material, and the game.}) 15... Nxd5 {This position has been seen eight times in correspondence chess, with White winning four of the eight games. That is actually a huge winning percentage in a computer vs computer world where nearly every game is drawn, and it really speaks volumes as to how difficult Black's defense might be. It's a bit surprising to me that Magnus would voluntarily force this position straight out of the opening, but he may be more confident in Black's holding chances than I am.} 16. Bd2 {Stopping ...Nb4.} c5 17. Nf3 {[%cal Re1e8] } Rd8 $6 {The first entirely unseen move of the game.} (17... Nb4 $5 {[%csl Gc2] This was the final correspondence game in the line. White eventually won. I suspect Magnus was in preparation up to this point and decided to play Rd8 instead. Stockfish 14:} 18. Rc1 Bxf3 19. gxf3 Be5 {[%csl Gb2]} 20. Nc3 f5 21. f4 Bf6 22. Nd1 a5 23. Nc3 Kf7 24. Be3 $14 {[%csl Gc5]}) 18. Nc3 Nb4 {[%csl Gc2] } 19. Rec1 {The machines are definitely giving White a slight edge here. Still, it's so hard to turn something like this into a win. He is a pawn up and very solid, but it will be a nightmare to untangle his pieces. His rooks are stuck, the pawn structure is not great, Black has more space, a pair of bishops... still, a pawn is a pawn and Black has no direct threats. It takes a lot to play this position well with Black.} Rac8 20. Ne2 {[%cal Rc2c3]} Nc6 {Now, if the timestamps are correct, Nepo spent two minutes on Bd2-e3, and then two minutes again on Be3-f4. Why not go there directly?} 21. Be3 $6 (21. Bf4 $1 { [%cal Ge2f4,Rc2c3] This looked like a much better option to me. White will bully the d6-bishop back to f8 without allowing his kingside structure to get shattered. After} Bf8 22. Ne1 $1 {[%cal Rc2c3,Ge1d3] White has everything protected, and he is ready for c2-c3 next to dominate the c6-knight. He looks pleasantly better to me, though it will take a lot of work to actually win the game.}) 21... Ne7 $1 {[%cal Ge7d5,Rd5e3] Magnus sends the knight towards the f5- and d5-squares, where it will harass the e3-bishop.} 22. Bf4 $2 {This comes a move too late. Black will get a lot of play against the kingside pawns. } (22. Ne1 {Again, I'd like this move, but it seems like a tempo down compared to what it could have been. After} Nf5 {Black has quite a bit more compensation than he did before. It's very close to equal.}) 22... Bxf3 $1 23. gxf3 Bxf4 24. Nxf4 Rc6 {[%csl Re6,Rg6] Around here, I was thinking that Nepo was really starting to lose the thread and that his position was getting dangerous. I was not running serious machinery at the time, and now that I am, it is telling me that the game was absolutely equal from here on out. Still, in human terms, I have to believe Black is more comfortable here. It feels like it will take a million years to set the queenside majority in motion, and White is one bad move away from his kingside collapsing.} 25. Re1 {[%cal Re1e8] } Nf5 26. c3 Nh4 {[%cal Rh4f3]} 27. Re3 Kf8 (27... g6 {[%cal Gg6f5,Gg6h5,Ga1e1] The machines suggest this is best, as prophylaxis against Ng2. Still, I find it unimpressive. After} 28. Ke2 {White has all of his pawns well defended, and it is hard to believe he can be worse.}) 28. Ng2 {[%cal Rf3f4]} Nf5 29. Re5 g6 30. Ne1 $2 {I think the biggest edge Magnus has over Nepo as a player is that his intuition for where the pieces belong in quiet positions tends to be better. White only spent a minute on this move, but it really strikes me as not best.} (30. Ke2 $1 {Why not centralize the king and get ready for Ne3 next? Black might even be a little worse.}) 30... Ng7 $1 {[%cal Gg7h5,Gh5f4, Rf4h3,Gg7e6,Ge6f4] This move pair on move 30 is a perfect illustration. Ng7 strikes me as a very difficult move. The knight reroutes to e6, which is indeed a better square. It frees Black to advance his f-pawn to f5 and put his king on f6. It makes sense, but who looks at the previous position and thinks \"My knight on f5 is misplaced, let's move it back to g7?\" This is the kind of thing Magnus is much better than absolutely everyone at. If he can get more of these kinds of positions, I suspect he will have good chances in some of them.} 31. Re4 f5 32. Re3 Ne6 33. Ng2 b4 $1 {I like this move a lot as well. If for no other reason, it gives me a chance to plug my book! In Small Steps to Giant Improvement, I wrote that if you have doubled pawns and the forward doubled pawn cannot be defended by another pawn, it often will become a serious weakness. This is the case here with the b3-pawn. Black is aiming to open the b-file, and touching the c-pawn would allow Black's knight to d4. Still, it should not be enough to win the game. White is a pawn up and well within the drawing margin.} 34. Ke2 $1 {I like Nepo's choice to give the pawn back and activate his king.} Rb8 {[%csl Gb3][%cal Rb8b3,Rb4c3]} 35. Kd2 $1 (35. Rb1 $2 {Keeping the pawn is too greedy. After} a5 $1 {Black is ready for some combination of ...bxc3, ...Rcb6, and ...a5-a4. The b3-pawn will drop anyway, and White is only losing time.}) 35... bxc3+ 36. bxc3 Rxb3 37. Kc2 Rb7 38. h4 { [%cal Ga1h1,Rh4h5,Rh1h8] Now material has been equalized, and White is ready to bring his knight to e3 and c4. Black's isolated queenside pawns are just as weak as White's isolated kingside pawns, and the position is balanced.} Kf7 { [%cal Ga1e1]} 39. Ree1 Kf6 40. Ne3 Rd7 41. Nc4 Re7 42. Ne5 Rd6 43. Nc4 Rc6 44. Ne5 Rd6 45. Nc4 {There were not too many surprises in how game one played out. Magnus got the kind of position where I think he is most able to show why he is the better player, and he did play a better game once the players were on their own. That said, it is not all roses for the World Champion. I think it is a very bad sign for his preparation that he failed to equalize in his first black game. This is something that should be almost gauranteed. If Nepo can get more edges with white in the opening, and perhaps in more dynamic positions that suit his style better, I think he will get some very real chances. I think game two will be very important. I suspect Nepo will equalize easily and make a draw without any particular trouble. We certainly cannot draw any real conclusions this early, but if this happens, I would definitely start to worry if I was in charge of Magnus' preparation.} (45. Nc4 Rc6) 1/2-1/2 [Event ""] [Site ""] [Date "2021.11.27"] [Round "?"] [White "Magnus Carlsen"] [Black "Ian Nepomniachtchi"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. d4 {[%emt 0:00:02]} Nf6 {[%emt 0:00:07]} 2. c4 {[%emt 0:00:07]} e6 {[%emt 0: 00:06]} 3. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:08]} d5 {6 Out of the 146 times that Magnus has faced this position, he has gone g3 in only 14 games! In 126 games he has played Nc3.} 4. g3 {[%emt 0:00:07]} Be7 {[%emt 0:00:11]} 5. Bg2 {[%emt 0:00:17] } O-O {[%emt 0:00:08]} 6. O-O {14 The absolute main position of the Catalan with close to 42,000 games played.} dxc4 {[%emt 0:00:06]} 7. Qc2 {[%emt 0:00: 05]} b5 $5 {9 Nepo throws the challenge to his opponent with the second most popular move in the position.} (7... a6 {is the main move here.} 8. Qxc4 b5) 8. Ne5 $5 {220 Carlsen thinks for around 4 minutes before making this provocative move. The engines do not like it and give an advantage to Black. The main move here is a4. But Carlsen must have analyzed it deeper and found that Black has some serious practical problems to solve.} (8. a4) 8... c6 {548} (8... Nd5 { was another way to play.}) 9. a4 {262 In this position Nd5 was the only move, yet Nepo took nearly 10 minutes to play. Just goes to show how stressful it is to play high stakes games and remember all your preparation.} (9. Nxc6 Nxc6 10. Bxc6 Rb8 $17 {is not the best way for White to play of course.}) 9... Nd5 {653} ({Of course not} 9... Qxd4 $6 10. Nxc6 Nxc6 11. Bxc6 $18) 10. Nc3 {[%emt 0:00: 31]} f6 {642} (10... Nxc3 11. bxc3 $18) 11. Nf3 {[%emt 0:00:32]} Qd7 {377} 12. e4 {394} Nb4 13. Qe2 Nd3 14. e5 Bb7 (14... fxe5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. dxe5) 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Ne4 {The position looks very dangerous for Black.} Na6 17. Ne5 $6 {Magnus misassessed something or he misevaluated the position.} (17. Nxf6+ gxf6 18. Bh6 Rf7 19. Ne1 Nab4 20. Nxd3 Nxd3 21. b3 $13) (17. Be3 $5 {Keeping more pieces on the board was interesting.}) 17... Bxe5 $1 {Excellent decision by Ian.} (17... Nxe5 $2 18. dxe5 Bxe5 19. Rd1 Qe7 20. Ng5 $18) 18. dxe5 Nac5 19. Nd6 (19. Nxc5 Nxc5 20. Be3 Nxa4 $17) 19... Nb3 20. Rb1 $6 (20. Be3 {Keeping the dark squared bishop would have been better in this situation.} Nxa1 21. Rxa1 $13) 20... Nbxc1 21. Rbxc1 Nxc1 22. Rxc1 Rab8 $17 23. Rd1 Ba8 (23... Qe7) 24. Be4 (24. Nxb5 Qe7 $15 (24... Qxd1+ 25. Qxd1 cxb5 26. Bxa8 Rxa8 27. axb5 $16 ) 25. Nd6) 24... c3 $6 (24... g6) 25. Qc2 (25. Qh5 g6 26. Bxg6 cxb2 27. Bb1 ( 27. Rd4 bxa4 28. Bb1)) 25... g6 26. bxc3 bxa4 (26... Qg7 27. f4 g5 $17) 27. Qxa4 {After this Nepo is able to exchange his bad bishop for White's good one but in return loses a pawn and also the knight remains dominant on d6.} Rfd8 28. Ra1 c5 29. Qc4 Bxe4 30. Nxe4 Kh8 31. Nd6 Rb6 32. Qxc5 Rdb8 33. Kg2 { Thanks to the knight on d6, White has excellent compensation.} a6 34. Kh3 Rc6 35. Qd4 Kg8 36. c4 Qc7 37. Qg4 {Nepo now gives back the material in order to make his defensive task easier.} Rxd6 38. exd6 Qxd6 39. c5 Qxc5 (39... Qc6 40. Qc4 Rb5 $11) 40. Qxe6+ Kg7 41. Rxa6 Rf8 42. f4 Qf5+ 43. Qxf5 Rxf5 {Some care has to be taken here but this position would most likely end in a draw.} 44. Ra7+ Kg8 45. Kg4 Rb5 46. Re7 Ra5 47. Re5 Ra7 48. h4 Kg7 49. h5 Kh6 50. Kh4 Ra1 51. g4 Rh1+ 52. Kg3 gxh5 53. Re6+ Kg7 54. g5 Rg1+ 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rh6 Ra4 57. Kf3 Ra3+ 58. Kf2 Ra4 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai, United Arab Emirates"] [Date "2021.11.27"] [Round "2"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 {Nepomniachtchi décide de ne pas utiliser sa défense fétiche, la Grunfeld, au profit du choix préféré des grands maîtres de top niveau, l'invitation à la Nimzo-Indienne} (2... g6 3. Nc3 d5) 3. Nf3 (3. Nc3 Bb4 {que les Blancs préfèrent la grande majorité du temps éviter}) 3... d5 4. g3 {Carlsen a préparé la partie Catalane, ouverture utilisée avec succès en championnat du monde par Kramnik et Anand contre Topalov dans les matchs de 2006 et 2010 (4 victoires, 3 nulles). En 1929, les organisateurs d'un tournoi à Barcelone souhaitaient que leur région, la Catalogne, soit immortalisée dans la théorie des ouvertures. Xavier Tartakover proposa que la combinaison d2-d4 et g2-g3, qu'il avait jouée trois fois pendant ce tournoi, soit nommée << ouverture catalane >>. L'idée est similaire au gambit Dame, sacrifier le pion c4 pour un meilleur contrôle central, la différence c'est que souvent si les Noirs prennent en c4, les Blancs ne récupèrent pas leur pion contrairement au gambit Dame, mais jouent sur les compensations, en particulier le fort Fg2, que l'on appelle même le Fou catalan, sur la grande diagonale, et l'avantage d'espace. [PHOTO]} Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b5 {Nepo a préparé 7...b5, un coup secondaire par rapport à 7...a6 mais bien répertorié.} (7... a6) 8. Ne5 {Carlsen est venu avec une surprise, encore un coup de Cavalier au 8e coup, comme la veille ! Le très rare 8.Ce5 qui a semblé surprendre Nepo malgré son côté logique. Selon Judit Polgar il n'est pas normal de ne pas avoir prévu ce coup dans la préparation, même si l'ordinateur ne l'aime pas, car il faut un minimum se placer du point de vue humain. L'une des difficultés des adversaires de Carlsen est qu'il peut jouer à peu près toutes les ouvertures avec les Blancs, y compris des systèmes secondaires, et si l'équipe du Russe ne s'attendait pas spécialement à une Catalane, mais juste comme une des options possibles, ils ont pu passé à côté de ce coup rare. Je pense quand même que c'est une erreur de préparation, même si comme à l'habitude l'équipe de Carlsen montre encore une fois qu'ils font un super job en trouvant des idées quasiment nouvelles, dans des positions bien pourtant déjà beaucoup étudiées.} (8. a4 b4 {et les Blancs vont reprendre le pion c4.} ({Illustratifs sont} 8... a6 $2 9. axb5) (8... c6 $2 9. axb5 cxb5 10. Ng5 Nd5 11. Qxh7#)) 8... c6 {Surprise, Nepo fait le choix de la solidité, proposant à Carlsen de reprendre son pion.} (8... Qxd4 $5 9. Nxf7 {mais infernal d'entrer là-dedans sans connaître} (9. Bxa8 Qxe5)) (8... Nd5 9. a4 c6 {transpose}) 9. a4 {Menace axb5.} (9. Nxc6 $2 Nxc6 10. Bxc6 Rb8 11. a4 a6 $15 {Les Noirs n'ont pas de souci, leur jeu est libéré. Les Blancs sont mal développés.}) 9... Nd5 {veut neutraliser le Fou catalan. Si e4 Cb4.} 10. Nc3 {Attaque b5. Une position désagréable à jouer pour les Noirs, encore plus quand on sait que les Blancs l'ont préparée en profondeur !} (10. e4 Nb4 { et le Fg2 est bloqué pour l'instant}) 10... f6 {Repousse l'agaçant Ce5 au prix de l'affaiblissement du pion e6 et du Roi.} (10... b4 11. Ne4 {est confortable pour les Blancs}) 11. Nf3 Qd7 $5 {Un coup bizarre mais solide de la part du challenger. Protège le pion b5 et le Fc8 ira en b7.} 12. e4 Nb4 13. Qe2 Nd3 {Une évolution importante de la position : les Blancs ont le centre parfait mais les Noirs ont implanté un Cavalier-pieuvre en d3, qui rappelle la 16e partie du championnat du monde Karpov - Kasparov 1985. Par contre le reste du développement des Noirs est catastrophique et la position blanche prometteuse.} 14. e5 $1 {Après 15 minutes de réflexion. Un fort coup de Carlsen qui libère la case e4 pour le Cc3 en cas de b4 et ouvre pour le Fou catalan.} (14. axb5 cxb5 15. d5 e5 $13 {peu prometteur}) 14... Bb7 ({Critique était} 14... f5 15. axb5 cxb5 {et ici le thématique} 16. d5 $1 exd5 17. Ne1 $1 {avec double menace sur d3 et d5.} (17. Nd4 $5) 17... Nxc1 18. Rxc1 Bb7 19. e6 Qd8 20. Rd1 $14 {récupère un des deux pions avec avantage blanc}) 15. exf6 Bxf6 {Une position très difficile à juger et à jouer !} ({inférieure est} 15... gxf6 16. Bh6 {le Fou se développe sur tempo et trouve une belle case} Rf7 17. b3 $16 {pour fragiliser le Cd3.}) 16. Ne4 $1 Na6 {Nepo commence à jouer beaucoup plus vite que Carlsen ! Finalement ça va indirectement le pousser à la faute.} (16... Bxd4 $2 17. Nxd4 Qxd4 18. Ng5 $16) 17. Ne5 $2 { Un aveuglement du champion du monde qui a oublié le 18e coup des Noirs.} ({ Il pouvait maintenir la pression avec} 17. Be3 $14) ({ou} 17. Nxf6+ Rxf6 (17... gxf6 18. Bh6 Rf7 19. Ne1 Nab4 20. Nxd3 Nxd3 21. b3 $14) 18. Ne5 Qxd4 19. axb5 Qxe5 20. Qxe5 Nxe5 21. bxa6 Bc8 22. Be3 Nf3+ 23. Bxf3 Rxf3 24. Rfc1 $16) 17... Bxe5 (17... Qxd4 $2 18. Nxf6+ Rxf6 19. axb5 {transpose dans la note précédente}) 18. dxe5 Nac5 {Le coup bizarrement oublié par Carlsen ! Il est resté sur l'idée Ca6-b4 et n'a pas bien visualisé la disparition du pion d4. Un aveuglement signe d'un manque de forme et/ou de stress. [PHOTO]} ({Il comptait sur ce genre de lignes} 18... Nxe5 $2 19. Ng5 Nd3 $2 20. Qe4 $1 { double action sur h7 et b7} g6 21. axb5 $16) 19. Nd6 {Après 11 minutes de réflexion. Chaque joueur à un Cavalier-pieuvre !} Nb3 {Mais ça implique que les Noirs fassent une fourchette qui gagne une qualité.} 20. Rb1 $6 (20. Be3 $1 Nxa1 (20... Nxe5 $11) 21. Rxa1 {avec compensations pour une qualité et un pion de moins !}) 20... Nbxc1 (20... Rab8 $5 {proposé par Anand} 21. Be3 c5 $5 {un sacrifice de qualité plutôt que de la gagner !} 22. Nxb7 Rxb7 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. axb5 Rf3 $5 (24... Qxb5) 25. Rbd1 Qe4 {avec 2 Cavaliers monstrueux et un énorme grip sur cases blanches, mais pas clair si les Noirs peuvent jouer pour le gain.}) (20... bxa4 $5 {une autre façon de ne pas prendre la qualité} ) 21. Rbxc1 Nxc1 22. Rxc1 {Le Cd6 pieuvre assure des compensations aux Blancs, mais pas assez pour équilibrer une qualité et un pion... Et Nepo joue plus vite.} Rab8 {Joué instantanément.} 23. Rd1 Ba8 {Laisse la découverte pour ouvrir des colonnes !} (23... bxa4 $5 {pas humainement pas évident de ruiner ainsi sa structure de pions en 4 pions isolés} 24. Be4 (24. Qxc4 c5 25. Bh3 Bc8) 24... g6 25. Qxc4 c5 $15 {joue sur le clouage. Une meilleure version que dans la partie.}) (23... Qe7 {logique}) 24. Be4 {C'est très tendu.} (24. Nxb5 Qe7 25. Nd6 Rb4 {et les Tours noirs jouent}) (24. Nxc4 Qe7 25. Nd6 bxa4 $17 { c5 suivra avec très net avantage noir}) 24... c3 $6 {Un mauvais choix, dicté par la crainte de se faire mater par Fxh7 Dh5 Td4 etc.} (24... bxa4 25. Bxh7+ Kxh7 26. Qh5+ Kg8 27. Rd4 Qe7 28. Rh4 Qxh4 29. Qxh4 Rxb2 (29... c5 30. Qxc4 Bd5 31. Qc2 $11) 30. Qxc4) ({Il aurait pu choisir} 24... g6 25. h4 {et maintenant} bxa4) 25. Qc2 (25. Qh5 $2 g6 26. Bxg6 Qg7 $1 (26... hxg6 27. Qxg6+ Qg7 28. Qxe6+ Kh8 29. Rd4 $11)) (25. Bxh7+ $2 {ne fonctionne plus} Kxh7 26. Qh5+ Kg8 27. Rd4 cxb2 28. Rh4 b1=Q+ 29. Kg2 c5+ 30. Kh3 Qf1+ 31. Kg4 Bf3+) 25... g6 26. bxc3 bxa4 ({Les Noirs auraient pu presser avec l'inhabituel} 26... Qg7 27. f4 g5 $15) 27. Qxa4 {Maintenant Carlsen a stabilisé et se retrouve hors de danger. Le Cd6 compense une Tour.} Rfd8 28. Ra1 c5 29. Qc4 Bxe4 30. Nxe4 { menace Cf6+} Kh8 (30... Qc6 31. Rxa7 Rb1+ 32. Kg2 Rd4 $1 33. cxd4 Qxe4+ 34. Kh3 Qf5+ 35. Kg2 Qe4+ {=}) 31. Nd6 Rb6 {Les joueurs manquent de temps mais la position n'est pas très tactique.} 32. Qxc5 Rdb8 33. Kg2 a6 34. Kh3 {Un assez bon abri pour le Roi blanc.} Rc6 35. Qd4 Kg8 36. c4 Qc7 37. Qg4 $6 {Etonnant : à 4 coups du contrôle de temps, avec 6 minutes à la pendule, alors qu'il contrôle la position, Carlsen laisse Nepo liquider avec Txd6. Un autre signe de stress.} (37. Kg2 Rcb6 $13) 37... Rxd6 38. exd6 Qxd6 39. c5 Qxc5 40. Qxe6+ Kg7 41. Rxa6 Rf8 (41... Qxf2 42. Qe5+ Kh6 43. Qxb8 Qf1+ 44. Kh4 Qxa6 45. Qf8#) 42. f4 Qf5+ 43. Qxf5 Rxf5 {Le 3 vs 2 sur la même aile est confortablement nulle pour des joueurs de ce niveau.} 44. Ra7+ Kg8 45. Kg4 Rb5 ({Encore plus sécurisé est} 45... Rh5 $11) 46. Re7 Ra5 47. Re5 Ra7 48. h4 Kg7 49. h5 Kh6 50. Kh4 Ra1 51. g4 Rh1+ 52. Kg3 gxh5 53. Re6+ Kg7 54. g5 Rg1+ 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rh6 Ra4 57. Kf3 (57. f5 Rf4+ 58. Ke3 Rxf5 $11) 57... Ra3+ 58. Kf2 Ra4 {Et nulle. Quelle partie ! Grâce à sa préparation Carlsen a obtenu une position très prometteuse à la sortie de l'ouverture mais il s'est trompé au 17e coup ce qui l'a placé Nepomniachtchi en position de jouer pour la victoire avec un net avantage matériel pas complètement compensé par le Cd6. La position restait complexe et quelques imprécisions du challenger ont suffi pour qu'elle se nivelle. Une partie de championnat du monde passionnante ! On a déjà hâte d'être à demain pour la 3e partie.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.11.26"] [Round "2"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E05"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "samsh+fishxx68"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] {[%evp 0,116,23,23,29,2,10,14,10,-12,6,6,18,19,-1,2,14,-13,5,-36,-3,-42,-50, -50,-50,-42,-42,-42,-42,-22,0,0,0,-24,0,-57,-57,-57,-57,-67,-67,-75,-73,-79, -75,-85,-47,-82,-59,-103,-26,-46,-46,-46,-46,-46,-30,-43,-53,-43,-35,-35,-35, -35,-35,-35,-37,-37,-26,-26,0,0,21,21,13,13,65,88,88,88,111,104,104,104,104, 102,102,102,102,102,103,104,102,101,109,109,109,107,112,112,117,115,115,53,53, 53,53,36,36,34,36,15,53,13,53,53,53,21,53]} 1. d4 {Game two of the FIDE World Championship 2021 followed a very different script than game one. Rather than a nitty-gritty endgame, the players quickly reached a wild middlegame that was next-to-impossible to play well. Every other move was a mistake, but this had nothing to do with the players playing badly and everything to do with the position simply being complicated! It's really surprising to me that, so far, both players have really managed to show strong ideas with White as early as the first game. Normally, Black is equalizing easily at the start of these matches. I suspect this one will be more bloody than the last couple.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 {The first minor surprise. Nepo has mostly relied on the Grunfeld in the past.} 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 {Magnus chooses the Catalan, and Nepo goes for the old mainline.} Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b5 $5 {A very enterprising move, and a suprising practical decision. Magnus was the one who put it back on the map in his first game, playing Black against the Catalan, after the 2018 World Championship match, where he only faced 1.e4. I suspect this is what he must have prepared for that match and likely would have some very deep analysis.} ( 7... a6 {This is much more common, and has been seen in endless top level games. I even chose it in my most recent classical game myself!} 8. a4 Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. Bg5 Nbd7 11. Rd1 (11. Nc3 h6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Rfd1 a5 14. Qb3 ( 14. e3 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 c6 16. Kg2 Qb6 17. Qe2 Rfd8 18. h4 Rd7 19. h5 Rad8 20. Qc2 c5 21. Nb5 cxd4 22. Rxd4 Qc5 23. Qxc5 Bxc5 24. Rxd7 Rxd7 25. Rd1 Rxd1 26. Bxd1 Ne8 27. Kf3 Nd6 28. Nxd6 {1/2 (28) Grischuk,A (2778)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2792) Moscow 2021}) 14... Bb4 15. Ne5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qe7 17. Rac1 c6 18. e3 Rfd8 19. Ne2 c5 20. Qc4 Rac8 21. Qb5 Ne4 22. Qd3 Nf6 23. Qb5 Ne4 24. Qd3 Nf6 25. Qb5 { 1/2 (25) Vitiugov,N (2727)-Wei,Y (2725) INT 2021}) 11... h6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Nbd2 a5 14. Qd3 Bb4 15. e4 Qe7 16. Ne5 Bd7 17. Ndc4 Rfd8 18. Qe3 Be8 19. h4 Nd7 20. Nxd7 Bxd7 21. e5 Rab8 22. Be4 Be8 23. Qf3 f5 24. exf6 Qxf6 25. Qe3 Bg6 26. Rd3 Bf5 27. Rc1 c6 28. Rc2 Rd7 29. Ne5 Rd6 30. Nc4 Rd7 31. Ne5 Rd6 32. Kg2 Rbd8 33. f3 Bxe4 34. fxe4 Qxe5 35. dxe5 Rxd3 36. Qa7 Be1 37. Qxb7 Rxg3+ 38. Kh2 Rdd3 39. Qc8+ Kh7 40. Qxe6 Rg6 41. Qf5 Bg3+ 42. Kg2 Bxh4+ 43. Kf1 Re3 44. Rc1 c5 45. Rd1 c4 46. e6 Reg3 47. Rd7 Rg1+ 48. Ke2 R1g5 49. e7 Rxf5 50. exf5 Rg1 51. f6 Re1+ 52. Kd2 Re6 53. f7 Bxe7 54. Rxe7 Rf6 55. Kc3 Kg6 56. Kxc4 Rxf7 57. Rxf7 Kxf7 58. b4 Ke6 59. b5 Kd6 60. Kd4 h5 61. Ke4 g5 62. Kf5 h4 63. Kg4 Kc5 64. Kh3 Kd6 65. Kg4 Kc5 66. Kh3 Kd6 {1/2 (66) Caruana,F (2800) -Shankland,S (2714) Saint Louis 2021}) 8. Ne5 $5 {[%csl Gc6][%cal Re5c6,Rg2c6] And now this is almost a novelty. There are no correspondence games, and just 15 OTB games, with none played by anyone too notable. But Magnus was still playing reasonably quickly and confidently. He was surely still in his preparation.} (8. a4 $5 b4 9. Nfd2 Nd5 10. Nxc4 c5) 8... c6 $1 {[%cal Gb8c6, Ga8b8][%mdl 672] This is a typical response. White does not want to take the pawn.} 9. a4 $5 (9. Nxc6 $2 Nxc6 10. Bxc6 Rb8 $15 {[%cal Ga7a5,Gb8b5] White got the pawn back, but has an unpleasant position thanks to Black's extra space.}) 9... Nd5 {[%cal Gf7f6,Rf6e5]} 10. Nc3 $11 (10. axb5 {The machine prefers this one, and I found some truly remarkable lines while poking around, but they didn't really work for White at the end of the day. Magnus' choice seems stronger.}) 10... f6 11. Nf3 Qd7 $6 {[%csl Gb8,Gc8,Gd7][%mdl 16] This is a safe looking move, and a very understandable choice against an opponent who is clearly still in preparation. Under other circumstances, Nepo might have considered 11. ..b4 as a feistier alternative.} (11... b4 {This has to be the critical move, hitting the knight with a gain of tempo, gaining space, and getting ready for Ba6 next. The position gets very messy very fast, for example after} 12. Ne4 Ba6 13. Nc5 $1 Bxc5 14. dxc5 $1 {[%csl Rb4,Rc4,Rd5] [%cal Gf1d1,Rd1d8,Ge2e4,Rb4a3,Rb4c3,Rc4b3,Rc4d3,Rc5d6] when White is ready for some e4 and Rd1, and he has obvious compensation for the missing pawn, but the game is still very messy. I let my computer run for a long time here, and it eventually settled on equal. I'm sure Magnus had checked it much further and found some ways to put a lot of pressure on Black's position. We may end up seeing these lines play out in subsequent games!}) 12. e4 $1 {[%cal Re4d5, Rf1d1] Now White is taking a lot of space in the center.} Nb4 13. Qe2 {[%cal Re4e5,Rd1d8]} Nd3 $5 {[%csl Gc1,Rc4,Rd3] Very ambitious, and I like it! Nepo clearly is not playing scared, despite being caught in the opening by the World Champion. Black gets ready for b4 next. If he can pull this off, White will be worse.} (13... N8a6 {This was a reasonable alternative, but White has obvious compensation for the pawn after} 14. Be3) 14. e5 $1 {Clearing the e4-square for the knight.} {[%tqu "En","","","","c8b7","This feels like the most human move, although the machines prefer pushing f6-f5.",0,"f6f5","This was a more solid alternative, but I do not mind Nepo's move.",10]} Bb7 $6 { [%csl Gb7] This feels like the most human move, although the machines prefer pushing f6-f5.} (14... f5 $1 {This was a more solid alternative, but I do not mind Nepo's move.} 15. axb5 Bb7 $1 (15... cxb5 $6 16. d5 $1 {Black is rapidly losing control. After} exd5 17. Ne1 $1 Nxc1 18. Rxc1 Bb7 19. e6 $36 {[%csl Re6] [%cal Re6d7,Re6f7,Re2e6] Black's position will soon start to crumble. Once Rd1 comes and d5 falls, things could get very bad very fast.}) 16. Ne1 cxb5 17. d5 Nc5 $1 {[%csl Rc5][%cal Gc5b7,Gc5e6,Rc5e4,Rc4b3] Black has things more or less under control, and the machine claims he is fine. But this feels a bit inhuman to me, and I am not surprised that Nepo chose another direction.}) 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Ne4 Na6 {[%cal Rc6c5,Ga6c7,Gc7d5] White has obvious compensation for the pawn, but now Magnus took a very aggressive decision. I really doubt he missed any basic tactics; I suspect he just overestimated his compensation for the exchange. Still, the position remained totally unclear to the human eye.} 17. Ne5 $6 {The machines really hate this move, particularly in connection with how Magnus played down the road, but to the human eye, the position is still totally unclear.} (17. Nxf6+ $5 {This should have been preferred. After} gxf6 $5 (17... Rxf6 $6 18. Ne5 $1 {[%cal Re5d7]} Nxe5 19. dxe5 $1 $16 {[%cal Re5f6,Re5d6] This leaves Black in a very bad way, with Be3 and a rook coming to d6 on the agenda.}) 18. Bh6 {[%cal Rh6f8]} Rf7 19. b3 $5 {[%cal Gf1b1,Rb1b8] White has excellent compensation for the missing pawn. It will be hard for Black to keep the position under control, and the machine is already saying he needs to find some only moves.} Nab4 $1 20. Nd2 $1 {[%cal Rd2e4,Re4c5] And apparently here, f6-f5 is the only clean equalizer, which I doubt I would even consider. In practice, it feels super hard for a human to play the black side of this position.}) 17... Bxe5 18. dxe5 Nac5 {[%tqu "En","","","","e4d6","",10, "f1d1","",0]} 19. Nd6 ({Stockfish 14:} 19. Rd1 $2 Nxe4 20. Bxe4 c5 21. Bxd3 cxd3 22. Rxd3 Qc6 23. f3 c4 24. Rd6 Qc5+ 25. Qe3 Qc7 26. f4 b4 27. Bd2 Rab8 28. Qxa7 c3 29. bxc3 Qc4 30. Qe3 b3 31. Bc1 Rbd8 32. Kf2 Rxd6 33. exd6 Qc6 34. c4 Qg2+ 35. Ke1 b2 $19) 19... Nb3 $11 20. Rb1 $5 {Magnus may have overestimated his compensation here, but this is very easy to do. Take the position after Black goes rook grabbing...} (20. Be3 {This was a fine alternative, and should be around equal.}) 20... Nbxc1 21. Rbxc1 Nxc1 22. Rxc1 {I was watching without a machine running around here, and I was naive enough to believe White might even be better. The first question you always need to ask yourself when evaluating any exchange sacrifice is \"how good are the rooks\". For now, they are quite bad! Certainly, neither black rook is any better than the d6-knight. In the meantime, some combination of Rd1, Be4, and Qh5 looks incredibly dangerous, as Black's king will be super lonely without the help of the b7-bishop or h8 rook. The machine just laughs and claims Black is much better, but in human terms, I am not sure I believe he has any advantage at all, much less a big one.} Rab8 $1 {[%cal Rb5b4,Rc4c3] Black needs to activate his rooks. Opening the b-file would solve that problem.} 23. Rd1 {[%cal Rd1d8]} Ba8 24. Be4 {[%cal Re4h7,Re2h5,Rd1d4,Rd4h4]} c3 $2 {This one is a little mysterious to me. I guess Nepo wanted to give himself a passed a-pawn, but it's hard to believe he is ready to go make a queen anytime soon.} (24... g6 $1 {This should have been preferred. Black prevents Qh5 and could be getting ready for Qg7. The machines claim he is clearly better, but I'm not totally convinced. White can play Qg4 to threaten a sac on g6, or h4 instending h5, or just bishop back to g2 to go Ne4-f6. Lots of ideas, and it is very hard for black to keep all the balls in the air. It's very understandable why Nepo did not play this way.}) (24... bxa4 $2 {At some point, the machines suggested this move, but it's not enough for an edge.} 25. Bxh7+ $1 Kxh7 26. Qh5+ Kg8 27. Rd4 $1 {Black faces a vicious attack, but should make a draw after} Qe7 $1 28. Rh4 Qxh4 29. Qxh4 Rxb2 {[%cal Ra4a3,Rc4c3]} 30. Qxc4 $11 {[%cal Gc4a2] I'd imagine White will have to give a perpetual sooner rather than later.}) 25. Qc2 { [%cal Re4h7,Gc2e4]} (25. bxc3 $5 bxa4 26. Qc2 $11 {[%cal Gd1b1,Gc2a2,Gc2a4] This also looked totally playable for White.}) 25... g6 26. bxc3 {Apparently here, Black could have been better by letting White take on g6 and then just ignoring the bishop. Such things don't really occur to a human.} bxa4 (26... a5 $5 27. Bxg6 Qg7 {And Black is better? Whaddya know. This is not going to happen in human practice.}) 27. Qxa4 Rfd8 {At this point, despite Stockfish's insistence on absolute equality, I think White is having a lot more fun in practice. Around here, I thought Magnus would have real chances to score the full point, but Nepo kept his head above water.} 28. Ra1 c5 29. Qc4 Bxe4 30. Nxe4 Kh8 $1 31. Nd6 Rb6 32. Qxc5 Rdb8 33. Kg2 $1 {An important move. White makes sure not to let a pair of rooks trade.} a6 $5 (33... Qc6+ $2 {This is too desperate. After} 34. Qxc6 Rxc6 35. Rxa7 $1 {Black will face a real uphill battle defending this endgame.} Rxc3 36. Nf7+ Kg8 37. Ng5 $16 {White wins a second pawn, and this will be a nightmare to defend.}) 34. Kh3 $1 {Avoiding the queen exchange.} Rc6 35. Qd4 Kg8 36. c4 Qc7 37. Qg4 {This allows Black to bail out into a pawn-down but easily drawn ending.} (37. Kg2 {Perhaps this would have been a bit more patient. I like White's position, but breaking through is another story.}) 37... Rxd6 38. exd6 Qxd6 39. c5 {[%cal Gd6c5]} Qxc5 40. Qxe6+ Kg7 41. Rxa6 $11 Rf8 {Black is holding easily despite the pawn deficit. 3 vs 2 is so dead that I'm even somewhat surprised Magnus played as long as he did once the queens came off the board.} 42. f4 Qf5+ 43. Qxf5 Rxf5 44. Ra7+ Kg8 45. Kg4 Rb5 46. Re7 Ra5 47. Re5 Ra7 48. h4 Kg7 49. h5 Kh6 50. Kh4 Ra1 51. g4 Rh1+ 52. Kg3 gxh5 53. Re6+ Kg7 54. g5 Rg1+ 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rh6 Ra4 57. Kf3 Ra3+ 58. Kf2 Ra4 {I think Magnus was the clear moral winner of the day. He really managed to get a fighting position, and while he misplayed it at some moments and gave Nepo some chances (at least according to the machine), I don't think he was ever particularly close to losing. This should give him more confidence that he can take risks, knowing that he is totally capable of fighting back in complicated positions where things have gone awry and the computer doesn't rate his chances too highly. His white preparation looks very practical and impressive so far. It will be interesting to see if he repeats the same endgame tomorrow. I did not get the impression that Black was easily equalizing, but he certainly will have studied the positions more and might have reached a different conclusion. For the last 2 matches, he kept the same black repertoire throughout, but I somehow suspect he will be the first to deviate in game 3. We find out tomorrow!} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.11.28"] [Round "3"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [Source "ChessBase"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 {Nepomniachtchi change son fusil d'épaule par rapport à la partie 1 où il avait joué 8.h3. Son coup 8.a4 fait lui aussi partie de la famille des anti-Marshall, pour éviter le fameux gambit Marshall qui survient après 8.c3 d5.} (8. h3 Na5 {avait été joué dans la partie 1.}) (8. c3 d5 {mène au gambit Marshall}) 8... Bb7 {Protège b5 en protégeant la Ta8. La menace est Ca5.} (8... b4 {est l'autre coup principal avec plusieurs parties de haut niveau jouées ces dernières années, je citerais la victoire de Nepomniachtchi contre Wesley So au Grand Prix de Jerusalem 2019.}) ({Si Carlsen avait encore joué} 8... Na5 9. axb5 Nxb3 10. cxb3 {je pense que Nepo se serait arraché les cheveux, mais ce gambit semble un peu trop douteux.}) 9. d3 ({Si les Blancs essaient le plan "classique"} 9. c3 {alors sans surprise les Noirs répondent} d5 $1 {Je vous montre brièvement un extrait d'une partie rapide Savchenko-Dubov} (9... Na5 10. Bc2) 10. axb5 axb5 11. Rxa8 Bxa8 12. exd5 Nxd5 13. g3 (13. Nxe5 $2 Nxe5 14. Rxe5 Nf4 {et cauchemar} 15. f3 Nd3 $19 {Fd6/Fc5 arrivent, avec une position gagnante pour les Noirs}) 13... Bc5 14. Qe2 Nf6 15. Qxb5 Bb6 16. Nxe5 $2 Nxe5 17. Rxe5 Bxf2+ 18. Kxf2 Ng4+ 19. Kg1 Nxe5 20. Qxe5 Qd3 21. Qf4 (21. Na3 Qf3 $19 {coûte la Dame}) 21... Qxb1 $19 { 0-1 (33) Savchenko,B (2613)-Dubov,D (2648) Sochi RUS 2016}) 9... d6 {Protège le pion e5 pour jouer Ca5 suivi de c5. Il faut bien avoir en tête que dans cette structure centrale symétrique, que l'on rencontre aussi dans l'Italienne, chaque camp espère tôt ou tard avant son pion "d" au centre. C'est un grand enjeu central.} 10. Nbd2 {Chez les joueurs à plus de 2500 Elo, c'est le coup principal dans cette position.} (10. Nc3 {avec une partie MVL Carlsen sur Internet cette année mais sinon le coup n'a pas la cote chez les top GM.} Na5 11. Ba2 b4 12. Ne2 c5 {les Noirs sont satisfaits} 13. Bd2 Bc8 14. c3 bxc3 15. Nxc3 Rb8 16. Nd5 {1/2- (32) 1/2 (32) Vachier Lagrave,M (2763) -Carlsen,M (2855) INT 2021}) (10. Bd2 {une façon peut académique d'empêcher Ca5 mais assez logique, que l'on va retrouver plus tard dans la partie. Etienne Bacrot l'a essayé contre Carlsen en 1/4 de finale de la coupe du monde l'été dernier (défaite en 44 coups).}) 10... Re8 {Joué après 5 minutes de réflexion mais pour se rappeler du fichier.} ({Le logique} 10... Na5 11. Ba2 c5 {a souvent été joué et semble solide également. On imagine bien que l'équipe de Nepo avait préparé quelque chose.}) (10... Nd7 11. c3 Nc5 {est une autre façon de jouer, moins thématique et qui semble légèrement moins bonne.}) 11. Nf1 {Le plan classique d'Espagnole Cd2-f1-g3 ou e3.} (11. Ng5 Rf8 12. Ngf3 Re8 13. Ng5 Rf8 14. Ngf3 Re8 $11) 11... h6 { Il ne reste qu'une poignée de parties de top niveau dans la base de données, avec Fd2 ou Ce3.} ({Il ne veut pas laisser} 11... Bf8 12. Bg5) 12. Bd2 { Empêche Ca5. Rencontré dans seulement 4 parties de très haut niveau dont 3 où Vlad Tkachiev avait les Noirs, il en a perdu 2 mais pas contre n'importe qui, contre Kasparov et Grischuk.} (12. Ne3 Bf8 {et ici Svidler, contre Ivanchuk en 2009, a envoyé} 13. g4 $6 {un coup objectivement suspect mais il a gagné en 29 coups !} Nd4 14. Nxd4 exd4 15. Nf5 d5 $1 16. axb5 dxe4 17. dxe4 axb5 18. Rxa8 Qxa8 19. e5 Ne4 20. e6 fxe6 21. Nxd4 Rd8 (21... Nc5 $15) 22. Bxe6+ Kh8 23. g5 Rxd4 $2 24. Qxd4 Bc5 25. Qe5 Bxf2+ $2 (25... Qf8 $1) 26. Kf1 $18 Qf8 27. gxh6 Bxe1+ 28. Bf4 $1 Nd2+ 29. Ke2 $1 {1-0 (29) Svidler,P (2726) -Ivanchuk,V (2746) Nalchik (Russia) 2009}) 12... Bf8 {Protège e5 pour pouvoir jouer d5.} 13. Ne3 {Empêche d5 (et envisage un futur Cf5).} (13. c4 bxc4 14. Bxc4 Rb8 15. Bc3 Ne7 {ressemble à la partie, les Noirs ont égalisé.} 16. Ng3 Ng6 17. d4 exd4 18. Qxd4 d5 19. exd5 Rxe1+ 20. Rxe1 Nxd5 21. Rd1 Ngf4 22. Nf5 Qf6 23. Qxf6 gxf6 24. Bd4 Bc8 25. Ne3 Nxe3 26. fxe3 Ne6 27. Bxf6 Bg7 28. Bxg7 Kxg7 29. b3 Kf6 30. Rf1 Rb6 31. Nd4+ Kg7 32. Nf5+ Kh7 33. Ne7 {1-0 (33) Kasparov,G (2849)-Tkachiev,V (2672) Cannes FRA 2001}) 13... Ne7 {Puisque Ca5 n'est pas possible, les Noirs libèrent leur pion c7 autrement.} 14. c4 bxc4 ( 14... c6 15. axb5 axb5 16. Rxa8 Bxa8 17. cxb5 cxb5 18. Qa1 Qd7 19. Qa2 Ng6 20. g3 Bb7 {1/2-1/2 (20) Asrian,K (2582)-Tkachiev, V (2672) Ohrid 2001}) 15. Nxc4 { Pendule des Blancs : 1h46 ! Ce Cc4 a 2 idées : Ca5 et empêcher d5 avec la pression sur e5.} (15. Bxc4 {serait la façon "habituelle" de jouer mais Nepo a visiblement préparé Cxc4.}) 15... Nc6 $1 {Pendule des Noirs : 1h45 ! Les deux joueurs étaient dans leur prépa jusque là. A présent ils vont "commencer" à réfléchir. Le coup Cc6 est très paradoxal car le pion c7 libéré était censé avancer pour lutter au centre ! Mais c'est le meilleur coup.} ({mais si} 15... Ng6 16. Na5 {est pénible}) ({et si} 15... c5 $2 16. Ncxe5 $1 dxe5 17. Nxe5 $14 {et souci sur f7 !}) 16. Rc1 {Prend la colonne semi-ouverte, après 6 minutes de réflexion.} a5 {Après 14 minutes. Un coup compromettant : le pion a5 est clairement ciblé par les pièces blances et il se fixe sur a5, mais Carlsen voulait éviter le Ca5 des Blancs.} ({Imaginons} 16... g6 {(pour Fg7)} 17. Na5 Nxa5 18. Bxa5 Re7 19. Nh4 Kh7 {et un thème tactique apparaît} 20. Bxf7 $5 Rxf7 21. Qb3 {double attaque}) 17. Bc3 { Envisage un futur d4 au centre, et permet Dd2.} Bc8 $5 {Carlsen manquait de coups utiles. Il veut replacer son Fou en e6, notamment pour neutraliser le Fb3.} (17... Z0 18. d4 $2 exd4 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd4 Bxe4) 18. d4 {Profite que le Fb7 ne pressurise plus e4 pour avancer au centre ! Menace aussi bien dxe5 que d5 (qui gagne a5).} exd4 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd4 Be6 {Cette structure de pions est favorable aux Blancs car ils ont un pion au centre contrairement aux Noirs. Cela leur procure un peu plus d'espace. Le plan des Noirs est de jouer d5 pour égaliser le centre. De plus le pion a5 semble en prise. Mais Carlsen contrôle plutôt bien la situation. Le pion a5 est tabou.} 21. h3 { Après 30 minutes de réflexion !} (21. Bxa5 $2 Bxc4 {élimination du défenseur} 22. Qxc4 Rxa5 23. Qxf7+ Kh8 24. Rxc7 Rae5 {Les Blancs ont 3 pions pour une pièce mais sont perdants !} 25. f3 d5 $19 {Les Blancs n'ont aucun attaque, au contraire des Noirs.}) (21. Nxa5 $2 c5 22. Qd2 {protège le Ca5.} Bxb3 23. Nxb3 (23. e5 Bxa4 24. exf6 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 g6 $15) 23... Nxe4 {suivi de Txa4 avec un pion de plus pour les Noirs.}) (21. Qd3 {était plus prometteur mais laisse peu de chances d'espérer gagner cette partie. Critique est} d5 ({sinon} 21... c6) 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. exd5 Bf5 24. Qf3 Bb4 {la paire de Fous des Noirs leur assure des compensations pour le pion. L'avantage blanc est symbolique.}) 21... c6 {Après 17 minutes. Carlsen préfère préparer d5 que de le jouer immédiatement. Il se rapproche de l'égalité.} (21... d5 22. exd5 Qxd5 $11 (22... Nxd5 $6 23. Bxa5 $14)) 22. Bc2 d5 {Les Noirs réussissent cette poussée clé dans de bonnes conditions.} 23. e5 (23. exd5 Qxd5 $11) 23... dxc4 $1 (23... Nh7 $2 24. Nd6 $1 {une pieuvre ! Et si} Bxd6 25. exd6 $16 {La puissante paire de Fous des Blancs leur procure un avantage gagnant.}) 24. Qxd8 ({L'autre option était} 24. exf6 Qxd4 25. Bxd4 Red8 26. Red1 (26. Be5 Bd6 27. Bc3 Bb4 $11) 26... Bd5 {reste très solide}) 24... Rexd8 25. exf6 Bb4 $1 { Ce coup qui élimine le Fc3 assure la tranquillité aux Noirs dans cette fin de partie.} (25... gxf6 $6 26. Bxf6 Rd2 27. Red1 Rxd1+ 28. Rxd1 Bd5 29. Re1 Bg7 {mais même ici les Noirs devraient annuler}) 26. fxg7 Bxc3 27. bxc3 Kxg7 { Beaucoup de pièces se sont échangées, faisons le point. Je sais que la structure de pions noire à l'aile-Dame peut effrayer les joueurs amateurs mais il se trouve que les Noirs n'ont pas de problèmes. Deux bonnes questions à se poser sont : 1) Comment les Blancs peuvent-ils attaquer les pions noirs ? On peut imaginer Fe4 mais alors Fd5 est très solide. Du coup très dur pour les Blancs de les attaquer, comme on va le voir. 2) Les Noirs ont-ils une compensation ? Le pion c4 procure de l'espace et gêne le Fc2, le pion a4 est fixé sur blanc, les Noirs peuvent se placer sur les colonnes "b" et "d". En conclusion c'est très symboliquement mieux pour les Blancs mais en vérité égal.} 28. Kf1 (28. Rb1 Rd2) (28. Be4 Bd5 29. Bxd5 cxd5 30. Rb1 (30. Re7 Kf6 31. Rb7 d4 32. cxd4 Rxd4 33. Rc7 Rb8 34. R7xc4 Rxc4 35. Rxc4 Rb4 $11) 30... Rab8 $11 (30... d4 $11)) 28... Rab8 29. Rb1 Kf6 30. Rxb8 Rxb8 31. Rb1 Rxb1+ 32. Bxb1 Ke5 {La finale de Fous de mêmes couleurs est complètement égale.} 33. Ke2 (33. h4 Kf4 34. Bc2 Kg4 35. g3 Kf3 36. Bd1+ Ke4 37. Bc2+ Kf3 $11) 33... f5 34. Bc2 (34. h4 f4 35. Bg6 Bd7 36. Bf7 $2 c5) 34... f4 35. Bb1 c5 36. Bc2 Bd7 37. f3 Kf6 38. h4 Ke5 39. Kf2 Kf6 40. Ke2 Ke5 41. Kf2 {Les deux joueurs étaient bien préparés mais le souci pour Nepomniachtchi c'est qu'il n'a pas réussi à surprendre Carlsen et qu'il n'a rien obtenu avec les Blancs. Les deux joueurs ont joué à plus de 99% de précision aujourd'hui. Une bonne journée pour le Norvégien. Journée de repos ce lundi.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "World Championship Match 2021 Game 3"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.11.28"] [Round "?"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.11.28"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 $5 {Nepo is the first one to deviate. After c3 and h3, this is the third most popular move in the position.} (8. h3 {was played in game 1.}) 8... Bb7 9. d3 d6 10. Nbd2 Re8 {Played after five minutes of thought.} (10... Na5 11. Ba2 c5 12. Nf1 b4 {is one of the main ways to play the position.}) (10... Nd7 { is also another popular way.}) 11. Nf1 h6 12. Bd2 {Now Na5 is not possible.} Bf8 13. Ne3 Ne7 14. c4 {The players are following the game between Svidler and Adams.} bxc4 (14... c6 15. Qc2 Ng6 16. Nf5 bxc4 17. Bxc4 d5 18. Ba2 c5 19. Ng3 c4 20. exd5 cxd3 21. Qxd3 Bxd5 22. Bxd5 Qxd5 23. Qxd5 Nxd5 24. Rad1 {1/2-1/2 (24) Svidler,P (2640)-Adams,M (2660) Pula 1997}) 15. Nxc4 Nc6 16. Rc1 a5 17. Bc3 Bc8 18. d4 (18. Qd2 Be6 19. Nxa5 Bxb3 20. Nxb3 Rxa4) 18... exd4 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd4 Be6 21. h3 (21. Nxa5 c5 22. Qd2 Bxb3 23. Nxb3 Nxe4) (21. Qd3 $5 d5 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. exd5 Bf5 24. Qf3 Bb4 $44) 21... c6 (21... d5 22. exd5 Qxd5 {was also possible.}) 22. Bc2 d5 23. e5 dxc4 24. Qxd8 Rexd8 25. exf6 Bb4 26. fxg7 Bxc3 27. bxc3 Kxg7 {White has a symbolic edge here, but Black's activity is enough to hold the balance.} 28. Kf1 Rab8 29. Rb1 Kf6 30. Rxb8 Rxb8 31. Rb1 Rxb1+ 32. Bxb1 Ke5 33. Ke2 f5 34. Bc2 f4 35. Bb1 c5 36. Bc2 Bd7 37. f3 Kf6 38. h4 Ke5 39. Kf2 Kf6 40. Ke2 Ke5 41. Kf2 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.11.26"] [Round "3"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "samsh+fishxx68"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] {[%evp 0,81,19,38,25,7,30,29,18,-1,-1,-10,15,-24,6,2,6,1,-8,11,20,-25,-8,24,29, 27,65,47,65,45,42,48,38,38,35,25,80,70,70,81,81,81,81,75,57,61,37,41,48,13,33, 23,25,10,19,9,9,1,13,7,8,-10,-10,-13,-11,-3,3,0,0,-4,0,-17,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0, 0,0] Game 3 saw another draw. I was curious who would be the first to deviate from game one, where Magnus voluntarily went for a pawn-down endgame with some compensation. It turned out to be Nepo—I suspect his team checked it closely and decided Black should be holding on and decided to go a different direction. } 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 (8. h3 {This was seen in game one, when Magnus chose the very unusual response} Na5 {which eventually reached a pawn-down ending. I felt White should be better, but Magnus seemed very at-home and never had any trouble.}) 8... Bb7 {Magnus has chosen this move several times before, so it can't have come as a huge surprise.} 9. d3 d6 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. Nf1 h6 12. Bd2 {So far, both players are following well-established theory. This position has seen play at the top level as far back as the early 2000s.} Bf8 13. Ne3 Ne7 14. c4 bxc4 (14... c6 {This has generally been preferred in ICCF, though it looks a bit passive to me. I like Magnus' choice better.}) 15. Nxc4 Nc6 $5 $146 { [%cal Gc6e5,Rd6d5] Finally, at long last, we are in fresh territory. In general, White's position looks a little more pleasant to me, though I don't love that the pawn on a4 looks a little overextended. Magnus was still playing pretty fast and was very likely still in his preparation, so he must have been more optimistic about his chances than the computers would indicate. When I let them run for awhile, they definitely gravitated towards equality.} 16. Rc1 $5 {[%csl Gc7][%cal Rc1c7] The machine gives this as best, but in light of how the game played out, Nepo could have considered another option.} (16. Na5 $5 { Hindsight is 20/20, but I think not letting Black advance a7-a5 had to be considered. It means White will have fewer weaknesses on the b-file in the long run, and the a6-pawn is fixed. After something like} Nxa5 17. Bxa5 Qd7 18. h3 $14 {I'm not sure I love Black's position, but it is still very solid.}) 16... a5 $1 {[%csl Gd3][%cal Ga5b4,Rb4d3,Gc6b4] This was the first move Magnus spent a fair amount of time on, which is a little surprising to me. His last moves were played fast enough that I would think he was still in preparation, but Rc1 is the first choice of the machine! It would be really weird if Magnus had prepared to up to 15...Nc6 and then stopped. Perhaps he was just trying to recall all the lines. In any case, Black takes the a5 square under his control and is ready to re-route his bishop to e6 next. It has to be said that Stockfish is giving White a nagging edge, but it never looked like much during the game. Thus far, Magnus has clearly shown a willingness to enter lines the computer doesn't entirely approve of. I like the fighting spirit!} 17. Bc3 $1 { [%cal Gf3d4,Gc3d4,Rd3d4,Gd1d3]} Bc8 $1 {[%cal Gc8e6,Gc8g4,Rd6d5,Rg4d1] The bishop had no good future on b7 and instead heads for e6 to head off the monster on b3.} 18. d4 exd4 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd4 Be6 {Optically, the position looks very nice for White, but there's nothing concrete for him to do. Black is ready to push d7-d5 next, and then the structure will not be as bad for him as it looks. The overextended a4 pawn weakens the b-file, particularly the b2-pawn, and White will have just as many weaknesses as Black.} 21. h3 $6 { [%cal Gh3g4]} (21. Nxa5 $2 {White cannot get away with going pawn grabbing. After} c5 $1 22. Qd2 Bxb3 $15 {[%cal Ra8a4] White is losing his pawn back at the very least, and he could end up in serious trouble as Black's pieces spring to life.}) (21. Qd3 $5 {[%cal Rc3g7] At high depths, this is my machine's recommendation. Still, it does not look impressive. After} d5 22. exd5 Nxd5 $1 {Black can aim for a pawn-down endgame with a lot of activity—much like he did in game one.} 23. Bxa5 Nb4 {[%csl Gd3]} 24. Qxd8 Raxd8 {The threat of Nd3 more or less forces White to part with the bishop pair.} 25. Bxb4 Bxb4 26. Re4 {[%cal Re4b4]} Rb8 $5 $11 {The weaknesses on the b-file make themselves felt, and Black is ready to regoup with Be7-f6 and Rb4. He should be fine.}) (21. Bc2 {This was also possible immediately, but it would have met a similar fate as the game continuation.} d5 $1 22. e5 $3 dxc4 23. Qxd8 Rexd8 24. exf6 $5 $11 {[%cal Rc3h8,Ge1e3,Ge3g3] We would reach approximately the same ending we saw in the game.}) ({Stockfish 14:} 21. Qd3 d5 22. Bxf6 $1 Qxf6 23. exd5 Bd7 24. Qc3 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Rb8 26. Ne5 Bf5 27. Re3 Bb4 28. Qc6 Bd6 29. Nc4 g6 30. Nxa5 Qxb2 31. Qc3 Qxc3 32. Rxc3 Re8 33. Re3 Ra8 34. Nc6 Kg7 35. g3 g5 36. Kg2 Bd7 37. h4 $14) 21... c6 22. Bc2 {Now, if White had another move, he could play Qd2-d3, threatening to take on f6 and play e5. This would be a nightmare to deal with, but Magnus is not one to miss threats.} d5 $1 (22... Qc7 {A slow move like this one would allow White to reveal his plan. After} 23. Qd3 $1 $16 {Bxf6 is a very hard threat to deal with.}) 23. e5 (23. exd5 Nxd5 $11 {Black is ready to bring the knight to b4 next, taking advantage of the weakened square. He certainly looks fine to me. He could also consider just taking on c3 and c4 to reach an opposite-bishops position.}) 23... dxc4 24. Qxd8 Rexd8 25. exf6 {Black has to be a little careful here due to his pawn structure, but Magnus held without trouble.} Bb4 26. fxg7 Bxc3 27. bxc3 Kxg7 28. Kf1 {The best White can hope for is to trade all the rooks, but as we see in the game, this does not gaurantee victory.} Rab8 29. Rb1 Kf6 30. Rxb8 Rxb8 31. Rb1 Rxb1+ $1 {Full credit to Magnus for calling the bluff. This strikes me as a somewhat difficult move to make since it gets one step closer to a lost pawn-ending, but White is unable to get the bishops off the board or make any progress.} (31... Rd8 {I was expecting this in the game, which probably also holds, but the text is surely cleaner.}) 32. Bxb1 Ke5 33. Ke2 f5 $1 {The last important move. Black needs to get his pawn to f4 to keep his king secure in the center and box White's king out.} (33... Bd7 {Marking time for a move is not to be recommended. After} 34. Ke3 {My computer claims this is still a draw, but I would definitely worry about b4, g4, Kf3, h4, etc. when White can make a passed pawn.}) 34. Bc2 f4 $1 {White can make no progress. g3 is never possible due to the hanging h3 pawn, the king cannot touch f3 without allowing a check on d5, and there is nothing else to try.} 35. Bb1 c5 36. Bc2 Bd7 37. f3 Kf6 38. h4 Ke5 39. Kf2 Kf6 40. Ke2 Ke5 41. Kf2 {This was a pretty dull game, more consistent with the kind of chess I would have expected in games one and two, when Black normally draws without any trouble before White knows what's coming. It's a bit surprising to me that Black did not manage to equalize easily in games one and two, but then did in game three. In general, I think Magnus can be very happy with how the match is going so far. Game one looked a little shaky in the very early phases, but since then, his preparation has been excellent, and he has shown a willingness to take some strategic risks. Still, we are just getting started; only 3 games in and no decisive ones just yet. The real fight is yet to come!} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.11.30"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 {Une surprise ! Kasparov, entre autres, s'attendait à revoir 1.d4. Moi aussi. Carlsen veut sûrement glaner cette information pour avoir plusieurs cordes à son arc.} e5 {Nepo est fidèle à son plan de la partie 2 : jouer solidement avec les Noirs plutôt que d'utiliser ses ouvertures fétiches (Grunfeld, Sicilienne Najdorf).} 2. Nf3 Nf6 {La défense Petrov, aussi appelée défense russe, est réputée pour sa solidité. Caruana l'avait utilisée avec succès dans le match de 2018.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 (4. Nd3 { Carlsen-Caruana 2018 (partie 6)}) 4... Nxe4 5. d4 {Contrairement à 2018, Carlsen choisit la grande ligne.} (5. Nc3 {Carlsen-Caruana 2018 (partie 11)}) 5... d5 6. Bd3 {Le Fou vient mettre une pression sur le Cavalier, qui va se combiner avec le coup c4.} Bd6 (6... Nc6) (6... Be7 {sont les 2 autres options} ) 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 {Vient essayer de bousculer la structure centrale symétrique, avec une idée similaire au gambit Dame.} c6 {Consolide. Cette structure favorise les Blancs : ce sont plutôt eux qui décident quoi faire de la tension c4-d5 (si les Noirs prennent en c4 ils créent un pion isolé mais quittent le centre), et le pion c6 gêne le Cb8. De toute façon pour l'instant dxc4 perdrait le Ce4.} 9. Re1 $5 {Pose une question au Ce4 tout en développant la Tour sur la colonne ouverte. '!?'} (9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 Bf5 12. Bg5 Qa5 13. d5 Qc7 14. Re1 h6 15. Nh4 Bh7 16. Bxh6 gxh6 17. Qg4+ Kh8 18. Nf5 Bxf5 19. Qxf5 f6 20. Rad1 cxd5 21. Rxd5 Qxc4 22. Rxd6 Qf7 23. h4 Qh7 24. Qxh7+ Kxh7 25. Re7+ Kg6 26. h5+ Kg5 27. Rxb7 {1-0 (51) Nepomniachtchi,I (2784)-Esipenko,A (2686) Moscow RUS 2020}) (9. Qc2 {a souvent été joué aussi}) 9... Bf5 (9... Re8 {est réputé moins précis}) (9... f5 10. Nc3 {avec avantage blanc}) 10. Qb3 {Attaque b7 délaissé par le Ff5, là encore comme dans un gambit Dame.} Qd7 {En apparence une façon maladroite de protéger b7 car Cd7 aurait été un développement naturel, mais Ca6 reste possible.} (10... Na6 {est l'autre coup théorique avec l'idée} 11. Qxb7 $2 Nb4 12. Bxe4 dxe4 13. Ne5 Nc2) 11. Nc3 {Attaque à la fois d5 et e4.} (11. cxd5 cxd5 {et pas} 12. Qxd5 $4 Bxh2+) 11... Nxc3 {Quasiment forcé.} 12. Bxf5 ({Si} 12. Qxc3 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 {alors cette fois} dxc4 14. Qxc4 Na6 {et les Blancs n'ont pas de jeu pour leur pion isolé.}) 12... Qxf5 13. bxc3 (13. Qxb7 Ne4 14. Qxa8 Qd7 {coince la Dame (menace Ca6), une ligne compliquée menant à l'égalité} 15. cxd5 Nf6 16. Re3 Nxd5 17. Rb3 Nb4 18. Rxb4 Bxb4 19. Be3 Bd6 20. d5 c5 21. b4 cxb4 {1/2-1/2 (73) Karjakin,S (2781)-Caruana,F (2808) Stavanger 2017}) 13... b6 {Toujours la théorie.} 14. cxd5 cxd5 {d5 est isolé mais les Blancs ne peuvent pas facilement l'attaquer et en contre-partie les Noirs peuvent compter sur c3 arriéré.} (14... Qxd5 15. c4 $14 {favorise les Blancs}) 15. Qb5 {Empêche Cc6 et "menace" c4 (surtout pour avancer le pion arriéré).} Qd7 (15... Nd7 $2 16. Qc6 {le Fd6 est très dur à protéger ! Gain blanc !}) 16. a4 {Idée typique pour arriérer a7 en cas de Dxb5.} (16. Rb1 {MVL-Caruana 2017 (nulle en 51 coups)} Rc8 17. g3 Bf8 18. Bd2 Nc6 19. Ne5 Nxe5 20. Rxe5 Rd8 21. Qxd7 Rxd7 22. Rb5 {1/2-1/2 (51) Vachier Lagrave,M (2795) -Caruana,F (2808) Stavanger 2017}) 16... Qxb5 (16... Nc6 17. c4 a6 18. Qxd5 Nb4 19. Qe4 Rae8 20. Qb1 Rxe1+ 21. Nxe1 Qc7 22. Bf4 Bxf4 23. Qxb4 Bxh2+ {0-1 (58) Ganguly,S (2579)-Saptarshi,R (2363) New Delhi 2006}) (16... Rd8 17. g3 $14 { Adams-Morozevich 2005 (1-0 en 49 coups)} Bc7 18. Bg5 f6 19. Bd2 Nc6 20. c4 Ne7 21. Rac1 a6 22. Qxd7 Rxd7 23. c5 {1-0 (49) Adams,M (2741)-Morozevich,A (2741) Wijk aan Zee 2005}) 17. axb5 a5 18. Nh4 $5 {La nouveauté de Magnus Carlsen, jouée en seulement 7 secondes ! Nouveaut?. Menace Cf5. La nouveauté de Magnus Carlsen, jouée en seulement 7 secondes !} (18. bxa6 Nxa6 {a déjà été joué dans 3 parties (3 nulles). Les Noirs ont 2 pions isolés, ce qui procure un avantage symbolique aux Blancs mais c'est difficile d'en tirer un sérieux avantage. Le pion c3 arriéré n'aide pas.} 19. Ba3 Bxa3 20. Rxa3 b5 ( 20... Nc7 21. Rea1 (21. Rb3 b5 22. g3 f6 23. Nh4 g6 24. Ng2 Kf7 25. Nf4 g5 26. Nd3 h5 27. Kg2 Rfe8 28. Rh1 Ra2 29. Nb4 Rd2 30. Ra3 Ree2 31. Rf1 Ke6 32. Raa1 Re3 33. Rfe1 Rxe1 34. Rxe1+ Kd6 35. Rb1 Re2 {1/2-1/2 (35) Vriens,H (2060) -Sifre Calafat,F (2039) ICCF email 2017}) 21... Rxa3 22. Rxa3 Ra8 23. Rxa8+ { 1/2-1/2 (23) Senzacqua,F (1980)-Del Lungo,P (2249) ICCF email 2019}) 21. Rea1 Nc7 22. Ne5 Rxa3 23. Rxa3 Ra8 24. Rxa8+ Nxa8 25. Kf1 Kf8 26. Ke2 Ke7 27. Kd3 Nb6 28. Nf3 Nc4 29. Kc2 f6 30. Kb3 Kd7 31. Ng1 Nd6 32. h4 Nf5 33. h5 Nh4 34. g3 Nf5 35. Ne2 Nd6 36. f3 Kc6 37. g4 {1/2-1/2 (37) Chazalette,J (2371)-Gagliardi, V (2188) ICCF email 2018}) 18... g6 {Notons que les Noirs ont un pion passé protégé en a5 qui constitue un atout important pour le restant de la partie.} 19. g4 $5 {Un coup très agressif et compromettant ! L'idée est Cg2 puis Ce3 pour cibler d5, ou Ff4 pour échanger le bon Fd6. Cependant le coup g4 abandonne les cases f3-f4-h3-h4 au passage. Une autres idée blanche est aussi g5 pour appuyer les cases fortes f6 et h6 ou chasser un éventuel Cf6.} (19. g3 {même idée mais trop modeste :} Nd7 20. Ng2 Nf6 {et les Noirs sont bien organisés.} 21. Bf4 $2 Bxf4 22. Nxf4 g5 $1 23. Nd3 Ne4 $15 {les Noirs ont pris l'initiative}) 19... Nd7 {Joué en 4 minutes. Nepomniachtchi connaissait l'idée Ch4-g4 ! Pour la première fois du match il montre une très bonne préparation.} 20. Ng2 Rfc8 {Joué en 1 minute !} 21. Bf4 {Echanger le Fd6 permettrait notamment un accès en e7 pour la Te1.} Bxf4 {Après une réflexion de 10 minutes, sa plus longue de la partie.} ({si} 21... Bf8 {alors} 22. Rec1 $1 Nf6 23. Ne3 {est pénible, par exemple} Rd8 24. Bc7) 22. Nxf4 Rxc3 23. Nxd5 {Bilan : les Blancs ont échangé leur mauvais Fou contre le bon, leur pion arriéré c3 et leur Cf3 est passé en d5. Ils ont aussi à présent un pion passé en d4. En contre-partie le coup g4 a affaibli des cases et les Noirs peuvent toujours compter sur leur pion passé a5.} Rd3 (23... Rb3 { ne menacerait pas Txb5 à cause de Cc7.}) 24. Re7 Nf8 {Forcé. Carlsen était préparé jusque là, sa pendule marquant 1h48 ! Cependant il a beaucoup réfléchi à partir de ce coup (1h30 au total !) sans rien trouver de convaincant.} (24... Rd8 $4 25. Rxd7 Rxd7 26. Nf6+) 25. Nf6+ (25. Nxb6 Rb8 $11) 25... Kg7 26. Ne8+ {'='} Kg8 27. d5 {Utilise une mini-tactique. L'occasion de rappeler un conseil simple : les pions passés sont faits pour être poussés ! } (27. Nf6+ Kg7 28. Ne8+ $11) 27... a4 {Après 7 minutes de réflexion, le Russe choisit l'approche la plus directe ! Le jeu se transforme un peu en course entre les deux pions passés. Notons le placement parfait des Tours noires : la Ta8 soutient l'avancée de son pion passé tandis que la Td3 surveille celle du pion passé blanc. Appliquant la règle : les Tours doivent se mettre derrière les pions passés.} (27... Rxd5 $4 28. Nf6+) 28. Nf6+ { Carlsen a maintenant 1h08 contre 1h14.} ({Critique était} 28. d6 a3 29. d7 { utilise encore la fourchette en f6 pour avancer.} Ne6 {et par exemple} (29... a2 $2 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31. Re8) (29... Nxd7 $2 30. Rxd7 Rxd7 31. Nf6+) 30. Nf6+ ( 30. Nd6 Rd8 (30... Rxd6 31. Re8+) 31. Re8+ Kg7 $11) 30... Kg7 31. Re8 Rd8 $11 ( 31... Ra4 32. g5 {menace mat.} Nxg5 33. d8=Q Rxd8 34. Rxd8 Kxf6 35. Rd6+ Ne6 36. Rxb6 a2 37. Ra6 Rb4 38. R6xa2 Rxb5 $11)) 28... Kg7 29. g5 {La suite du coup 19.g4. Le pion g5 soutient le Cf6, ce qui peut engendre des tableaux de mat autour du Roi noir.} a3 $1 {De nouveau l'approche la plus direct de la part de Nepo, après seulement 3 minutes de réflexion : le challenger n'est pas du genre à imaginer des fantômes.} 30. Ne8+ {Après 35 minutes !} (30. d6 Rd8 (30... Rxd6 $2 31. Ne8+) (30... a2 $2 31. d7 $16 Rb3 $2 32. Rxa2 Rxa2 33. d8=Q) 31. Rae1 {menace Txf7+ !} R3xd6 32. Ne8+ Rxe8 33. Rxe8 Rd5 34. R8e5 Rd2 $11) 30... Kg8 31. Nf6+ Kg7 32. Ne8+ (32. h4 {idée h5-h6.} h5 $11 (32... a2 $6 33. Re2 Rda3 34. d6 {les Noirs sont un peu sous pression})) (32. Kg2 a2 $11) ( 32. Rc1 a2 33. Rxf7+ Kxf7 34. Rc7+ Nd7 35. Rxd7+ Kf8 36. Nxh7+ Ke8 37. Nf6+ Kf8 38. Nh7+ Kg8 39. Nf6+ Kf8 $11) 32... Kg8 33. Nf6+ {Une journée plutôt tranquille pour Nepo. Pas une belle journée anniversaire pour Carlsen. Après 4 parties, l'équilibre du match est maintenu, mais la route est encore longue. } 1/2-1/2 [Event "World Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.11.30"] [Round "4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.11.30"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {Nepo is super solid in this event and goes for the Petroff.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Re1 {This is the 3rd most popular move in the position.} (9. Nc3 {is the most popular}) (9. cxd5 {is the second most.}) 9... Bf5 10. Qb3 (10. Qc2 Na6) 10... Qd7 (10... Na6 {is the other option.} 11. Qxb7 {The pawn is poisoned due to} Nb4 $19) 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. bxc3 b6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Qb5 Qd7 16. a4 (16. Qxd5 Bxh2+ $19) 16... Qxb5 (16... Nc6 {is also possible.}) (16... Rd8 17. g3 Bc7 18. Bg5 f6 19. Bd2 Nc6 20. c4 Ne7 21. Rac1 a6 22. Qxd7 Rxd7 23. c5 Kf7 24. Bb4 bxc5 25. Bxc5 Nf5 26. Rb1 Ba5 27. Re2 h5 28. Rb3 g5 29. Nxg5+ fxg5 30. Rf3 Bd8 31. Rxf5+ Bf6 32. h3 a5 33. Rb2 Ra6 34. Rb5 Ke6 35. Rf3 g4 36. hxg4 hxg4 37. Rf4 Rg7 38. Rb2 Rg5 39. Kg2 Rc6 40. Rb7 Rg6 41. Ra7 Bd8 42. Rf8 Bc7 43. Re8+ Kd7 44. Re7+ Kc8 45. Ra8+ Kb7 46. Rxa5 Rgf6 47. Ra7+ Kc8 48. Rg7 Rfe6 49. Rg8+ {1-0 (49) Adams,M (2741)-Morozevich,A (2741) Wijk aan Zee 2005}) 17. axb5 {Now the a7 pawn is weak. So Ian's next move immediately deals with this situation.} a5 18. Nh4 g6 $1 (18... Rc8 $2 19. Nf5 Bf8 20. Ne7+ (20. Ba3 Nd7 $11) 20... Bxe7 21. Rxe7 $18) 19. g4 Nd7 20. Ng2 Rfc8 21. Bf4 {It is important to exchange these bishops in order to attack the pawn on d5.} (21. Ne3 Rxc3 22. Nxd5 Rb3 $19) 21... Bxf4 22. Nxf4 Rxc3 23. Nxd5 (23. Re7 Nf6 24. g5 Rf3) 23... Rd3 24. Re7 Nf8 25. Nf6+ (25. Nxb6 Rb8 26. Nd5 Rxd4 $11) 25... Kg7 26. Ne8+ Kg8 27. d5 a4 28. Nf6+ Kg7 29. g5 a3 {Ian keeps pushing his a-pawn.} 30. Ne8+ (30. Kg2 a2 31. Re8 Ra7 32. Re2 Rda3 33. h4) 30... Kg8 31. Nf6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.11.26"] [Round "4"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2885"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.11.30"] {[%evp 0,65,19,31,34,25,12,2,35,40,38,-3,-9,-23,55,55,69,32,55,19,60,64,63,52, 125,115,109,53,49,77,80,50,59,35,48,32,35,-13,-4,1,-30,-44,50,50,78,32,4,0,0,0, 0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0] The fourth game of the World Championship match ended in a draw. While the result was not surprising to me, the game definitely did not go as expected. For starters, Magnus chose 1.e4 when he had played 1.d4 on the first move in game two. This is not a huge shocker, as he is capable of playing both moves and probably wants to test the water and see what Nepo has in mind in both cases. But I was very surprised by the response he received.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 $5 {The Petroff is a very good opening, but it has a notable contrast with what Nepo chose in game two. There, he played into a very sharp line of the Catalan, where things quickly get extremely messy, but against e4, he goes with one of the solidest and driest options available. It feels a bit strange to me—Magnus, now, will be able to choose his direction more easily, and if he decides he wants a sharper game, or a quieter game, he knows which first move to choose.} 3. Nxe5 d6 (3... Nxe4 4. Qe2 Nf6 $4 (4... d5 5. d3 Nf6 6. Nc6+) 5. Nc6+) 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Re1 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 (10... Na6 {In recent times this move has been tried a bunch, but the text is surely fine as well.}) 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. bxc3 (13. Qxb7 {A lot of games have seen this move. It quickly reaches an interesting endgame after} Qd7 14. Qxd7 Nxd7 15. c5 Bxh2+ $1 16. Nxh2 Ne4 17. Bf4 {I never checked this position too closely, but I always felt like White should be somewhat for choice. With that said, the position is simplified enough that Black might just be able to brute-force his way to a draw with the machine. I would not be surprised if Nepo managed something to this effect.}) 13... b6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Qb5 Qd7 16. a4 Qxb5 17. axb5 a5 { So far, all of this has been seen in correspondence games. Now, Magnus found a new idea.} 18. Nh4 $5 {This is a somewhat risky decision. White allows Black to keep a protected passed pawn with a rook behind it, but hopes to improve his worst-placed piece and target the d5-pawn while Black's knight struggles to get into the game.} (18. bxa6 Nxa6 19. Ba3 Bxa3 20. Rxa3 Nc7 {The machine prefers this continuation and offers White a small edge, but Black is extremely solid and it is hard to imagine him losing if he is reasonably well prepared.}) 18... g6 19. g4 $1 {The knight is heading for e3.} Nd7 20. Ng2 Rfc8 $1 {The machine prefers 20...Nf6, but this feels super inhuman to me. I think this natural human move is a much more convincing route to an acceptable position. Nepo has impressed me in his black games—both times, he got outprepared to some degree, and both times, he reacted very well.} (20... Nf6 { Apparently this is fine for Black, but it looks scary. After} 21. Bh6 Rfc8 22. Ne3 $1 Rxc3 23. g5 Nd7 24. Nxd5 {I would be very uncomfortable on the black side of this position.}) 21. Bf4 Bxf4 22. Nxf4 Rxc3 23. Nxd5 Rd3 $1 {Rook behind the passed pawn. Black has everything under control and now his a-pawn will start running. When I let the machines run, they claim Black is absolutely fine.} (23... Rb3 {The machine claims this is fine, too, but I much prefer Nepo's move for its simplicity.}) 24. Re7 Nf8 25. Nf6+ {This is more ambitious than going pawn-grabbing, but I can't imagine Magnus was wildly optimistic about his winning chances.} (25. Nxb6 Rb8 $1 26. Nd5 Rxb5 {The position quickly simplifies to a draw.}) 25... Kg7 26. Ne8+ Kg8 {The position looks a little dangerous for White to me, strategically, and I half-expected Magnus to just make a draw right here. He chose to continue the game, but Black is absolutely fine by making the most direct move every single time.} 27. d5 {Now, Black's a-pawn is coming. As long as he doesn't do anything too fancy and just starts shoving it down the board, I really can't imagine White getting any winning chances.} a4 28. Nf6+ Kg7 29. g5 {Now, in theory, if Black were to fall asleep at the wheel here, he could get into some trouble. The computer gives h5 as a reasonable move, but there could be difficult decisions to make down the road in some lines. Much easier is to keep pushing the passed pawn, and there's nothing for White to do.} a3 {I think most players would choose this move in a bullet game as well. The most natural decision for Black at every juncture is good enough.} 30. Ne8+ Kg8 31. Nf6+ (31. d6 {If White wanted to keep playing, he could have tried this one, but Black has more than one move that holds without particular trouble.} Ne6 {This seems easiest. The d-pawn is still well under control and I don't see any reason for White to think he is better. Black is the one with his rooks behind the passed pawns, after all.} 32. h4) 31... Kg7 32. Ne8+ Kg8 33. Nf6+ {Magnus did not get much against the Petroff, and the moral victor of the day was certainly Nepo for making an easy draw with Black even when he was hit with a new idea. There wasn't even that much to say about the game, or that many variations to explain—it was all very straightforward. Still, I think Magnus has some practical advantage now in that he knows what to expect against both 1.e4 and 1.d4, while Nepo does not enjoy the same luxury. It will be interesting to see if he can leverage this later on by choosing to consistently go in one direction or the other, though I would not be surprised to see 1.c4 thrown out as well. Time will tell!} 1/2-1/2 [Event "World Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.01"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Rb8 {This is the third most popular move in the position. The main move is Bb7 which Magnus played in game 3 and there is also b4.} (8... Bb7 {was played in the third game.}) 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 (10. c3 {is the main move.} d5 11. exd5) 10... d6 (10... d5 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Nxe5) 11. c3 {We are back into the main line.} b4 12. d3 (12. d4 bxc3 13. bxc3 exd4 14. cxd4 d5 15. e5 Ne4) 12... bxc3 (12... d5 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Rxe5 Be6 16. Bxd5 Bxd5 17. cxb4 Bf6 18. Re1 Rxb4 19. Nc3 Bb7 20. Qc2 Qd7 21. Ne4 Bd4 22. Be3 Rxb2 23. Qc4 Bxe3 24. Rxe3 Bxe4 25. dxe4 g6 26. Rc1 {1/2-1/2 (26) Jakovenko,D (2644)-Khalifman,A (2653) Moscow 2005}) 13. bxc3 d5 {The first new move of the game.} 14. Nbd2 ( 14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. Rxe5 Be6 $44) 14... dxe4 15. dxe4 Bd6 16. Qc2 h6 17. Nf1 Ne7 18. Ng3 Ng6 19. Be3 {White has the slightly more pleasant position.} Qe8 20. Red1 $6 {A key moment where Ian could have improved his play with c4.} (20. c4 Be6 (20... c5 21. Ba4 (21. Nf5 Qc6 $1) 21... Qe7 22. Bc6 $16 {with he idea of Bd5.}) (20... Qe6 21. Reb1 (21. Ba4 Rd8 22. c5 Bf8 23. Reb1 $16) (21. Nd2 $5 c5) 21... c5 22. Ba4 $14) 21. Ba4 Qc8 (21... Bd7 22. c5) 22. c5 Be7 23. Bc6 $16) 20... Be6 21. Ba4 Bd7 22. Nd2 (22. Bxd7 Qxd7 23. c4 $14 ) (22. c4 Bxa4 23. Rxa4 (23. Qxa4 Qxa4 24. Rxa4 Ra8 $11) 23... Rb2 24. Qxb2 Qxa4 $11) 22... Bxa4 23. Qxa4 (23. Rxa4 Rb2 24. Qxb2 Qxa4 $11) 23... Qxa4 24. Rxa4 Ra8 25. Rda1 Rxa4 26. Rxa4 Rb8 27. Ra6 Ne8 28. Kf1 Nf8 {Here Nepo wanted to continue with h4-h5 and thought that was the best. But instead he decided to go with Nf5.} 29. Nf5 Ne6 30. Nc4 Rd8 31. f3 (31. g4 $5) 31... f6 $5 { A passive move but Magnus had seen the fortress.} (31... h5 {is what many commentators felt was the right move but Carlsen wanted to take back on d6 with his knight and with e5 pawn undefended, he wouldn't be able to play it that way.} 32. Nfxd6 cxd6 $14) 32. g4 (32. Ncxd6 Nxd6) 32... Kf7 33. h4 Bf8 34. Ke2 Nd6 35. Ncxd6+ Bxd6 36. h5 Bf8 37. Ra5 Ke8 38. Rd5 Ra8 39. Rd1 Ra2+ 40. Rd2 Ra1 41. Rd1 Ra2+ 42. Rd2 Ra1 43. Rd1 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.12.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [Source "ChessBase"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Nepomniachtchi insiste avec la partie Espagnole.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 {Il réutilise l'anti-Marshall 8.a4 comme dans la 3e partie.} (8. h3 {a été joué dans la 1ere partie de ce match.} Na5 9. Nxe5 {etc. (nulle en 45 coups)}) 8... Rb8 { Et c'est Carlsen qui change, toujours en recherche de surprendre son adversaire, mais comme la veille ça ne va pas fonctionner. A noter que Carlsen a déjà utilisé ce coup contre Duda cette année.} (8... Bb7 { a été joué dans la 3e partie de ce match. 1/2-1/2 (41) Nepomniachtchi,I (2782)-Carlsen,M (2855) Dubai 2021} 9. d3 d6 10. Nbd2 Re8 {etc. (nulle en 41 coups)}) 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 {Un coup rare dans une position déjà peu fréquente, autant dire qu'on se rapproche déjà de la fin de la théorie. L'idée est d'obtenir une meilleure version de gambit Marshall en cas de 10... d5.} (10. c3 d5 $5 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 c6 {Duda-Carlsen 2021 (nulle en 65 coups)}) 10... d6 ({A présent} 10... d5 $6 {serait suspect} 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 c6 14. Re1 {et les Blancs ont un très bon Marshall car h3 au lieu de c3, possibilité de jouer Cc3, et la Ta1 déjà sur une colonne ouverte.}) 11. c3 {revient au plan habituel c3-d4. Il faut noter que dans la grande Espagnole fermée les Noirs essaient de répondre Ca5 (Chigorin) ou Cb8 (Breyer) mais ici aucun des deux n'est possible. Et pas non plus de Ce7 comme dans une Italienne Fc5.} b4 {cherche à ouvrir pour la Tb8.} 12. d3 $1 {Un bon choix car d4 aurait aidé les Noirs.} (12. d4 bxc3 13. bxc3 exd4 14. cxd4 d5 $1 {disloque le centre blanc et se rapproche de l'égalité.} 15. e5 (15. exd5 Nxd5 $11) 15... Ne4 $11) 12... bxc3 (12... Bd7 13. d4 Ra8 14. Rxa8 Qxa8 15. Bg5 h6 16. Bh4 Rd8 {0-1 (99) Fedorov,V (2445)-Onischuk,A (2535) Germany 1994 0-1 (99) Fedorov,V (2445) -Onischuk,A (2535) Germany 1994}) (12... d5 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Rxe5 Be6 16. Bxd5 Bxd5 17. cxb4 Bf6 18. Re1 Rxb4 19. Nc3 Bb7 20. Qc2 Qd7 21. Ne4 Bd4 22. Be3 Rxb2 23. Qc4 Bxe3 24. Rxe3 Bxe4 25. dxe4 g6 26. Rc1 {1/2-1/2 (26) Jakovenko,D (2644) -Khalifman,A (2653) Moscow 2005 1/2-1/2 (26) Jakovenko, D (2644) -Khalifman,A (2653) Moscow 2005}) 13. bxc3 {A présent la Tb8 exerce une pression sur le Fb3.} d5 $5 {Encore un d5 de type Marshall !} (13... Nd7 14. Be3 Nb6 15. Nbd2 Kh8 16. Bd5 Qd7 17. Bxb6 Rxb6 18. Nc4 Ra6 19. Qb3 {1-0 (41) Balashov,Y (2565)-Janocha,W (2330) Wisla 1992 1-0 (41) Balashov,Y (2565)-Janocha,W (2330) Wisla 1992}) 14. Nbd2 $1 (14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. Rxe5 Be6 $1 {menace Cxc3.} 17. Bxd5 Bxd5 18. Re1 Bf6 {la paire de Fous exerce une pression désagréable dans une position ouverte} (18... Rb6 $5 {vers Tg6 !}) 19. d4 {le Fd5 assure une belle compensation. Le coup Grunfeldien c5 pourra suivre.}) 14... dxe4 15. dxe4 { Le centre s'est égalisé et la structure est symétrique. Cependant les Noirs n'ont pas la vie facile ! Déjà je ne qualifierais pas cette position typique d'une partie Espagnole car il y a 3 colonnes ouvertes ! Quelle est la dernière Espagnole "classique" avec 3 colonnes ouvertes que vous ayez vue ? Le fait que la position ne soit pas une Espagnole typique favorise Nepo au détriment de Carlsen. Le Fb3 est la meilleure pièce de l'échiquier, les Noirs voudraient s'en débarrasser mais c'est difficile. Les Noirs ne peuvent pas non plus être satisfaits de leur Cc6 muselé et qui n'a aucune case, et ne savent pas trop où développer le Fc8. Carlsen a dépensé du temps dans les prochains coups, tandis que Nepo était encore dans sa préparation (1h57). } Bd6 {Triste nécessité. Le Fd6 fait peine à voir mais il faut protéger e5 et préparer Ce7-g6 ou De7-Fe6.} (15... Bb7 16. Qc2 Ra8 17. Rb1 $1 {menace Fxf7+} Ba6 18. Nc4 $14) 16. Qc2 h6 (16... Re8 17. Nc4 h6 18. Be3 $14) 17. Nf1 Ne7 ({Le module propose} 17... Bd7 $1 18. Ng3 Qc8 {avec la double idée Fe6 et parfois Fxh3}) 18. Ng3 Ng6 19. Be3 {Relie les Tours et augmente le contrôle sur la case c5.} (19. Nf5 {jouable}) (19. c4 Nd7 $1 20. Be3 Nc5) 19... Qe8 { Après 20 minutes de réflexion.} (19... Re8 20. c4) (19... Qe7 20. Nf5 Bxf5 $2 21. exf5 Nh8 {Terrible} (21... Nf4 $2 22. Bxf4)) 20. Red1 $6 {Nepomniachtchi ne trouve pas le meilleur coup, malgré 11 minutes de réflexion.} (20. c4 $1 { L'idée qui contrariait Carlsen et aurait pu le mettre plus en difficulté. Les Noirs peuvent difficilement accepter c4-c5 Fe7, leur position devenant extrêmement resserrée et précaire.} Bb4 (20... Be6 {cloue c4 mais} 21. Ba4 Bd7 22. c5 Bxa4 23. Rxa4 Qc6 24. Qc4 {attaque le Fd6} Be7 25. Nf5 $16 {avec avantage blanc}) ({ou} 20... c6 21. c5 Bc7 22. Bc4 Be6 23. Ra7 $16) ({ou} 20... c5 {une catastrophe positionnelle pour le Fd6.} 21. Ba4 Qe7 22. Bc6 $1 $14) 21. Red1 c5 (21... Be6 {et par exemple} 22. Ba4 Qc8 23. c5 Rd8 24. Rdb1 Nd7 25. Bc6 $16) 22. Ba4 Bd7 23. Bxd7 Nxd7 24. Nf5 $16 {Le Fb4 se retrouve hors jeu et les Blancs ont tous les atouts.}) 20... Be6 21. Ba4 Bd7 22. Nd2 ({Si maintenant} 22. c4 Bxa4 23. Rxa4 Rb2 $1 24. Qxb2 Qxa4 $11) 22... Bxa4 23. Qxa4 (23. Rxa4 Rb2 $11) 23... Qxa4 24. Rxa4 Ra8 25. Rda1 Rxa4 26. Rxa4 Rb8 27. Ra6 {La position noire a été bien soulagée par les échanges de pièces, mais ils restent avec quelques problèmes à régler. Le Fd6 reste terrible et les Cavaliers blancs vont bondir en c4 et f5.} Ne8 {Après 10 minutes de réflexion. Carlsen choisit une première fois la défense passive.} (27... Nf4 {défense active} 28. Bxf4 exf4 29. Nf5 Be5) 28. Kf1 Nf8 {Deux Cavaliers sur le bord, symbole de la passivité des Noirs.} 29. Nf5 Ne6 {Au moins l'un des 2 Cavaliers qui se réactive et pourrait permettre l'échange favorable Fc5.} 30. Nc4 {Attaque d6 et pression sur e5.} Rd8 {Mauvaise nouvelle : la Tour doit quitter la colonne ouverte pour défendre le Fd6.} (30... Bc5 $5 31. f3 $1 $14 {et les Noirs n'ont pas f6 à cause de Txe6.} (31. Nxe5 Bxe3 32. Nxe3 Nc5 $11)) 31. f3 {Empêche Fc5. La position noire a piètre allure ! Le total des attaques blanches sur des pièces/pions noirs s'élève à 7 contre... 0. Les pièces noires sont quasiment toutes paralysées.} (31. g4 {empêche g5 mais permet} Bc5 32. Nxe5 Bxe3 33. Nxe3 Nc5) 31... f6 $1 {Le coup que j'ai choisi dans ma vidéo précédente Le coup du jour. Carlsen a compris que la défense passive défend plus facilement que le naturel h5 ! Ses prochains coups seront joués très vite.} ({L'ensemble des commentateurs attendait} 31... h5 { pour pouvoir jouer g6 afin de chasser le Cf5. Mais Carlsen a vu plus loin.} 32. Ncxd6 $1 {Un coup même difficile à envisager, qui obligerait} cxd6 ({car} 32... Nxd6 33. Ne7+ Kh7 34. Nc6 {gagne e5.}) 33. Ra7 {la Tour blanche s'empare de la 7e rangée et la position noire est pénible à défendre, comme l'a correctement jugé Carlsen. Par exemple} Kf8 (33... Rc8 $4 34. Ne7+) (33... g6 $4 34. Nh6+ {gagne sur le champ} Kf8 35. Rxf7#) 34. Ke2 Rb8 35. Kd3 g6 36. Bh6+ Kg8 37. Ne7+ Kh7 38. Bc1 $1 $14 {avec avantage blanc.}) 32. g4 {Empêche h5, et donc g6.} Kf7 (32... g6 $2 33. Nxh6+ Kg7 34. h4 $18) 33. h4 Bf8 $1 {Libère d6 pour le pauvre Ce8 qui était bloqué.} 34. Ke2 {Empêche Td3.} Nd6 { Quitte le bord et se débarrasse d'au moins un Cavalier blanc.} 35. Ncxd6+ Bxd6 ({mais de nouveau pas} 35... cxd6 $2 36. Ra7+ $16 {qui fait très mal}) 36. h5 {Stabilise le Cf5 à vie et fixe les pions g7-h6 sur la mauvaise couleur ! Le rêve du joueur d'échecs.} Bf8 {La force de Carlsen est d'avoir toléré ce cauchemar positionnel côté Noirs car il a compris que c'était une forteresse imprenable ! Les Blancs ont de meilleures pièces mais pas de cible concrète, ni de point d'infiltration sérieux, ni de levier de pion réaliste. C'est complètement égal !} 37. Ra5 Ke8 38. Rd5 Ra8 {Le Roi noir empêche Td7. Les pions potentiellement faibles c7 et g7 sont bien tenus.} 39. Rd1 Ra2+ 40. Rd2 Ra1 (40... Rxd2+ {fait probablement nulle aussi mais aucune raison de le tenter}) 41. Rd1 {Les Blancs n'ont plus rien à se mettre sous la dent !} Ra2+ 42. Rd2 Ra1 43. Rd1 {Une excellente préparation de Nepomniachtchi qui a obtenu une position prometteuse, non caractéristique de l'Espagnole fermée (3 colonnes ouvertes). Il aurait pu poser davantage de problèmes avec 20.c4. Poussé dans ses retranchements, très belle compréhension de Carlsen par son coup de défense 31...f6!. Dans les parties 4 et 5, Nepo a pris un ascendant. Mais Carlsen va avoir le jour de repos pour se ressourcer et préparer ses munitions pour les 3 prochaines parties où il aura 2 fois les Blancs. Cela s'annonce passionnant !} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Chess Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.01"] {[%evp 0,85,19,38,25,7,30,29,28,3,9,3,20,-24,-4,6,10,-10,44,23,43,34,34,14,18, 17,25,26,42,37,39,23,71,30,51,14,52,42,42,39,40,34,66,20,23,14,27,18,12,20,35, 42,38,52,34,15,57,41,64,67,63,66,91,98,57,62,48,42,42,49,48,52,44,26,30,25,30, 15,14,23,25,16,16,18,16,0,18,13] Game five saw the fifth draw, but in my opinion, it was the most interesting one yet and one that should give Magnus a lot of confidence moving forward.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Rb8 {Magnus is the first to deviate from game 3.} (8... Bb7 {This was his choice previously. He got an awkward-looking position but equalized without a ton of trouble. Given that he shifted gears as early as move eight this time, I wonder if he also would have shifted gears against 8.h3 and not repeated the ending from game one.}) 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 d6 11. c3 b4 {Magnus was playing fast enough that this was certainly still preparation. He is taking a very different route to preparing than I would have expected—the machine is reasonably enthuastic about White's chances here, and while eventually it calms down a bit, it does feel like he should be a little better. It's hard for me to imagine that Magnus did not reach the same conclusion, but he seems completely unfazed and not to care about what the computer is saying. This is quite a refreshing style to see sometimes!} 12. d3 bxc3 13. bxc3 d5 14. Nbd2 {Computers claim this is the best move, though White could also take on d5.} (14. exd5 Nxd5 15. Qc2 $11 {I'm not the biggest expert on the Spanish or Italian, but this seems like a really dangerous version for Black to me. He is a very long way from solving the problem of the misplaced c6-knight and the e5-pawn is annoying to defend... This feels like real pressure to me.} ({Stockfish 14:} 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. Rxe5 Be6 17. Bxd5 Bxd5 18. d4 Bf6 19. Re1 Ra8 20. Ra4 Re8 21. Be3 Qd7 22. Rxa8 Rxa8 23. Nd2 Qc6 24. c4 Bxc4 25. Nxc4 Qxc4 26. Qf3 c6 27. Rc1 Qd5 28. Rxc6 Qxf3 29. gxf3 Kf8 30. d5 Ke8 31. Rc5 Bd8 32. Kf1 Ra5 33. Rxa5 Bxa5 34. Ke2 g6 35. Kd3 {[%eval 20,33] [%wdl 53,929,18]})) 14... dxe4 15. dxe4 Bd6 16. Qc2 h6 17. Nf1 Ne7 18. Ng3 Ng6 $6 { This is a very automatic move, but probably also inaccurate. Black would have been well-advised to try to get his bishop to e6 as soon as possible.} (18... Bd7 $1 {Black is ready for Qc8 and Be6 next. He is still a bit worse but I like his chances of equalizing better than what occurred in the game.}) 19. Be3 {Now White has the not-so-subtle plan of pushing c4-c5, gaining a ton of space and getting ready to cause direct problems on the d-file. Around here, I was sitting in a restaurant with a strong GM friend and watching the game without the machine running, and when we sparred a bit and played some sample moves, we felt the position was extremely uncomfortable for Black. This plan of c4-c5 is incredibly hard to stop, both white bishops are better than their black counterparts, black's queen has real trouble finding a sensible square—it all seems very unpleasant. But this is why Magnus is so strong. When he has a solid position without immediate weaknesses, it's almost like watching a magician the way he can coordinate his pieces. Not only did he hold—he made it look easy! I would imagine anyone else would have a really tough time on the black side of this position.} Qe8 (19... Qe7 {The computer prefers this move, with the point that after} 20. Nf5 {The black queen can come back to d8, and apparently the knight on f5 could be misplaced because 21. c4 will be met with 21...Nxe4, pointing out the knight is no longer on g3 to take back. Humans do not play chess like this.} Qd8 $1 21. c4 $2 Nxe4 $1) 20. Red1 $6 { This is too ambitious. I suspect Nepo wanted c3-c4, intending c4-c5 without allowing c7-c5 in response, but this was too slow.} (20. c4 {This should have been preferred, but now and only now, after White has blocked in his bishop, Black can respond with ...c7-c5.} c5 $1 {Neither bishop is too great, and after } 21. Red1 Qc6 $1 {Black is ready for Be6 next. The machines still give White a nice plus, but Black is super solid and it will be very hard to make any further progress.}) 20... Be6 $1 {Black now trades off one bad bishop for a good one.} 21. Ba4 Bd7 22. Nd2 Bxa4 23. Qxa4 Qxa4 $1 {And now he trades off the queens too. Two of his problem pieces have been traded for two of White's superior ones. Black now only has one bad bishop, and that bad bishop protects good pawns. There are no weaknesses and, just a few moves after, I thought Magnus could be in real trouble. It is very equal.} 24. Rxa4 Ra8 25. Rda1 Rxa4 26. Rxa4 Rb8 27. Ra6 Ne8 28. Kf1 Nf8 29. Nf5 Ne6 30. Nc4 Rd8 {White's position looks impressive, but all of his pieces are already on their best squares and it cannot be built up any further. It is a very bad sign for his winning chances that the machine recommends Nf5-g3.} 31. f3 f6 32. g4 Kf7 33. h4 Bf8 34. Ke2 Nd6 35. Ncxd6+ Bxd6 36. h5 Bf8 {Black has a clear fortress. No further progress will be made.} 37. Ra5 Ke8 38. Rd5 Ra8 39. Rd1 Ra2+ 40. Rd2 Ra1 41. Rd1 Ra2+ 42. Rd2 Ra1 43. Rd1 {Today was the first time that Nepo got a clear edge with no counterplay whatosever. I'm not convinced Magnus equalized in game 1, but the bishops offered good practical counter-chances and he quickly found himself better. Nepo was better in game 2, but it was a wildly complicated position and White's incredibly active pieces gave him plenty to fight back with. But today, Black's position just looked miserable. The fact that Magnus held almost effortlessly is a very good sign for the World Champion and should hopefully convince him that he can take more risks, knowing that his defensive skills will offer him good saving chances in case ambitious play backfires. Tomorrow is a rest day, and now that Magnus knows what team Nepo has planned for both 1.e4 and 1.d4, he will have a lot of time to choose a direction he feels appropriate and try to make trouble. Call me crazy, but I expect we will get a much more lively game in the 6th round.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.12.03"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [PlyCount "271"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [SourceTitle ""] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 (2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O {½-½ (58) Carlsen,M (2855)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2782) Dubai 2021}) 2... d5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 (6. c4 {= Catalane}) 6... c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. c4 dxc4 (8... Qb6 9. Qc2 Rd8 10. Nc3 Nc6 11. Na4 Qa5 12. Nxc5 Qxc5 13. Bg5 {1/2-1/2 (18) Schuster,U-Steiner,H GER corr 1990}) 9. Qc2 (9. bxc4 Qc7 10. Bf4 Qe7 11. Nbd2 Nc6 12. Nb3 Rd8 13. Qc2 e5 {0-1 (37) Peschke,U-Von Herman,U (2345) Berlin 1995} ) 9... Qe7 (9... Nc6 10. Bb2 Qe7 11. Qxc4 e5 12. Nbd2 Rd8 13. Rad1 Bf5 14. Ng5 Bd4 15. Ba3 Qxa3 16. Qxf7+ Kh8 17. Qxb7 Na5 18. Qa6 h6 19. Nf7+ Kh7 20. Nb1 $11 Qb4 $2 21. e3 $1 $18 Bb6 22. Nxd8 Rxd8 23. Rxd8 Bxd8 24. Qxa7 Bb6 25. Rc1 Bg6 26. Qa6 Nd7 27. Qc8 Nc5 28. Bd5 {1-0 (28) Mueller Using,D-Mollekens,R ICCF corr 1973}) 10. Nbd2 Nc6 11. Nxc4 b5 12. Nce5 (12. Bb2 bxc4 13. Ng5 Bd4 14. Bxc6 Bxb2 15. Qxb2 Bb7 16. Bxb7 Qxb7) 12... Nb4 13. Qb2 Bb7 14. a3 (14. Bg5 h6 15. Bh4 g5 16. a3 gxh4 17. axb4 Bxb4) 14... Nc6 15. Nd3 Bb6 16. Bg5 Rfd8 17. Bxf6 gxf6 (17... Qxf6 18. Qxf6 gxf6 19. Rfc1 Rac8 20. b4 Ne7) 18. Rac1 Nd4 19. Nxd4 Bxd4 20. Qa2 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Qb7+ 22. Kg1 Qe4 23. Qc2 a5 (23... Rac8 24. Qxc8 Rxc8 25. Rxc8+ Kg7 26. Nf4 e5 27. e3) 24. Rfd1 Kg7 (24... f5 25. e3 Bf6) 25. Rd2 (25. e3 Be5 26. Qe2 $11 (26. Nxe5 $4 Qxc2 $19)) 25... Rac8 $5 (25... b4 26. axb4 axb4 27. Nxb4 Bxf2+ 28. Kxf2 Qxb4 29. Rxd8 Rxd8) 26. Qxc8 Rxc8 27. Rxc8 Qd5 28. b4 a4 29. e3 Be5 (29... Bb2 $5 30. Rxb2 $2 (30. Rc5 $1 Qd6 31. Rxb2 Qxd3 32. Rbc2 Qxa3 33. Rxb5 $11) 30... Qxd3 31. Ra2 $2 Qb1+ $19) 30. h4 h5 31. Kh2 Bb2 $2 32. Rc5 $1 Qd6 33. Rd1 $2 (33. Rcc2 $1 Bxa3 34. Nf4 Qxb4 35. Rd7 $18) 33... Bxa3 34. Rxb5 Qd7 35. Rc5 e5 36. Rc2 $6 Qd5 $6 (36... Bxb4 37. Rcc1 Ba3 $1 38. Ra1 Qg4 39. Rd2 Be7 $17 {[%csl Ga4]}) 37. Rdd2 Qb3 38. Ra2 e4 $6 39. Nc5 Qxb4 40. Nxe4 $2 (40. Rdc2 $1 f5 41. Nxa4 $1 Qxa4 42. Rc3 $18) 40... Qb3 41. Rac2 Bf8 42. Nc5 Qb5 43. Nd3 a3 44. Nf4 Qa5 45. Ra2 Bb4 46. Rd3 Kh6 47. Rd1 Qa4 48. Rda1 Bd6 49. Kg1 Qb3 50. Ne2 Qd3 51. Nd4 Kh7 52. Kh2 Qe4 53. Rxa3 Qxh4+ 54. Kg1 Qe4 55. Ra4 Be5 56. Ne2 Qc2 57. R1a2 $1 Qb3 58. Kg2 Qd5+ 59. f3 Qd1 60. f4 Bc7 61. Kf2 Bb6 62. Ra1 Qb3 63. Re4 Kg7 64. Re8 f5 65. Raa8 Qb4 66. Rac8 Ba5 $1 67. Rc1 Bb6 68. Re5 Qb3 69. Re8 Qd5 70. Rcc8 Qh1 71. Rc1 Qd5 72. Rb1 Ba7 73. Re7 Bc5 74. Re5 Qd3 75. Rb7 Qc2 76. Rb5 Ba7 77. Ra5 Bb6 78. Rab5 Ba7 79. Rxf5 Qd3 80. Rxf7+ Kxf7 81. Rb7+ Kg6 82. Rxa7 Qd5 83. Ra6+ Kh7 84. Ra1 Kg6 85. Nd4 Qb7 86. Ra2 Qh1 87. Ra6+ Kf7 88. Nf3 Qb1 89. Rd6 Kg7 90. Rd5 Qa2+ 91. Rd2 Qb1 92. Re2 Qb6 93. Rc2 Qb1 94. Nd4 Qh1 95. Rc7+ Kf6 96. Rc6+ Kf7 97. Nf3 Qb1 98. Ng5+ Kg7 99. Ne6+ Kf7 100. Nd4 Qh1 101. Rc7+ Kf6 102. Nf3 Qb1 103. Rd7 Qb2+ 104. Rd2 Qb1 105. Ng1 Qb4 106. Rd1 Qb3 107. Rd6+ Kg7 108. Rd4 Qb2+ 109. Ne2 Qb1 110. e4 Qh1 111. Rd7+ Kg8 112. Rd4 Qh2+ 113. Ke3 h4 114. gxh4 Qh3+ 115. Kd2 Qxh4 116. Rd3 Kf8 117. Rf3 Qd8+ 118. Ke3 Qa5 119. Kf2 Qa7+ 120. Re3 Qd7 121. Ng3 Qd2+ 122. Kf3 Qd1+ 123. Re2 Qb3+ 124. Kg2 Qb7 125. Rd2 Qb3 126. Rd5 Ke7 127. Re5+ Kf7 128. Rf5+ Ke8 129. e5 Qa2+ 130. Kh3 Qe6 $2 (130... Qb1 $1 $11) 131. Kh4 Qh6+ 132. Nh5 Qh7 133. e6 Qg6 134. Rf7 Kd8 135. f5 Qg1 136. Ng7 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Chess Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.03"] [Round "6"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "271"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.03"] {At the end of game five, I predicted that we would see a more eventful game six, as Magnus would probably double dip for the first time and play either 1. e4 or 1.d4 with a pretty good idea of what he would be facing. Given Nepo's repertoire, I was not too surprised to see Magnus aim for some kind of Catalan. While the opening and early middlegame certainly looked dull as Magnus wasn't able to apply much pressure, the game did liven up at some point, and my prediction came true as we finally saw a full point scored.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 {This is an interesting move order for White. He clearly is aiming to play c4 at a moment when he is ready to take back with the pawn.} c5 7. dxc5 (7. c4 {This would lead to a more typical position, which I have actually played a bunch of times on the white side in rapid games. It is a little tricky, but generally, I think mostly harmless against a prepared opponent in classical chess. Still, I am somehow not impressed with what Magnus played either.}) 7... Bxc5 8. c4 dxc4 9. Qc2 { Now, White will win back the lost c4-pawn without allowing his structure to become compromised. Then, he can hope to end up a little better if Black can't develop his queenside or find a way to get the c8-bishop into the game. But, I think this is too optimistic. In the time it takes White to grab the pawn back, Black will complete his development.} Qe7 10. Nbd2 $5 {Magnus has showed a remarkable willingness to sacrifice pawns this match. I like this decision! The knight taking back on c4 will look a lot more sensible than the queen.} Nc6 $1 {I like this decision. Black doesn't bother going pawn grabbing and instead makes sure to complete his development before he faces any issues on the long diagonal.} (10... cxb3 {The machine is not scared of grabbing the pawn, but after something like} 11. Nxb3 Bd6 12. Nfd4 {White has clear compensation as now Black was unable to develop his queenside before the pressure on the long diagonal become too problematic. I don't see a great way to get the bishop on c8 into the game. The machine calls it equal, but in human terms, White certainly seems more comfortable, and I find it unsurprising that Nepo did not go for it.}) 11. Nxc4 {Now, Bd7 leaves the bishop on a still less than impressive square, though even there I imagine White can't hope for too much. Black has two ways to solve his problem piece, and Nepo chose the more direct one.} b5 $1 {This looks like a scary move as Black seems like he is asking for trouble on the long diagonal, but the tempo he wins by hitting the c4-knight gives him enough time to get his bishop to b7. Structurally, White is surely not better. His only edge was hoping that the g2-bishop would be active, and the c8-bishop passive. This will no longer be the case, and we end up in a dry, symmetrical position where Black has no major issues.} (11... Bd7) (11... e5 $5 {This was fine too. Black's bishop will find a nice square on g4, or even f5 if he pushes e5-e4 first.}) 12. Nce5 {Now, Black should be careful. He clearly wants to get the bishop to b7, but he needs to do it the right way.} (12. Nfe5 $2 {This might look tempting, but it only creates problems for White. After} Nd4 $1 13. Qd1 Bb7 $1 {Black is taking over the initiative.}) 12... Nb4 $1 { Black clears the knight off of the hanging square with a gain of tempo and is ready for Bc8-b7 next, equalizing.} (12... Bb7 $2 {This tempting move would lose material after} 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. b4 $1 Bxf3 15. Bxf3 {when Black has hanging pieces on both a8 and c5.}) 13. Qb2 Bb7 14. a3 Nc6 $1 {Since the queen is no longer on c2, this move is safe as there is no b3-b4 thrust to skewer the bishops on the c-file. The position looks very equal, though soon enough some imbalance was found.} 15. Nd3 Bb6 16. Bg5 Rfd8 17. Bxf6 gxf6 $5 {This is not a bad move, but its a bit surprising to me. Given that the pawn structure will become crippled either way, why would we keep queens on? I suppose Black's king is not feeling any particular pressure.} (17... Qxf6 {This would have been my choice. I might even prefer Black.}) 18. Rac1 Nd4 (18... e5 { The machine flashed this move briefly, but it seems super inhuman to me. Black is just begging for an invasion on f5.} 19. Nh4 Nd4 20. e3 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Qb7+ 22. Kg1 Ne6 {Apparently, Black is a little better here with Ne6-g5 coming next. It looks super scary for a human though. Some Qb2-e2 and Nh4-f5 does not look like fun.}) 19. Nxd4 Bxd4 20. Qa2 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Qb7+ 22. Kg1 Qe4 23. Qc2 a5 24. Rfd1 Kg7 25. Rd2 {This was the first position I saw of the game, as inflight WiFi had not been working to that point. I just assumed it would end in a draw pretty promptly, but I did not expect Nepo to immediately change the character of the game.} Rac8 $5 {This is surely not a bad move, and it does liven things up, but it strikes me as very risky. The computer insists that the position remains equal, but it looks much more double edged after the queen is traded for the two rooks. Black's position can become risky as his kingside pawns being split means that neither f7 nor h7 can be defended by another pawn. This being the case, having a greater number of pieces can be a really big deal, and two rooks have some potential to overpower the queen. Black is definitely still fine, but he should be looking for direct active counterplay on the queenside. Still, given how the game played out, I suspect Nepo may have found himself regretting this decision, even if it was not the one that objectively landed him in a bad position.} (25... f5 {Some simple move like this one, making room for the bishop on f6 and putting more pawns on light squares, was what I was expecting. It looks very equal and very drawn.}) 26. Qxc8 Rxc8 27. Rxc8 Qd5 28. b4 a4 29. e3 Be5 $6 {The machine still claims the position is equal, but I believe this was a big step in the wrong direction. Black could have immediately gone for a line where White needs to find two only moves before a draw is agreed, and instead he sort of lazily brings the bishop back as if his position is not under any pressure and he has all the time in the world.} (29... Bb2 {This might have been a little more challenging, forcing White to find a couple good moves, but it can't be too tough.} 30. Rc5 $1 Qd6 31. Rxb2 Qxd3 {Now, White's position actually looks really dangerous since a3 is falling. He needs to find one only move, but then he is fine.} 32. Rbc2 $1 { Not too difficult. White moves his rook away so it will not be hanging when a3 is taken, and now he is ready to meet Qxa3 with Rxb5. It should be quite drawish. Still, Magnus was low enough on time that there was some non-zero chance he would not find his way with a couple only moves. But... non-zero, but not high either.}) 30. h4 h5 $2 {Now White has real weaknesses to play against. The h5-pawn can certainly become a target, and once more Black missed his chance to directly equalize.} (30... Bb2 {This was still fine, but it is basically an admission that Be5 was a bad decision. This is not an easy thing for a human to do, especially if he still thinks the position is fine.}) 31. Kh2 {Sesse claims Black is still fine here. In human terms, I think he has a lot of problems to solve. He is missing counterplay and will have to be very wary of the rooks suddenly invading the position. My onboard WiFi cut out here as well, and I knew it would be some time before we were over a land mass again. At this moment, despite being short on time, I thought Magnus would have a really good position by the time I got to see it again.} Bb2 $2 { Now it is too late for this. White should be winning, but with the clock ticking down, Magnus did not find the way.} 32. Rc5 Qd6 33. Rd1 $2 {This let a big chance slip.} (33. Rcc2 $1 {[ Carlsen: \"That was not on my radar. As a matter of fact, when I went for this Rd1 I just missed ...Qd7. I thought I would be in time to go Rb4 and eliminate those pawns, so that was more an oversight than anything else.\"]} Bxa3 34. Nf4 $1 {White has a decisive attack, as his rooks will soon penetrate to the 7th or 8th rank, and h5 is a goner. I suspect Magnus saw this, but missed that after} Qe7 35. Rc8 $1 {Would win. In fact, every other move loses!}) 33... Bxa3 34. Rxb5 Qd7 35. Rc5 e5 (35... Bxb4 {I'm not sure why Nepo did not play this move, though I am not as optimistic as the machine about his winning chances.}) 36. Rc2 Qd5 $6 (36... Bxb4 $1 { Again, this looked tempting.}) 37. Rdd2 $1 {Now White has everything under control, and the a3-bishop is in some trouble.} Qb3 38. Ra2 e4 $2 {With time control rapidly approaching, both sides missed an important idea.} (38... f5 { So says the machine, and apparently Black is fine. This is super tough for a human to play, particularly with no time.}) 39. Nc5 Qxb4 {Now, Magnus had a move clear winner. It is super bad luck for him that the chance happened to present itself on move 40 rather than 41!} 40. Nxe4 $2 (40. Rdc2 $1 {This should win routinely. Black's queen and bishop are both completely stuck, and White is ready for Nxa4 next. After something like} f5 41. Nxa4 Qxa4 42. Rc3 $18 {White should be technically winning. He will get his rooks to the seventh rank and take on f7. This is exactly the kind of position I was talking about earlier where Black's weak pawns means simply having a greater number of total pieces is a huge advantage, and the two rooks should easily beat the queen.}) 40... Qb3 {Time control is reached, and Black is more or less okay.} 41. Rac2 Bf8 42. Nc5 Qb5 43. Nd3 a3 {Black's a-pawn is annoying enough though it is really hard for White to break through.} 44. Nf4 Qa5 45. Ra2 Bb4 46. Rd3 Kh6 47. Rd1 Qa4 48. Rda1 {Magnus is trying to reorganize his pieces to target the a3-pawn, but it will be really hard to get the knight to join as well.} Bd6 49. Kg1 Qb3 50. Ne2 Qd3 51. Nd4 Kh7 {Case in point, it looks like Nc2 should pick up a3 and promptly win the game, but things are not so simple.} 52. Kh2 (52. Nc2 Qb3 $1 {White struggles to take on a3 thanks to Bd6-e5 hanging over his head. I don't see a great plan for him.} 53. Nxa3 $2 Be5 $1) 52... Qe4 $6 { This strikes me as a bit careless. Now, Magnus took the chance to change the position and get rid of the a-pawn, but it became a bit too simplified to seriously hope to play for a win against good defense.} 53. Rxa3 Qxh4+ $1 ( 53... Bxa3 $2 54. Rxa3 {White should be totally winning here despite the relative material balance. The queen's main strength is being able to attack multiple things at once, and here, Black has nothing to attack. White will maneuvre Ra3-a5-f5-f4, then knight around to e4 to force f6-f5, then knight comes to d4, and Black collapses.}) 54. Kg1 Qe4 55. Ra4 Be5 $1 56. Ne2 Qc2 57. R1a2 Qb3 {The bishop on e5 is incredibly well placed. White somehow does not quite have the coordination he needs to finish the game off.} 58. Kg2 Qd5+ 59. f3 {The machine hates this move, but I don't see another great way to make progress.} Qd1 60. f4 Bc7 {The pawn being forced off of f2 really weakens White's pawn chain, and his king's cover. It will be very hard for him to do something like double on the seventh and take on f7 as long as his kingside needs defenders.} 61. Kf2 Bb6 $1 {Targeting the weak e3-pawn.} 62. Ra1 Qb3 63. Re4 {White has coordinated his position about as well as possible, but it will still be a nightmare to break through. This was the first position I saw once my internet came back, and I was unsurprised that there were some missed chances along the way. The rook on e4 holds everything together but is also tethered to the defense of the e3-pawn. The knight on e2 is not wildly mobile either. Still, Magnus is head and shoulders above every player in history at grinding out positions like this one, and it showed.} Kg7 64. Re8 f5 65. Raa8 { Even with the rooks invading like this, what is White's next move?} Qb4 66. Rac8 Ba5 67. Rc1 Bb6 68. Re5 Qb3 69. Re8 Qd5 70. Rcc8 {White is not making any progress on the board, but progress on the clock is more important. The position is surely a draw objectively, but Black will have to defend it for 50 moves, and if anything ever drops, he will surely lose. White's best chance is to pressure Black on the clock, and here Nepo was down to 5 minutes.} Qh1 ( 70... Qb3 {This was also fine.}) 71. Rc1 Qd5 72. Rb1 Ba7 $2 {Case in point. This is a bad move, and the product of not having much time.} (72... Bd8 { Black keeps all unwanted guests off of the 7th rank and is ready for h4 next.}) 73. Re7 $1 Bc5 74. Re5 {Now Black is in only-move territory.} Qd3 75. Rb7 Qc2 76. Rb5 $1 Ba7 77. Ra5 (77. Rxf5 {Already this was possible.} Qd3 78. Rxf7+ $1 Kxf7 79. Rb7+ {The computer still thinks this is a draw, but a human would almost certainly lose with Black.}) (77. Re7) 77... Bb6 78. Rab5 Ba7 79. Rxf5 $1 {Magnus plays it the second time around.} Qd3 80. Rxf7+ Kxf7 81. Rb7+ Kg6 82. Rxa7 Qd5 83. Ra6+ Kh7 84. Ra1 $1 {I like this move. No need to rush, start by preventing Qh1.} Kg6 85. Nd4 Qb7 86. Ra2 Qh1 87. Ra6+ Kf7 88. Nf3 $1 { White's king is totally safe for the moment. The machine still claims Black is making a draw here, but for a human with no time... this feels impossible. There are no direct perpetuals, Black will have to sit and defend perfectly for 50 moves until a pawn moves, then for another 50 moves... even with time on the clock, I would expect a human to crack. Without it, no chance.} Qb1 89. Rd6 Kg7 90. Rd5 Qb2+ 91. Rd2 Qb1 92. Re2 {Not subtle. The e-pawn is coming.} Qb6 93. Rc2 Qb1 94. Nd4 Qh1 95. Rc7+ Kf6 96. Rc6+ Kf7 97. Nf3 Qb1 98. Ng5+ Kg7 99. Ne6+ Kf7 100. Nd4 Qh1 {White has made no progress for the last several moves, but the clocks just keep getting lower. Black cannot hold this forever.} 101. Rc7+ Kf6 102. Nf3 Qb1 103. Rd7 Qc2+ 104. Rd2 Qb1 105. Ng1 $5 {Finally, White sets up a different coordination.} Qb4 106. Rd1 Qb3 107. Rd6+ Kg7 108. Rd4 Qb2+ 109. Ne2 Qb1 110. e4 $1 {Finally. Machine still says draw, but go play 50 more moves... and then e5 or f5 comes, and then 50 more...} Qh1 111. Rd7+ Kg8 112. Rd4 Qh2+ 113. Ke3 h4 {Black trades off his last pawn, but this doesn't change much. He still has a practically impossible task.} 114. gxh4 Qh3+ 115. Kd2 Qxh4 116. Rd3 Kf8 117. Rf3 Qd8+ 118. Ke3 Qa5 119. Kf2 Qa7+ 120. Re3 Qd7 121. Ng3 {White has set up a very good coordination and the pawns are ready to go.} Qd2+ 122. Kf3 Qd1+ 123. Re2 Qb3+ 124. Kg2 {No more checks. Black is done for.} Qb7 125. Rd2 Qb3 126. Rd5 Ke7 127. Re5+ Kf7 128. Rf5+ Ke8 129. e5 $1 {Machine still says draw, even here. And again, go play 50 more moves! It just can't be done.} Qa2+ 130. Kh3 Qe6 $2 {[Editor's note: 130...Qe6 was the losing mistake according to the tablebases. With engine-perfect play, ...Qb1 and ...Qc2 would be drawn.]} (130... Qb1) (130... Qc2) 131. Kh4 {Finally, at long last, the machine confirms what all the humans knew for awhile. Magnus is winning this game.} Qh6+ 132. Nh5 Qh7 133. e6 $1 {A nice final touch. The rook cannot be captured.} Qg6 134. Rf7 Kd8 135. f5 Qg1 136. Ng7 {Nepo had seen enough, and finally, the impasse was broken! Magnus won in his trademark style, not taking a ton of risks, but taking his chance to imbalance the game when it came, and then gradually grinding out a win from what was a defensible but unpleasant position for Black. I like that it came in phases, and that one phase was, \"This position is technically still a draw, but there is no chance a human will hold it.\" Surely Nepo could have defended better before allowing Rxf5 and Rxf7 to transform the position, but after that, I doubt there was much he could do. Now that a point is on the scoreboard, we could see a very different looking match in the games to come!} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.03"] [Round "6"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "271"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.03"] 1. d4 {Magnus switches back to 1.d4 which had helped him get a favourable position in game 2 of the match at least out of the opening.} Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 $5 {Very interesting. The last time Magnus had played g3 was against Sergey Karjakin at the Lindores Abbey event in 2019. And we all know that Ian is working with Karjakin. So there could be something relation between the two events.} e6 {Ian goes for the opening that he has prepared. But it can be thought of as a small moral victory for Magnus as Ian did not choose the most ambitious approach.} (3... c5 {might be the most uncompromising move here.}) 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 $5 (6. c4 {would have transposed to the main line and back to what we witnessed in game 2.}) 6... c5 7. dxc5 (7. Bb2 cxd4 8. Nxd4 e5 9. Nf3 e4 10. Nd4 Nc6 $11) 7... Bxc5 (7... Na6 $5) 8. c4 {Two games have been played in this position and both by players who were not rated.} dxc4 9. Qc2 $5 (9. bxc4 {is possible but after} Nc6 {Black seems to be doing alright.}) 9... Qe7 {Ian played this in just 2.30 minutes which is surprising. Does it mean he is still in his preparation?} 10. Nbd2 Nc6 11. Nxc4 b5 $1 {Ian tries to solve his problems related to the c8 bishop very concretely and this is a great idea. } 12. Nce5 {At this point Magnus was out of his preparation.} (12. Bb2 $5 bxc4 13. Ng5 $1 Bd4 $1 14. Bxc6 Bxb2 15. Qxb2 Bb7 $11) 12... Nb4 13. Qb2 Bb7 $11 { Black seems to have done well out of the opening.} 14. a3 (14. Bg5 {This move could have led to sharp play.} h6 15. Bh4 $5 {Keeping the pressure and the tension.} g5 16. Nxg5 (16. a3 gxh4 (16... Nc6 17. Nxg5 $1 $16) 17. axb4 Bxb4 $13) 16... Bxg2 17. Nh7 (17. Ngxf7 $5) 17... Kxh7 18. Ng4 Nbd5 19. Qd2 Be3 20. fxe3 Bxf1 21. Rxf1 Ne4 22. Qd3 Qd6 23. Rf6 $13 {Are some seriously crazy lines. }) 14... Nc6 15. Nd3 Bb6 16. Bg5 Rfd8 17. Bxf6 gxf6 (17... Qxf6 {Logically if you are taking on weaknesses on your kingside, you want the queens to be traded. And this is not a bad idea.} 18. Qxf6 gxf6 19. Rac1 Rac8 $11 {Black does not have much to worry about. But gxf6 without the queen trade was Ian's way of saying that I feel ambitious about my position and I want to try harder for a full point.}) 18. Rac1 Nd4 (18... e5 {Nepo said in the press conference that he wanted to go for this move, but later decided against it.} 19. Nh4 Nd4 $5 $11 {This looks very concrete and Black seems to be doing fine.}) 19. Nxd4 Bxd4 20. Qa2 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Qb7+ 22. Kg1 Qe4 {Centralizing he queen. Usually such positions should be better for White as his knight is excellently placed on d3. However, in this case, Black has a lot of space, which is the reason why he is doing fine.} 23. Qc2 a5 24. Rfd1 Kg7 25. Rd2 Rac8 $6 {A very dangerous decision by Nepo. It's surprising that he went for this move because he clearly had a much simpler option at his dispoal with ....b4} (25... b4 26. axb4 axb4 27. Nxb4 Bxf2+ 28. Kxf2 Qxb4 $11) 26. Qxc8 Rxc8 27. Rxc8 {To voluntarily go for such a position looks very dangerous. Nepo was counting on the weakness of White's queenside for counterplay. But the major issue is that at some point White can abandon his queenside and his knight and two rooks to launch a decisive mating attack against the black king.} Qd5 (27... Be3 $5 28. Rdc2) 28. b4 a4 (28... e5 $5 {Threatening e4 with Bxf2+ coming up.} 29. e3 Bxe3 30. fxe3 axb4 31. axb4 e4 32. Rc3 Qd6 33. Rb3 exd3 34. Rdxd3 Qe6 $11) 29. e3 Be5 (29... Bb2 $5 {might have been the best way.} 30. Rc5 $1 (30. Rxb2 Qxd3 $19 ) 30... Qd6 31. Rxb2 Qxd3 32. Rbc2 Qxa3 33. Rxb5 $11) 30. h4 h5 31. Kh2 $1 { A nice move by Magnus. Just throwing back the ball in Ian's court, asking him to make a decision.} Bb2 $2 {Ian blunders. But it is not easy to find a refutation especially when you have just 3 minutes left.} 32. Rc5 $1 {Magnus gets the first move right.} Qd6 (32... Qd7 33. Rcc2 Bxa3 34. Ra2 $1 (34. Nf4 Qb7 $11) 34... e5 35. e4 Qd4 36. Rxa3 Qxe4 37. Rc2 $16) 33. Rxb5 $2 {With very little time on the clock, Magnus goes wrong.} (33. Rcc2 $1 {was the winning move.} Bxa3 (33... Ba1 34. Nf4 $18) 34. Nf4 $1 Qxb4 (34... Qe7 35. Rc8 Bxb4 36. Rdd8 $18 {The two rooks on the 8th rank + the knight create a deadly combo.}) 35. Rd7 Qe4 (35... Bb2 36. Rcc7 Qe4 37. Rxf7+ Kg8 38. Rg7+ $18) 36. Rcc7 $18 { The two rooks on 7th + knight create a deadly combo.}) 33... Bxa3 $1 34. Rd1 Qd7 $1 (34... e5 35. Ra5 Qc6 (35... e4 36. Rxa4 $18) 36. Rc5 Qd7 37. e4 { White is fine.}) 35. Rc5 e5 $5 (35... Bxb4 $1 $17 {Nepo could have captured this pawn and at this point it is clear that he cannot be worse. However, it seems to me that Ian got ambitious once again.}) 36. Rc2 Qd5 $6 (36... Bxb4 $1) (36... e4 37. Nb2 Qe6 38. Nc4 Bxb4 $15) 37. Rdd2 {Now the position is fine for White.} Qb3 38. Ra2 e4 39. Nc5 Qxb4 40. Nxe4 {The final move before the time control. Remember, they have no increments to play with. Both players had come down to their last few seconds as they completed their 40th move.} (40. Rdc2 $1 $16 {was surprisingly a winning move. The reason is that the bishop on a3 is trapped.} f5 41. Nxa4 $1 Qxa4 42. Rc3 Qd1 43. Rcxa3 $18 {This position of two rooks vs the queen looks technically lost.}) 40... Qb3 41. Rac2 Bf8 42. Nc5 Qb5 43. Nd3 a3 44. Nf4 Qa5 45. Ra2 Bb4 46. Rd3 (46. Rd5 Qa6 47. Nxh5+ Kh6 48. Nf4 Qc4 49. Ra1 Qc3 50. Ra2 Qb3 51. Ra1 Qb2 $17 52. Rdd1 Qxf2+) 46... Kh6 47. Rd1 Qa4 48. Rda1 {Magnus has a simple plan. Move his knight from f4 to e2 to d4 to c2 and win the a3 pawn.} Bd6 49. Kg1 Qb3 50. Ne2 Qd3 51. Nd4 Kh7 52. Kh2 (52. Nc2 Be5 $11) 52... Qe4 $6 (52... Kg8 {And it doesn't seem like White can make any progress.} 53. Nc2 Be5 54. Nd4 Bd6 $11) 53. Rxa3 $1 {Magnus takes all the half chances that are there in a position.} Qxh4+ (53... Bxa3 54. Rxa3 $16 { This is one way traffic as White will reroute his knight to f4 and win the h5 pawn. and will then have a knight, rook and two pawns for a queen.}) 54. Kg1 Qe4 55. Ra4 Be5 56. Ne2 Qc2 57. R1a2 Qb3 58. Kg2 Qd5+ 59. f3 $6 {This move is questionable. On one hand you make some progress and there are no more checks to the white king, but on the other hand, the white king gets exposed.} (59. Kh2 Kg8 60. Nf4 Bxf4 {You take this when White cannot recapture on f4 with a rook.} 61. exf4 Kg7 $11) 59... Qd1 60. f4 Bc7 61. Kf2 Bb6 62. Ra1 Qb3 63. Re4 Kg7 64. Re8 f5 65. Raa8 {Magnus tries to launch a mating attack against the black king, but it is well proected.} Qb4 66. Rac8 Ba5 67. Rc1 Bb6 68. Re5 Qb3 69. Re8 Qd5 70. Rcc8 Qh1 71. Rc1 Qd5 72. Rb1 Ba7 73. Re7 Bc5 74. Re5 Qd3 75. Rb7 Qc2 76. Rb5 Ba7 77. Ra5 Bb6 78. Rab5 Ba7 79. Rxf5 Qd3 $1 {Now Bxe3 is a massive threat and you cannot stop it as both rooks on b5 and f5 are under attack.} 80. Rxf7+ $1 {A great decision to transpose the game into a risk free situation.} Kxf7 81. Rb7+ Kg6 82. Rxa7 {We are now basically playing for two results. Either it is a draw, or White can keep pressing.} Qd5 83. Ra6+ Kh7 ( 83... Kf5 $5 84. Nd4+ (84. g4+ $5 Kxg4 $1 $11 (84... hxg4 $4 85. Ng3#)) 84... Kg4 85. Rg6+ Kh3 86. Rg5 Qg2+ 87. Ke1 Qh1+ 88. Ke2 Kg2 $11) 84. Ra1 Kg6 85. Nd4 Qb7 86. Ra2 Qh1 87. Ra6+ Kf7 88. Nf3 Qb1 89. Rd6 Kg7 90. Rd5 Qa2+ 91. Rd2 Qb1 92. Re2 Qb6 (92... Qe4 {to stop the e-pawn from advancing is also possible.}) 93. Rc2 Qb1 94. Nd4 Qh1 95. Rc7+ Kf6 96. Rc6+ Kf7 97. Nf3 Qb1 98. Ng5+ Kg7 99. Ne6+ Kf7 100. Nd4 Qh1 101. Rc7+ Kf6 102. Nf3 Qb1 103. Rd7 Qb2+ 104. Rd2 Qb1 105. Ng1 Qb4 106. Rd1 Qb3 107. Rd6+ Kg7 108. Rd4 Qb2+ 109. Ne2 Qb1 110. e4 Qh1 111. Rd7+ Kg8 112. Rd4 Qh2+ 113. Ke3 h4 114. gxh4 Qh3+ 115. Kd2 Qxh4 { Technically this position is drawn. Also tablebases confirm this assessment. However, Black has to be accurate on every move, while it is much easier to play as White here.} 116. Rd3 Kf8 117. Rf3 Qd8+ 118. Ke3 Qa5 119. Kf2 Qa7+ 120. Re3 Qd7 121. Ng3 Qd2+ 122. Kf3 Qd1+ 123. Re2 Qb3+ 124. Kg2 Qb7 125. Rd2 Qb3 126. Rd5 Ke7 127. Re5+ Kf7 128. Rf5+ Ke8 {Although the position is still drawn, Magnus mentioned in the post game conference that he felt confident after he got his rook to f5 and the knight to g3.} 129. e5 Qa2+ 130. Kh3 Qe6 $2 { You can pinpoint this as the official move after which Nepo is lost. However, in such situations, sooner or later you are bound to go wrong. The main defensive idea is to keep the queen in a way that it attacks White's position from the rear. Like it will pin the knight and then a rook and two pawns alone cannot do the trick.} (130... Qc2 $1 131. Kg4 Qg2 $11) (130... Qb1 131. Kh4 Qe1 $11) 131. Kh4 Qh6+ 132. Nh5 Qh7 133. e6 $1 Qg6 134. Rf7 Kd8 (134... Qxe6 135. Ng7+ $18) 135. f5 Qg1 136. Ng7 {The king will escape and reach g8 soon and then e7 is coming up, So Nepo resigned.} 1-0 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.04"] [Round "7"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.04"] {The seventh game of the match was one of the quietest yet, and Magnus certainly made his easiest draw so far with the black pieces.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Rb8 {Magnus repeats the same line from game five. It shows a lot of confidence on his part to keep playing the same black openings over and over again, even when he is often getting somewhat uncomfortable positions.} 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 d6 11. d3 (11. c3 {This was Nepo's choice in game five, and he got a nice position. I'm a little surprised he was the first to deviate.}) 11... h6 12. Nc3 Re8 { This is a very typical Ruy Lopez regrouping.} 13. Nd5 Bf8 14. Nxf6+ Qxf6 15. c3 Ne7 16. Be3 Be6 {So far, both sides are following the first line of the machine pretty consistently. Stockfish offers White a small advantage, but Black is very solid, and all it takes is one slightly careless move for it to become totally equal.} 17. d4 $2 {This is a very natural idea, but a touch impatient, and just like that, Black is fine.} (17. Bc2 {I would suggest this as a possible improvement. Now, White is ready for d3-d4 next to take more central space without letting Black take on b3. As a result, Black is not able to trade pieces, and White will have no issue defending the e4-pawn. He looks a little better to me, though after} Ng6 18. d4 Ra8 {Black's position is still very solid.} (18... exd4 19. cxd4 c5 {This kind of thing is much less effective when the light-squared bishops remain on the board. After} 20. Ra7 { White looks a bit better. c5-c4 is a non-starter here, unlike the game.})) 17... exd4 $1 18. cxd4 Bxb3 19. Qxb3 Ng6 {Defending e4 turns out to be a bit annoying.} 20. Rec1 c5 $1 {Now, since the bishops are off the board, White can't just protect the e4 pawn and hope for some edge since c5-c4 is a real idea.} 21. e5 {This all but forces a draw, but White has nothing better. I think it shows some maturity on Nepo's part. Right after losing, it's hard to just admit you got nowhere with White and give your opponent an easy draw, and then play Black again the next day, but it's a lot better to do this than to get another bad position, which was the other option. His best hope is to hold with Black tomorrow and then hope to get more chances in his three remaining white games.} (21. Qc2 c4 $1 $15 {The same position where Black still has a bishop on e6 and White has a bishop on e2, for example, would be great for White thanks to some combination of d4-d5, Ra1-a7, Nf3-d4, b2-b3, etc. But without the bishops, d4-d5 does not gain time and Ng6-e5 in response sees Black quick to take over the initiative and pounce on the weakened d3-square.}) 21... Qf5 22. dxc5 {Maybe someone more creative than me could find something interesting to say about the rest of the game, but I certainly cannot.} dxc5 23. Bxc5 Bxc5 24. Rxc5 Nxe5 25. Nxe5 Rxe5 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 27. Qc3 Qxc3 28. bxc3 Rc8 29. Ra5 Rxc3 30. Rxb5 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Rc3 32. h4 g6 33. g3 h5 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Ra5 Kf6 36. Rb5 Kg7 37. Ra5 Kf6 38. Rb5 Kg7 39. Ra5 Kf6 40. Ra6+ Kg7 41. Ra7 { I'll be interested to see if Magnus can make any trouble for Nepo in the opening tomorrow. Yesterday's victory was certainly not due to superior preparation.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "Dubai UAE"] [Site "Dubai UAE"] [Date "2021.12.04"] [Round "7"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Crowther,Mark"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Rb8 9. axb5 ({Relevant:} 9. c3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. axb5 axb5 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 c6 14. d4 Bd6 15. Re1 Qh4 16. g3 Qh3 17. Re4 g5 18. Qf1 Qxf1+ 19. Kxf1 Bf5 20. Nd2 Bxe4 21. Nxe4 Be7 22. Bxg5 Bxg5 23. Nxg5 Ra8 24. Rd1 Nb6 25. Re1 Nc4 26. Bxc4 bxc4 27. Nf3 Rfb8 28. Ne5 Rxb2 29. Nxc4 Rc2 30. Re3 Ra1+ 31. Kg2 Rac1 32. Re8+ Kg7 33. Ne5 Rxc3 34. Re7 R3c2 35. Rxf7+ Kg8 36. Rc7 h5 37. Nd7 Rd1 38. Nf6+ Kf8 {Duda,J (2738)-Carlsen,M (2847) Krasnaya Polyana 2021 1/2-1/2 (65)}) 9... axb5 10. h3 d6 11. d3 $5 {Nepomniachtchi tries a different approach. This position has been seen quite a bit via a different move order but not at an elite level.} (11. c3 {was game 5.} b4 12. d3 bxc3 13. bxc3 d5 14. Nbd2 dxe4 15. dxe4 Bd6 16. Qc2 h6 17. Nf1 Ne7 18. Ng3 Ng6 19. Be3 Qe8 20. Red1 Be6 21. Ba4 Bd7 22. Nd2 Bxa4 23. Qxa4 Qxa4 24. Rxa4 Ra8 25. Rda1 Rxa4 26. Rxa4 Rb8 27. Ra6 Ne8 28. Kf1 Nf8 29. Nf5 Ne6 30. Nc4 Rd8 31. f3 f6 32. g4 Kf7 33. h4 Bf8 34. Ke2 Nd6 35. Ncxd6+ Bxd6 36. h5 Bf8 37. Ra5 Ke8 38. Rd5 Ra8 39. Rd1 Ra2+ 40. Rd2 Ra1 41. Rd1 Ra2+ 42. Rd2 Ra1 43. Rd1 {1/2-1/2 (43) Nepomniachtchi,I (2782) -Carlsen,M (2855) Dubai UAE 2021}) 11... h6 {Looks like the best reply.} (11... Be6 {has been played the most here but that stat is largely irrelevant to this situation.}) 12. Nc3 Re8 13. Nd5 Bf8 14. Nxf6+ $146 {A controversial decision - breaking the tension seems only to help black. Although the question as to whether this was preparation remains open it seems unlikely, especially as he consumed 13 minutes making the move. Perhaps Nepomniachtchi wanted to make sure he didn't lose a second game in a row. To add to the confusion Nepomniachtchi wondered to Carlsen after the game as to whether this wasn't much good.} ({Predecessor:} 14. c3 Be6 15. Nh2 Bxd5 16. exd5 Ne7 17. Qf3 Ng6 { 1-0 (62)}) (14. Bd2) (14. Be3 {leads to greater complications at least.} Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Nb4 16. Ba7 (16. Bb3 c5) 16... Nxd5 17. Bxb8 Nf4) 14... Qxf6 15. c3 Ne7 16. Be3 Be6 17. d4 exd4 18. cxd4 {Nepomniachtchi took 7 minutes over this move, with plenty of time on the clock he probably should have spent much longer as the game quickly simplifies to a draw now.} (18. Nxd4 {is the last chance to keep any tension.} Bxb3 19. Qxb3 b4 {was briefly discussed by the players after the game.} (19... c6 {is the computer suggestion.} 20. Ra6 c5) 20. c4 (20. cxb4 c5) 20... Qe5 {mentioned by the players. At least there is still some interest here.} 21. Qd3 (21. f3 g5 $11) 21... Ra8 22. Nb5 Rxa1 23. Rxa1 Rc8) 18... Bxb3 19. Qxb3 Ng6 20. Rec1 (20. Rac1 Rxe4 21. Rxc7 Re7 $11) ( 20. Qc2 c5) 20... c5 $11 21. e5 {Pretty much all the pieces will be traded off now.} (21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Bxc5 Nf4 $11) 21... Qf5 22. dxc5 dxc5 23. Bxc5 Bxc5 24. Rxc5 Nxe5 {With Nf3+ available there's no danger this pin will become dangerous.} 25. Nxe5 Rxe5 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 {The players can't agree a draw until move 40 but the game is really as good as over here.} 27. Qc3 Qxc3 28. bxc3 Rc8 29. Ra5 Rxc3 30. Rxb5 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Rc3 32. h4 g6 33. g3 h5 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Ra5 Kf6 36. Rb5 Kg7 37. Ra5 Kf6 38. Rb5 Kg7 39. Ra5 Kf6 40. Ra6+ Kg7 41. Ra7 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.12.04"] [Round "7"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [Source "ChessBase"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {Nepomniachtchi reste sur sa partie Espagnole, la 4e du match.} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 {Le Russe joue 8.a4 pour la 3e fois du match.} Rb8 {Et Carlsen rejoue Tb8, comme dans la 5e partie.} (8... Bb7 {(Nepomniachtchi-Carlsen 3e partie du match)}) 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 d6 11. d3 {C'est le Russe qui dévie le premier en optant pour 11. d3 plutôt que son précédent 11.c3.} (11. c3 b4 12. d3 bxc3 13. bxc3 d5 { 1/2-1/2 (43) Nepomniachtchi,I (2782)-Carlsen,M (2855) Dubai 2021}) 11... h6 { Les Noirs restent sur le plan classique Te8 Ff8 et veulent empêcher Cg5 et Fg5.} 12. Nc3 {En ne jouant pas c3, les Blancs n'autorisent pas l'activation de la Tb8 par b4. Notons que la Ta1 est active. L'absence d'un pion blanc en c3 donne un peu d'air au Cc6 qui peut envisager Cd4/Cb4 si besoin.} Re8 13. Nd5 {Si Cxd5 Fxd5 les Blancs gagnent un temps sur le Cc6 et ont une position plus agréable.} Bf8 (13... Nxd5 14. Bxd5 {avec léger avantage blanc} Bb7 (14... Nb4 15. Bb3 c5 16. c3) 15. c3 Ra8 16. Rxa8 Qxa8 17. Nh2 Nd8 18. Bb3 Bc8 19. Ng4 Be6 20. Bxe6 Nxe6 21. Bxh6 gxh6 22. Nxh6+ Kh7 23. Nf5 Ng7 24. Qg4 Bf6 25. Re3 $17 Qa1+ $6 26. Kh2 Qc1 $11 {1/2-1/2 (77) Neiksans,A (2560)-Kujawski,A (2325) Warsaw 2013}) 14. Nxf6+ (14. c3 Be6 15. Nh2 Bxd5 16. exd5 Ne7 17. Qf3 Ng6 18. Be3 Nh4 19. Qe2 Qc8 20. Ng4 Nxg4 21. hxg4 g5 22. g3 {1-0 (62) Vachier Lagrave, M (2718)-Telecom Sud Paris Paris 2013}) 14... Qxf6 {Le placement de la Dame sur f6 comporte des inconvénients. Elle ne soutient plus la poussée d5 et ne protège plus c7 dans certaines variantes avec Ta7.} (14... gxf6 $4 15. Nh4 $18 ) 15. c3 {Les Blancs reviennent sur le plan classique d'Espagnole c3-d4.} (15. g4 {ne manquerait pas d'intérêt mais serait clairement à double tranchant et pourrait aussi s'exposer à un retour de bâton.}) 15... Ne7 ({Maintenant si } 15... b4 16. Ba4 $1 Bd7 17. d4 (17. cxb4 $5 Rxb4 18. Bd2 Rxb2 19. Bxc6 Bxc6 20. Qc1 Rb6 21. Be3) 17... bxc3 18. bxc3 $14 {menace d5. Léger avantage blanc. }) (15... Be6 16. Ra6 Ne7 {et par exemple} 17. Be3 (17. Ra7 c5) 17... Ra8 18. Qa1 $1 Rxa6 19. Qxa6 Bxh3 (19... Bxb3 $2 20. Qxb5) 20. Qxb5 c6 21. Qb7 $13) 16. Be3 Be6 (16... c5 {jouable}) ({mais pas} 16... Ng6 $2 17. Ba7 Rb7 18. Bd5 c6 $2 19. Bxc6) 17. d4 {Les Noirs sont un peu sous pression.} (17. Ra6 $5 {qui transpose dans la note du 15e coup} Ra8 18. Qa1) 17... exd4 $1 {Carlsen a correctement jugé qu'il pouvait tolérer temporairement le centre parfait blanc pour le disloquer peu après.} (17... Ng6 18. Bxe6 Qxe6 19. d5 Qd7 { serait mieux pour les Blancs avec l'avantage d'espace et bon Fou contre mauvais Fou.} 20. Qd3 f5 21. Ra7 $14) 18. cxd4 Bxb3 19. Qxb3 Ng6 {Attaque e4.} 20. Rec1 (20. Qc2 c5 $1 21. e5 {Les Noirs n'ont pas Df5 ici.} (21. d5 $2 Ra8 $15) (21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Bxc5 Rbc8 23. b4 Bxc5 24. bxc5 Nf4 $11 {égalise confortablement, les Noirs vont reprendre leur pion}) 21... dxe5 22. dxc5 e4 23. Nd4 {les Noirs peuvent tenir avec Ce5 ou b4 mais le pion passé blanc c5 leur procure quelques chances pratiques.}) 20... c5 21. e5 $5 (21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Bxc5 Rxe4 $11) 21... Qf5 $1 {Une très bonne case pour la Dame noire.} ( 21... dxe5 22. dxc5 {pion passé}) 22. dxc5 dxc5 23. Bxc5 Bxc5 (23... Nxe5 { convient aussi mais laisse} 24. Nd4) 24. Rxc5 Nxe5 {La menace Cxf3+ puis Dxc5 force les échanges de pièces.} 25. Nxe5 (25. Rxb5 $4 Rxb5 26. Qxb5 Nxf3+) 25... Rxe5 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 {La position est complètement égale et plate. La partie continue parce que les joueurs ne peuvent pas proposer nulle avant le 40e coup.} 27. Qc3 (27. Ra7 $2 Qe1+ 28. Kh2 Qxf2 $17) 27... Qxc3 28. bxc3 Rc8 29. Ra5 Rxc3 30. Rxb5 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Rc3 32. h4 g6 33. g3 h5 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Ra5 Kf6 36. Rb5 Kg7 37. Ra5 Kf6 38. Rb5 Kg7 39. Ra5 Kf6 40. Ra6+ Kg7 41. Ra7 { Après le combat de titans de la veille, une journée calme pour les deux joueurs. Carlsen n'est pas tombé dans l'euphorie de vouloir regagner tout de suite (de toute façon il ne pouvait pas avec cette position !) tandis que Nepomniachtchi n'est pas parti à l'abordage de manière inconsidérée. Carlsen mène 4-3.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "World Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.03"] [Round "7"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C88"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.04"] {After a marathon game in the sixth round it is natural that both players are tired. Also Nepo may want to change his opening and play more aggressively for the win, but he might do it after the rest day in the 8th game. For today he stuck to his Anti-Marshall.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 Rb8 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 d6 11. d3 {This is Ian's improvement over the previous game. He had played c3 and that had given his opponent a chance to hit with b4. So this time he decides to begin with d3. } (11. c3 b4 12. d3 bxc3 13. bxc3 d5 14. Nbd2 dxe4 15. dxe4 Bd6 16. Qc2 h6 17. Nf1 Ne7 18. Ng3 Ng6 19. Be3 Qe8 20. Red1 Be6 21. Ba4 Bd7 22. Nd2 Bxa4 23. Qxa4 Qxa4 24. Rxa4 Ra8 25. Rda1 Rxa4 26. Rxa4 Rb8 27. Ra6 Ne8 28. Kf1 Nf8 29. Nf5 Ne6 30. Nc4 Rd8 31. f3 f6 32. g4 Kf7 33. h4 Bf8 34. Ke2 Nd6 35. Ncxd6+ Bxd6 36. h5 Bf8 37. Ra5 Ke8 38. Rd5 Ra8 39. Rd1 Ra2+ 40. Rd2 Ra1 41. Rd1 Ra2+ 42. Rd2 Ra1 43. Rd1 {1/2-1/2 (43) Nepomniachtchi,I (2782)-Carlsen,M (2855) World Championship 2021 2021}) 11... h6 12. Nc3 Re8 13. Nd5 Bf8 14. Nxf6+ (14. c3 Be6 15. Nh2 Bxd5 16. exd5 Ne7 17. Qf3 Ng6 18. Be3 Nh4 19. Qe2 Qc8 20. Ng4 Nxg4 21. hxg4 g5 22. g3 Ng6 23. Bc2 Bg7 24. Ra7 b4 25. Bc1 Ra8 26. Ra4 bxc3 27. bxc3 Qb7 28. Qe4 Ne7 29. Rxa8 Rxa8 30. d4 Ng6 31. Be3 Ra5 32. dxe5 Bxe5 33. c4 Qb2 34. Kg2 Ra2 35. Bd3 Ra1 36. Rxa1 Qxa1 37. Qf5 Kg7 38. Qd7 Bd4 39. Bxg6 Kxg6 40. Bxd4 Qxd4 41. Qxc7 Qe4+ 42. Kh2 Qd4 43. Qxd6+ f6 44. Kg1 Qxc4 45. Qe6 Kg7 46. Qe7+ Kg6 47. Qe8+ Kg7 48. Qd7+ Kg6 49. d6 Qe2 50. Qf5+ Kg7 51. Qd5 Qe8 52. d7 Qd8 53. Qe6 Kf8 54. Qd6+ Kf7 55. Kf1 Kg7 56. Ke2 Kf7 57. Kd3 Kg7 58. Kc4 Kf7 59. Kb5 Kg7 60. Ka6 Kf7 61. Kb7 Kg7 62. Qc7 {1-0 (62) Vachier Lagrave,M (2718) -Telecom Sud Paris Paris 2013}) 14... Qxf6 15. c3 Ne7 (15... Be6 {was also possible.}) 16. Be3 Be6 17. d4 exd4 18. cxd4 Bxb3 19. Qxb3 Ng6 {Attacking the e4 pawn.} 20. Rec1 {This led to a draw pretty quickly after Carlsen's next accurate move.} (20. Rac1 $5 {was the best move perhaps.} c5 (20... Rxe4 21. Rxc7 {is the kind of position where you can try to press your opponent a bit.}) 21. dxc5 dxc5 22. Bxc5 $16 {Now the e4 pawn is defended.}) (20. Qd3 c5 $1 $11) (20. Nd2 c5 $1 $11) 20... c5 $1 {After this move Black seems to have solved all his problems.} (20... Rxe4 21. Rxc7 Re7 22. Rc6 {Black should have some slight pressure here.}) 21. e5 Qf5 $1 {The most straightforward way for Black to equalize.} (21... dxe5 22. dxc5 e4 23. Nd4 Red8 $11) 22. dxc5 (22. exd6 c4 $1 23. Qb4 Qf6 24. Ra6 Re6 $17) 22... dxc5 23. Bxc5 Bxc5 24. Rxc5 Nxe5 25. Nxe5 (25. Rxb5 $2 Rxb5 26. Qxb5 Nxf3+ $19) 25... Rxe5 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 $11 {Eveything is exchanged and the game ends in a draw.} 27. Qc3 Qxc3 28. bxc3 Rc8 29. Ra5 Rxc3 30. Rxb5 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Rc3 32. h4 g6 33. g3 h5 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Ra5 Kf6 36. Rb5 Kg7 37. Ra5 Kf6 38. Rb5 Kg7 39. Ra5 Kf6 40. Ra6+ Kg7 41. Ra7 1/2-1/2 [Event "Dubai UAE"] [Site "Dubai UAE"] [Date "2021.12.05"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Crowther,Mark"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. Nd2 { A rare continuation that hasn't been played at the elite level. Even those games by 2300 and 2400 players didn't manage a win.} Nxd2 8. Bxd2 Bd6 {This move confused Carlsen "Black's really not supposed to go Bd6".} ({Relevant:} 8... Qe7+ 9. Qe2 Qxe2+ {1/2-1/2 (9) Bokros,A (2468)-Popchev,M (2456) Porto San Giorgio 2007}) 9. O-O h5 $146 {A true fighting choice from Nepomniachtchi played after almost 17 minutes of thought. It might even be the best move. It also might have been preparation - Nepomniachtchi wouldn't have been expecting this line and so he might have had to think a while to recall the details of the idea. "After h5 I was expecting a more tense game - Qe7 was a brilliant practical decision. To offer a draw silently."} ({Predecessor:} 9... Qh4 10. Qe1+ Kf8 11. f4 Qxe1 12. Raxe1 Re8 13. a3 a6 14. Bb4 Bxb4 15. axb4 f6 16. Rxe8+ Kxe8 17. Kf2 Kf7 18. Re1 g6 19. h4 Re8 20. Rxe8 Bxe8 21. h5 Bb5 22. hxg6+ hxg6 23. Bxb5 axb5 24. g4 g5 25. fxg5 fxg5 26. Ke3 Ke6 27. Kd3 Kd6 28. Ke3 Ke6 29. Kd3 Kd6 30. Ke3 Ke6 31. Kd3 {1/2-1/2 (31) Gergacz,A (2421)-Bodo,N (2406) Hungary 2010}) (9... O-O 10. Qh5 f5 {is the kind of trouble black can quickly get into.}) (9... Be6 10. f4 (10. Re1 Qf6 11. Qh5 $5) 10... Qf6 $11 {but you'd have to be very sure of the details.}) 10. Qe1+ {Played after a 40 minute think. With best play this is close to equal but nevertheless this is a very smart move. Nepomniachtchi has to decide what he wants from this game - I'm not sure he ever did decide. Carlsen said that he was struggling to calculate lines properly and with Qe7 he thought the game would probably finish in a draw.} (10. c4 {is most likely what will be tried next when people inevitably follow in this game's footsteps. This is not something you can blame Carlsen for turning down.}) (10. Re1+) 10... Kf8 $6 {Whilst not terribly bad in the bigger picture this is the start of Nepomniachtchi putting himself under pressure. After the game Nepomniachtchi admitted it was a bit artificial. After the game Nepomniachtchi said that he didn't see a big difference between this move and Qe7 and that he thought the game would finish in a draw anyway.} (10... Qe7 $11 {Looks the way to equality.} 11. Qxe7+ Kxe7 12. Rfe1+ Kf6 13. h4 Bf5 $11) 11. Bb4 Qe7 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Qd2 Re8 14. Rae1 Rh6 (14... Rxe1 15. Rxe1 g6 {was probably the safer route to development.}) 15. Qg5 c6 16. Rxe8+ Bxe8 17. Re1 Qf6 18. Qe3 (18. Qg3 {is the move marginally preferred by computers.} Qd6 19. Re5) 18... Bd7 19. h3 {Caruana thought this one of the most impressive moves of the game. Creating luft for the king in some important variations.} h4 (19... g5 $5 {If Nepomniachtchi truly wanted to fight today then this might have been the chance. Prospects are roughly equal according to Stockfish 13. It didn't seem like he considered it.}) (19... Qd6 { was an alternative suggested by Nepomniachtchi after the game.} 20. Qg5 Qf6 21. Qg3 Qd6 22. Re5) 20. c4 {Carlsen starts to ask some questions of Nepomniachtchi and he just collapses. Nepomniachtchi thought this had become "slightly unpleasant" by this stage.} dxc4 (20... Qd8 {is recommended by some engines - not sure it's any good.} 21. cxd5 cxd5 22. Qf4 g5) (20... g5 { is an interesting move which might well have suited Nepomniachtchi more.}) 21. Bxc4 b5 $2 {A wild lunge that is very bad. Played after 4 minutes thought. Nepomniachtchi had plenty of time, he said after the game "it's hard to defend after such a blunder."} (21... Kg8 {fixing black's back rank problems is probably the best here.}) 22. Qa3+ Kg8 23. Qxa7 Qd8 {This tamely goes down to the loss. Carlsen was super concentrated from now on. A really good lesson for us all. This is a win and he made very sure he didn't grant a single chance to his opponent.} (23... Bxh3 {Probably had to be tried but it seems white should win.} 24. Qxf7+ $1 (24. Re8+ Kh7 25. Qxf7 {also works.}) 24... Qxf7 25. Re8+ Kh7 26. Bxf7 Bf5 {and there's still work to be done.}) (23... bxc4 24. Qxd7 { Nepomniachtchi said the he "forgot" his bishop was hanging in this line. This was a really poor piece of calculation.}) 24. Bb3 $1 {An easy move but clearly the best too.} Rd6 (24... Rh5 {This was surely a better shot.} 25. Qa3 Rg5) 25. Re4 Be6 {Exchanging more pieces if forced is very bad news for black.} (25... Rg6 {going for a counter attack could be tried although} 26. Rf4 $1 Rf6 27. Rxf6 gxf6 28. Qc5 {is over.}) (25... g6 26. Rf4 {is an immediate end.}) 26. Bxe6 Rxe6 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qc5 {Carlsen took his time again. There are a number of roads to the win but Carlsen wasn't going to rush. This is the best move.} Qa5 (28... Qe8 {Nothing is going to work here against best play but perhaps holding onto the material for the moment was a try.}) 29. Qxc6 Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Qxf2 {Really the only chance is perpetual check but Nepomniachtchi doesn't come close.} 31. Qxe6+ Kh7 32. Qe4+ Kg8 33. b3 (33. b4) (33. d5 Qxb2 34. d6 Qd2 35. Qe6+ Kh7 36. d7 {also wins but there will be checks.}) 33... Qxa2 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. Qxb5 Qf2 36. Qe5 Qb2 37. Qe4+ Kg8 38. Qd3 Qf2 39. Qc3 (39. Qd1) 39... Qf4+ 40. Kg1 Kh7 41. Qd3+ g6 42. Qd1 {White is so winning here he can afford to cut out all the checks.} Qe3+ 43. Kh1 g5 {The last desperate chance is to open up white's king.} 44. d5 g4 45. hxg4 h3 46. Qf3 {Finishes things immediately.} 1-0 [Event "World Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.01"] [Round "5"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.05"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 (3. Nxe5) 3... Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. Nd2 {played in only 48 games out of 4800+ games.} (7. O-O {is the main move by a huge margin.}) 7... Nxd2 (7... f5 $5) 8. Bxd2 Bd6 (8... Qe7+) (8... Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Qh5 (10. Bf4)) (8... Qf6) 9. O-O h5 (9... O-O 10. Qh5 f5 11. Bg5 $14) 10. Qe1+ (10. Re1+ Kf8) 10... Kf8 (10... Qe7 11. Qd1 (11. Qxe7+ Kxe7 12. Rae1+ Be6 (12... Kf8) 13. f4) 11... O-O-O) 11. Bb4 Qe7 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Qd2 Re8 14. Rae1 Rh6 15. Qg5 c6 16. Rxe8+ Bxe8 17. Re1 Qf6 18. Qe3 (18. Qg3 Qd6 ) 18... Bd7 19. h3 h4 20. c4 dxc4 21. Bxc4 b5 $2 (21... Kg8 $1 22. Qe7 Qxe7 ( 22... Be6 23. Bxe6 (23. Qxf6 Rxf6) 23... Qxe7) 23. Rxe7 Rd6 24. Rxf7 Kh7) 22. Qa3+ Kg8 (22... Qd6 23. Qxa7 g5) 23. Qxa7 Qd8 (23... Bxh3 24. Qxf7+ $1 (24. Re8+ Kh7 25. Bxf7 (25. Qxf7) 25... Rg6 $1 26. Rh8+ (26. Bxg6+ Qxg6 $19) 26... Kxh8 27. Qa8+ Kh7 28. Qg8+ Kh6 29. Qh8+ Kg5 30. Bxg6 Qxg6 31. gxh3 $11) (24. gxh3 bxc4) 24... Qxf7 25. Re8+ Kh7 26. Bxf7 Bf5 $16) 24. Bb3 Rd6 25. Re4 (25. Qc5 $5) 25... Be6 26. Bxe6 Rxe6 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qc5 Qa5 29. Qxc6 Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Qxf2 31. Qxe6+ Kh7 32. Qe4+ Kg8 33. b3 Qxa2 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. Qxb5 Qf2 36. Qe5 Qb2 37. Qe4+ Kg8 38. Qd3 Qf2 39. Qc3 Qf4+ 40. Kg1 Kh7 41. Qd3+ g6 42. Qd1 Qe3+ 43. Kh1 g5 44. d5 g4 45. hxg4 h3 46. Qf3 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai, United Arab Emirates"] [Date "2021.12.05"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [Source "ChessBase"] {[%evp 0,91,19,21,28,24,35,40,40,10,4,4,4,26,14,17,28,20,30,30,82,28,25,25,18, 32,32,25,35,34,60,61,60,44,39,54,69,69,69,49,59,75,91,68,115,105,119,117,129, 138,156,122,122,122,114,112,112,102,187,187,189,181,180,186,193,189,189,211, 220,225,234,234,241,241,246,244,243,207,215,170,184,173,204,237,251,186,187, 201,400,394,394,402,402,345]} 1. e4 {Carlsen revient sur 1.e4 comme dans la partie 4.} e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {Nepo reste sur sa Petroff.} 3. d4 {Carlsen change par rapport à son 3.Cxe5 précédent.} Nxe4 (3... exd4 4. e5 $14) 4. Bd3 (4. dxe5 {est l'autre façon de jouer} d5 5. Nbd2) 4... d5 (4... Nc6 {est amusant} 5. Bxe4 ({meilleurs sont} 5. dxe5) ({ou} 5. Nxe5) 5... d5 6. Bd3 e4 { récupère la pièce dans de bonnes conditions}) 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 (6. Nc3 $5 ) 6... Bxd7 7. Nd2 $5 {Un coup très rare, quasiment absent de la pratique des grands maîtres, et qui semble peu ambitieux car menant à une position symétrique.} (7. O-O {est le coup habituel}) 7... Nxd2 (7... f5 $5 {mais sûrement pas sans risque face à un joueur préparé}) (7... Nf6 8. O-O Be7 { semble très solide.}) 8. Bxd2 {Dans cette structure symétrique, que l'on retrouve aussi dans la Française d'échange, chaque petit détail peut faire une différence, en particulier au niveau de l'activité des pièces. Premièrement il est important de comprendre que chaque joueur aimerait bien échanger son mauvais Fou (Fd2 et Fd7). Dans cette optique, après Fd6, une thématique est Df3 idée Ff4 et la réciproque Df6 idée Ff5. Deuxièmement les Blancs (comme les Noirs) peuvent envisager c4(c5) pour bousculer la structure centrale. Troisièmement le contrôle de la seule colonne ouverte, centrale, est un enjeu.} Bd6 {Un coup naturel, joué en 3 minutes, mais possiblement une imprécision !} (8... Qe7+ $5 9. Be3 Qb4+ 10. c3 Qxb2 11. O-O Bd6 {avec une position difficile à juger. Les Blancs ont des compensations pour le pion mais dur de savoir ce qui se passe.} (11... Qxc3 $2 12. Rc1 $16)) (8... Qf6 $5 {attaque d4 mais empêche surtout Df3} 9. O-O Be6 (9... Qxd4 10. Bc3 {une position dangereuse pour les Noirs mal développés})) 9. O-O { Et soudainement Nepomniachtchi s'est rendu compte que ce n'était pas aussi simple que ça ! Il a réfléchi 17 minutes pour son prochain coup.} h5 $5 { Arrivé comme un coup de tonnerre ! Peter Svidler : "Ian est de bonnes dispositions aujourd'hui !". Objectivement, et après une analyse minutieuse, le coup peut être qualifié, sinon d'imprécision, au moins de dangereux. Mais il pimente très sérieusement la partie, créant un déséquilibre et un potentiel combat tranchant là où on pouvait ne voir qu'une pâle symétrie ! Ce type de coup correspond beaucoup plus au style de jeu naturel de Nepomniachtchi, pour rebondir sur l'observation d'Igor Nataf avant la partie.} (9... O-O {pourrait devenir pénible après la double attaque} 10. Qh5 f5 ( 10... g6 11. Qxd5) 11. Bg5 $1 Qe8 (11... Be7 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Rae1 Qb4 14. c3 Qxb2 15. Re7 $16) 12. Qf3 c6 13. Rfe1 Qg6 (13... Qb8 $14) 14. Bf4 Rae8 15. c3 $14 {et la position blanche est légèrement supérieure. Ils peuvent espérer utiliser la case e5 comme un avant-poste. Le Fd3 est meilleur que le Fd7 et les Fd6-Ff4 vont s'échanger. Les Noirs sont même proches du zugzwang.}) (9... Qh4 $5 {serait un autre coup intéressant et risqué}) 10. Qe1+ {Après une très longue réflexion de 40 minutes ! Il est certain que Carlsen s'est senti tiraillé entre l'envie d'essayer de "punir" le coup h5 en allant au combat, et celle de ne pas prendre de risque alors qu'il mène dans le match. Le dilemme a dû être cornélien.} (10. Re1+ Kf8 {L'idée des Noirs. Le Roi est assez bien sécurisé en f8.} 11. c4 {Les Blancs doivent chercher à ouvrir la position pour pouvoir atteindre le Rf8 et profiter du moins bon développement des Noirs.} Qh4 {le coup critique qui gagne d4} 12. g3 Qxd4 13. Bc3 Qg4 $1 { il est peu clair que les Blancs soient mieux}) (10. Qf3 Bg4 {un coup permis par h5, qui lutte donc lui aussi contre Df3.} 11. Rfe1+ (11. Qxd5 $4 Bxh2+) 11... Kf8 12. Qe3 Rh6 $5) (10. c4 $1 {Le bon ordre de coups ! Difficile à trouver sur l'échiquier.} Qh4 (10... dxc4 11. Bxc4 Qf6 (11... Qh4 12. Re1+ Kf8 13. Qf3 $1 {(plutôt que g3 ou h3) Une séquence de coups qui a pu échapper à Carlsen. L'attaque sur f7 et b7 procure un net avantage blanc.} Qf6 (13... Qxh2+ 14. Kf1 f6 15. Qd5) 14. Qxb7 Bc6 $1 15. Qb3 $16) 12. Re1+ Kf8 13. Qb3 $14 ) (10... Qf6 11. Re1+ Kf8 12. c5 Bf4 13. Bxf4 Qxf4 14. Qb3 Bc6 15. Qc3 $14 { meilleur Fou mais ce n'est pas si clair}) 11. g3 Qxd4 (11... Qf6 12. Re1+ Kf8 13. c5 Be7 14. Re5 $1 $16 {menace Fg5}) 12. Bc3 Qg4 13. Qxg4 hxg4 {Notez comment les Blancs ont astucieusement évité Te1+ Rf8 pour pouvoir prendre en g7 dans cette position !} 14. Bxg7 Rh5 15. Rfe1+ Kd8 (15... Be6 $2 16. Rxe6+ fxe6 17. Bg6+ Ke7 18. Bxh5 Rg8 19. Bh6 (19. Bc3 Rg5) 19... Kf6 20. Be3 $18) 16. cxd5 Rxd5 17. Be4 Rb5 18. a4 Rb6 19. Bd4 Rb4 20. Bc3 Rxa4 21. Bf6+ Kc8 22. Rxa4 Bxa4 23. Bf5+ Kb8 (23... Bd7 24. Re8#) 24. Bxg4 $18 {Le pion h2 va sprinter vers h8.}) 10... Kf8 (10... Qe7 $11 {pour viser une nulle sans histoires}) 11. Bb4 {L'échange du mauvais Fou contre le bon par l'autre côté ! Carlsen aime beaucoup cette manoeuvre dans les gambits Dame aussi. Cela empêche Dh4.} Qe7 12. Bxd6 ({Si Carlsen voulait simplifier au maximum il pouvait jouer} 12. Qxe7+ Bxe7 13. Bxe7+ Kxe7 $11 {meilleur Fou blanc mais le Roi noir va se mettre en d6.}) 12... Qxd6 13. Qd2 {Bilan : les Blancs ont échangé leur mauvais Fou, ce qui leur procure un léger avantage.} Re8 (13... Qf6 $2 {idée Ff5 mais} 14. Qb4+ Kg8 15. Qxb7 $18) 14. Rae1 {On peut voir ici que les Tours noires ne sont pas liées.} Rh6 {Joué immédiatement ! Active la Tour, profitant de l'absence du Fd2, idée The6.} (14... Rxe1 15. Rxe1 g6 {idée Rg7, avec une position solide.}) 15. Qg5 $1 {Empêche The6 (car Txe6 puis Dxh5) ! La Dame blanche est confortable en g5 et contrôle beaucoup de cases.} c6 {Protège d5 pour pouvoir jouer Df6.} (15... f6 $6 16. Rxe8+ Bxe8 17. Qd2 $14) 16. Rxe8+ Bxe8 17. Re1 Qf6 18. Qe3 (18. Qxf6 Rxf6 $11) 18... Bd7 {Les Blancs dominent la colonne ouverte centrale, ce qui est toujours un enjeu dans cette structure de pions, mais ils n'ont pas de case d'infiltration. Il est important de noter que les Noirs ne peuvent jouer ni Tg6, ni Ff5.} 19. h3 h4 (19... Qd6 20. Qg5 Qf6) 20. c4 {Magnus ne reste pas les bras croisés !} dxc4 (20... a6 21. cxd5 cxd5 {reste solide}) 21. Bxc4 {La position s'ouvre, le jeu est vivant. Les Blancs ont à présent un pion isolé en d4 mais ils jouent pour l'activité et sur le Rf8. Notons que les Noirs ont à présent le coup Tg6 possible. Les conséquences de chaque coup doivent être observées attentivement. Ici la reprise Fxc4, qui peut sembler anodine, menace Da3+ !} b5 $2 {Quel coup impulsif de Nepomniachtchi ! Sa façon de jouer très vite (3 minutes néanmoins sur ce coup - la première minute il n'était pas devant l'échiquier), ou disons au minimum son manque de patience, se retourne contre lui sur ce coup. Une gaffe terrible pour le challenger.} (21... Qd6 22. Qb3 b5 23. Bxf7 Rf6 (23... Qf6 24. Bg8 {Un pion de plus pour les Blancs et un Roi noir précaire mais une situation chaotique} Rh8 $2 25. Be6) 24. Bh5 Qxd4 25. Qc2 $14 {le Roi noir est moins confortable que le Roi blanc.}) (21... Kg8 { laisse la case e7} 22. Qe7 Be6 23. Qxf6 (23. Qe8+ Kh7 24. Bxe6 fxe6 $11) 23... Rxf6 24. Bxe6 fxe6 25. Re4 Rh6 $11 (25... g5 $2 26. Rg4 Rg6 27. f4)) (21... a6 22. Qa3+ Qd6 23. Qb3 {avec des lignes similaires mais avec un pion en a6.} b5 24. Bxf7 Rf6 25. Bh5 Qxd4 26. Bf3 $14 {avec léger avantage blanc, le Roi noir étant plus exposé, mais tout reste à faire}) 22. Qa3+ $1 (22. Bb3 {même ici, selon Anand, on peut questionner les affaiblissements du coup b5.}) 22... Kg8 (22... Qd6 23. Qxa7 g5 $16 (23... bxc4 24. Qa8+ {mate.})) 23. Qxa7 Qd8 { N'arrange pas la situation des Noirs. "Une erreur n'arrive jamais seule".} ({ Il aurait fallu tenter} 23... Bxh3 24. Qxf7+ (24. Re8+ Kh7 {et si} 25. Bxf7 $2 (25. Qxf7 $16) 25... Rg6 $1 (25... Qg5 $2 26. Rh8+ Kxh8 27. Qb8+ Kh7 28. Qg8#) 26. Rh8+ (26. Bxg6+ $2 Qxg6 27. g3 Qb1+ 28. Kh2 Qf1 $19) 26... Kxh8 27. Qb8+ Kh7 28. Qg8+ Kh6 29. Qh8+ Kg5) (24. gxh3 $2 bxc4 $11) 24... Qxf7 25. Re8+ $1 ( 25. Bxf7+ Kxf7 26. gxh3 $14) 25... Kh7 26. Bxf7 Bf5 $16 {avec net avantage blanc mais encore besoin de le transformer en victoire.}) 24. Bb3 {Les Blancs ont juste un pion net de plus avec 3 pièces plus actives, soit une position gagnante.} Rd6 {[%cal Rd6d4]} (24... Rg6 {ne menace pas Fxh3 car Fxf7+}) 25. Re4 {Après 10 minutes.} Be6 26. Bxe6 Rxe6 (26... fxe6 27. Qc5 $18 {La position noire est très affaiblie.}) 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qc5 {Recentralise la Dame et ne permet pas Dd5.} Qa5 {Sacrifie un 2e pion pour trouver du contre-jeu.} (28... Qd7 29. b3 $18 {suivi de a4 etc.}) 29. Qxc6 Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Qxf2 31. Qxe6+ Kh7 32. Qe4+ {Recentralise sur échec.} Kg8 33. b3 Qxa2 (33... b4 34. d5 Qd2 35. Qe5 (35. Qe8+ Kh7 36. Qh5+ Kg8 37. Qxh4 Qxd5 38. Qxb4 Qe5+ 39. Kg1 Qa1+ 40. Kf2 Qxa2+ 41. Kg3 $18) 35... Qxa2 36. Qb8+ Kh7 37. Qxb4 $18) ( 33... Qg3+ 34. Kg1 {et pas d'échec}) 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. Qxb5 Qf2 36. Qe5 { Encore et toujours la centralisation, et bien sûr la protection de f4/g3.} Qb2 37. Qe4+ Kg8 38. Qd3 {Protège tout et prépare la poussée du pion d4.} (38. Qxh4 Qxb3 {doit gagner aussi mais pourquoi échanger un pion passé ?}) 38... Qf2 39. Qc3 {contrôle e1.} (39. d5 $2 Qe1 $1 (39... Qf4+ 40. Kg1 Qc1+ 41. Kf2 Qf4+ {gagne mais oblige à calculer plein d'échecs}) 40. d6 Qe5+ 41. Kg1 Qe1+ 42. Qf1 Qe3+ 43. Qf2 Qxb3 44. Qxh4 $2 Qd1+) 39... Qf4+ 40. Kg1 {Les Noirs n'ont plus d'échec.} Kh7 41. Qd3+ g6 42. Qd1 {Protège toujours les pions b et d et contrôle la 1ere rangée.} Qe3+ 43. Kh1 g5 44. d5 g4 {dernière tentative} 45. hxg4 ({mais pas} 45. Qxg4 $4 Qe1+ 46. Kh2 Qe5+ 47. g3 Qb2+ 48. Kg1 Qb1+ 49. Kf2 Qc2+ 50. Ke3 Qxb3+ 51. Ke4 Qc4+ 52. Ke3 $11) 45... h3 46. Qf3 $1 {Met fin à la partie. Les Blancs ont trop de pions d'avance et les Noirs ne peuvent plus avoir d'échec perpétuel. Une partie très animée où l'on retiendra malheureusement pour le joueur russe sa gaffe 21...b5? qui a totalement désagrégé sa position. Un aveuglement qui coûte très cher puisque Carlsen mène à présent 2-0 avec 6 parties restantes.} (46. gxh3 $6 { gagne aussi mais suspect} Qxh3+ 47. Kg1 Qg3+ 48. Kf1) 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Chess Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.05"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C43"] [WhiteElo "2856"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "91"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.05"] {[%evp 0,91,19,38,25,7,21,10,20,20,20,20,8,5,5,10,15,14,32,31,70,39,39,31,24, 12,22,37,31,29,60,65,70,63,63,66,63,62,62,63,69,64,106,73,132,117,112,100,128, 135,184,108,126,134,127,123,105,99,187,189,181,183,195,187,195,187,207,187,214, 222,230,219,234,230,237,242,257,205,214,171,171,171,191,185,229,200,206,221, 333,389,370,335,335,331] I think Nepo tilted a little bit in game 8. He had thus far played a very good match, only losing a single game, and it took 136 moves for him to go down-the longest game in world championship history, in fact. But today, he looked like a shadow of himself, and made a lot of poor decisions, and Magnus more or less cruised through.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. Nd2 $5 {This is a very rare move with basically no games played by anyone notable, but it's actually quite a bit more challenging than it looks. It's funny that White aims to make the game *more* symmetrical in the Petroff as an attempt to fight for an advantage, but in this particular case, it does seem quite challenging.} Nxd2 8. Bxd2 { Now, Nepo played Bd6 very quickly, but I already think this is a mistake.} Bd6 $2 (8... Qe7+ $1 {I think this surprising move is the best way to fight for equality. White has to move his king to avoid a queen exchange.} 9. Kf1 (9. Be3 {I suppose this is possible too, but after} Qb4+ 10. Qd2 Qxd2+ 11. Kxd2 Bd6 $11 {Black should be totally fine in spite of the machine's insistence on +0.2.}) 9... O-O-O {Black should be okay here. I suspect Magnus was aiming for this position and found some interesting way to coordinate his pieces that makes Black find some move or two, but it's hard to imagine Black can really have too many major issure here. At least the opposite-side castling allows for some dynamism.}) 9. O-O {Now, suddenly things do not look so easy for Black. He cannot castle due to Qh5, winning a pawn, and otherwise Re1+ is coming.} h5 $1 {This strikes me as the best practical decision. Black keeps the queen off of h5, and can hope for Qh4 to come next. Then, it will be a bit annoying for White to stop the mate threat since g2-g3 will eventually walk into h5-h4.} ({ Stockfish 14:} 9... Qf6 10. Qh5 Be6 11. Rae1 O-O-O 12. Bg5 Qxd4 13. Bxd8 Kxd8 14. Qg5+ Kd7 15. Bf5 Qxb2 16. Qg4 Re8 17. c4 Qxa2 18. Bxe6+ fxe6 19. cxd5 Qxd5 20. Qxg7+ Re7 21. Qg8 a5 22. Rc1 Qh5 23. g3 Rf7 24. Rfd1 Ke7 25. Qc8 b5 26. Rxc7+ Bxc7 27. Qxc7+ Kf6 28. Qc3+ Ke7 29. Re1 b4 30. Qd4 Qf5 31. Re5 $14 { [%eval 41,33] [%wdl 91,896,13]}) ({Stockfish 14:} 9... Be6 10. Qh5 g6 11. Qh6 Qf6 12. c3 Be7 13. Bf4 Bf8 14. Bg5 Bxh6 15. Bxf6 O-O 16. f4 Bg7 17. Be5 c6 18. a4 Rfe8 19. a5 Bf5 20. Bxf5 gxf5 21. Rfe1 f6 22. Bc7 Re4 23. a6 b6 24. Rxe4 fxe4 25. g4 Bh6 26. Kf2 $14 Kf7 {[%eval 43,33] [%wdl 95,893,12]}) 10. Qe1+ $6 { This is soft. I was very surprised by this move pair—White allows Qe7, which should equalize easily, and then Black doesn't play it!} (10. c4 $1 {The machine gives this as clearly best. It makes a lot of sense—Black is not castling due to the hanging h5-pawn, so let's blow up the center.} dxc4 11. Bxc4 Qh4 12. Re1+ Kf8 13. Qf3 $1 $16 {[%cal Rf3b7,Rf3f7,Rc4f7] This is one computer line that is not so easy for a human to spot. Qf3 is the only move for an advantage, and it is possible that Magnus missed it or misevaluated it once Black gets the h2-pawn. Stockfish 14:} Bxh2+ ({Stockfish 14:} 13... Qf6 $2 14. Qxb7 Bc6 15. Qb3 h4 16. d5 Bd7 17. h3 Rh5 18. Re2 a5 19. Rae1 Kg8 20. Re4 a4 21. Qd1 Rf5 22. Be3 Rd8 23. Bd4 Qh6 24. a3 Rg5 25. Qf3 Rb8 26. Bc3 Rf5 27. Qe2 Bc5 28. Bd4 Bxd4 29. Rxd4 Rg5 30. Kh1 Qh5 31. Qe7 Re8 32. Qxe8+ $18) ({ Stockfish 14:} 13... Qxh2+ $4 14. Kf1 Qh1+ 15. Ke2 Bg4 16. Rxh1 Re8+ 17. Be3 Bxf3+ 18. Kxf3 $18 Rxe3+ 19. fxe3 g6 20. e4 f6 21. Rac1 Ke7 22. Bd5 c6 23. Bxc6 bxc6 24. Rxc6 g5 25. Ra6 g4+ 26. Ke3 Bb8 27. Rf1 h4 28. Raxf6 h3 29. Rf7+ Ke8 30. Rb7 Bd6 31. gxh3 gxh3 32. e5 h2 33. Rh1 Be7 34. Kf3 Rh4 35. d5 a5 36. Rb8+ Bd8 {[%eval 630,37] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) 14. Kf1 Qf6 15. Qxf6 gxf6 16. g3 Bh3+ 17. Ke2 Bg4+ 18. f3 Be6 19. d5 Bf5 20. Bf4 Rg8 21. Kf2 h4 22. Bh6+ Rg7 23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24. gxh4 Bd6 25. Rh1 a5 26. b3 Rh8 27. Rag1+ Kh6 28. Rc1 Bc5+ 29. Kf1 Rd8 30. Rd1 Bd6 31. Bb5 b6 32. Bd3 Bd7 33. a4 Bc5 34. Rd2 Bd6 35. Rg2 Re8 {[%eval 109,37] [%wdl 368,630,2]}) ({Stockfish 14:} 10. Qf3 Bg4 11. Rae1+ Kf8 12. Qe3 Qh4 13. f4 Bd7 14. Qf3 c6 15. h3 Bg4 16. Qe3 Bd7 17. c3 Re8 18. Qf3 Rxe1 19. Bxe1 Qf6 20. f5 Qg5 21. b3 h4 22. c4 Ke7 23. c5 Bc7 24. Qe2+ Kd8 25. Qg4 Qe3+ 26. Bf2 Qf4 27. Qxf4 Bxf4 {[%eval 41,36] [%wdl 90,897,13]}) ({Stockfish 14:} 10. Re1+ Kf8 11. Qf3 Bg4 12. Qe3 Bd7 13. Be2 Qf6 14. Qb3 Bc6 15. c3 a5 16. Rad1 g6 17. Qc2 Kg7 18. Qc1 Rae8 19. b3 Qf5 20. h3 Re7 21. Bg5 Re6 22. g4 hxg4 23. Bxg4 Rxe1+ 24. Rxe1 Qd3 25. Re3 Qb5 26. Re5 Qd3 27. Qf4 Bxe5 28. Qxe5+ Kh7 { [%eval 28,36] [%wdl 68,915,17]}) (10. Qe2+ {Stockfish 14:} Kf8 ({Stockfish 14: } 10... Qe7 11. Qf3 Be6 12. Rae1 Qh4 13. g3 Qxd4 14. Bc3 Qg4 15. Qxg4 hxg4 16. Bxg7 $11) ({Stockfish 14:} 10... Be6 $2 11. Bf5 Qf6 12. Qb5+ c6 13. Qxb7 O-O 14. Bxe6 Qxe6 15. Rfe1 Qg6 16. Bc3 a5 17. a3 $36 Rab8 18. Qd7 Rfd8 19. Qh3 a4 20. g3 Qg4 21. Qxg4 hxg4 22. Re3 Kh7 23. Rae1 $16 {[%cal Re1e8]}) ({Stockfish 14:} 10... Be7 $4 11. Qe5 Kf8 12. Qxd5 Bc6 13. Qxd8+ Rxd8 14. c3 h4 15. h3 a5 16. Rfe1 a4 17. Rad1 Rh5 18. Bf4 Bd6 19. Be3 b6 20. c4 Bb4 21. Re2 Bd6 22. Bd2 b5 23. b3 axb3 24. axb3 bxc4 25. bxc4 Be7 26. d5 $40 Bd7 27. Ba5 Bd6 28. Rb1 Bf5 29. Bxf5 $18 {[%eval 232,32] [%wdl 920,80,0]}) 11. Rae1 Qh4 12. h3 Qxd4 13. Bg5 f6 14. Qf3 Bg4 15. hxg4 hxg4 16. Qf5 Bh2+ 17. Kh1 Bg3+ 18. Kg1 {[%eval 0, 32] [%wdl 34,932,34]}) 10... Kf8 $2 {This strikes me as very poor. Once the dark-squared bishops trade, Black will have no attack, and the rook on h8 will be out of play. Around here, I joined Hikaru's stream, and he thought that Nepo was already trying to be ambitious and not make a draw with Black, but instead trying to win on command with a kingside attack since he had already committed to h7-h5. But Qd8-e7 looked so natural and like it would equalize easily, and if Nepo was looking to get a sharper game with Black, why play the Petroff in the first place? It all did not seem to add up.} (10... Qe7 $5 { This was best, and it looks very equal. Now that Black no longer has to worry about a rook coming to e1, he can castle on either side next and should be totally fine in the resulting symmetrical position. Stockfish 14:} 11. a3 ({ Stockfish 14:} 11. f4 O-O-O 12. f5 Qf6 13. c3 Rde8 14. Qf2 h4 15. b4 c6 16. Rae1 Rxe1 17. Qxe1 Bc7 18. Qc1 Qe7 19. Qd1 Qd6 20. Bf4 Qf6 21. Bxc7 Kxc7 22. Qd2 Re8 23. Rf3 Kc8 24. Kf2 Qe7 25. Re3 Qd6 26. Kg1 Rxe3 27. Qxe3 Qf6 28. Qf4 b5 29. Qe5 $11 {[%eval 20,37] [%wdl 55,925,20]}) 11... b6 12. h3 a5 13. f4 Qxe1 14. Raxe1+ Kf8 15. f5 f6 16. h4 c5 17. Bf4 Bxf4 18. Rxf4 Re8 19. Kf2 Rxe1 20. Kxe1 Ke7 21. c3 cxd4 22. cxd4 b5 23. Be2 Rb8 24. Bxh5 b4 25. Be2 bxa3 26. bxa3 Bb5 27. Rf3 Bxe2 28. Re3+ Kf7 29. Kxe2 Rb2+ 30. Kf3 Rd2 31. Re2 Rxd4 $11 { [%eval 22,37] [%wdl 58,923,19]}) 11. Bb4 $1 {This prevents Qh4 from forcing a kingside weakness. Now, Black is a little worse thanks to the difficulty of getting the h8-rook into play.} Qe7 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Qd2 Re8 14. Rae1 Rh6 $2 { [%cal Rh6e6] According to the timestamp, Nepo played this move in under 2 minutes. It makes perfect sense to try to swing the rook to e6 to fight for the e-file, but the rook ends up frozen on h6 as the h5-pawn is loose.} 15. Qg5 $1 {Now, it will be a nightmare to get the h6-rook into play.} c6 {Preparing for Qf6 by overprotecting d5. But this does not solve Black's problems.} 16. Rxe8+ Bxe8 17. Re1 Qf6 18. Qe3 (18. Qg3 $1 {[%csl Gb2,Gd4] Hikaru and I discussed this move a bit on his stream. It looks very powerful, but you have to notice that after} Qxd4 {[%csl Ge8][%cal Gg3b8,Rb8e8,Re1e8] There is a silent killer in} 19. Bf5 $1 {[%csl Re6][%cal Rf5e6] When Re6 is prevented, and Black is helpless to prevent an invasion on b8. Stockfish 14:} g6 ({ Stockfish 14:} 19... b5 20. Bd7 $1 {[%cal Rd7c6,Ge8d7]} Re6 $1 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. Qd6+ Kg8 23. c3 $16 Qd2 24. Qxe6+ Bf7 25. Qe2 Qxe2 26. Rxe2 d4 27. cxd4 Bxa2 28. Re8+ Kf7 29. Ra8 a6 30. Rxa6 Bd5 31. h4 Kf6 32. Ra7 g5 33. hxg5+ Kxg5 34. f3 Kg6 35. Kf2 h4 36. Ra8 Kh7 37. Rd8 Be6 38. Re8 Bd5 39. Ke3 {[%eval 635, 34] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) ({Stockfish 14:} 19... b6 20. Qb8 Re6 21. Bxe6 fxe6 22. c3 Qd2 23. Qd6+ Kg8 24. Qxe6+ Bf7 25. Qe2 Qxe2 26. Rxe2 d4 27. cxd4 Bxa2 28. Re8+ Kf7 29. Ra8 a5 30. Ra6 Ke6 31. Rxb6 Kd5 32. Ra6 Kxd4 33. Rxa5 Bd5 34. h4 Kd3 35. Rc5 Kd4 36. b4 Ke4 37. f3+ Ke3 38. b5 cxb5 39. Rxd5 g6 40. Rd6 b4 41. Rxg6 Kf4 {[%eval 639,34] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) ({Stockfish 14:} 19... c5 20. Bd7 Re6 21. Bxe6 Qd2 22. Qd6+ Kg8 23. Rf1 fxe6 24. Qxe6+ Bf7 25. Qc8+ Kh7 26. Qxc5 d4 27. h3 a6 28. f4 d3 29. cxd3 Qxb2 30. Qf5+ Kg8 31. Re1 Qxa2 32. Re7 Qa1+ 33. Kf2 Qd4+ 34. Kg3 Qf6 35. Qxf6 gxf6 36. Rxb7 a5 37. Rb5 a4 38. Ra5 Bg6 39. f5 Bxf5 40. Rxf5 a3 41. Rxh5 Kf7 42. Ra5 {[%eval 648,34] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) 20. Bh3 g5 21. Qxg5 Rf6 22. Bf5 Bd7 23. c3 Qxf2+ 24. Kxf2 Rxf5+ 25. Qxf5 Bxf5 26. Re5 Bg6 27. c4 dxc4 28. Rc5 Ke7 29. Rxc4 Kd6 30. Rd4+ Ke7 31. b4 f6 32. Ke3 b6 33. a3 Bf7 34. g3 Be6 35. Rh4 Bf7 36. g4 hxg4 37. Rxg4 Be6 38. Rg3 Bf7 39. h4 Ke6 40. Rg4 Kf5 41. Rg7 Ke6 42. Rh7 a5 43. bxa5 {[%eval 439,34] [%wdl 1000,0,0]}) 18... Bd7 19. h3 h4 (19... g5 {This looked more natural to me. Black can plan Kg7 and Rh8-e8 next. It's still not easy, but he should have reasonable holding chances.}) 20. c4 $1 {White aims to open the center while the h6-rook remains sidelined. Black is undoubtedly a little uncomfortable here, but it is far from critical just yet. Around here, Nepo started to drift a lot.} dxc4 { This is not a bad move, per se, but it is a very dangerous one since it allows the bishop to come to c4, lasering down on the f7-pawn, and it also frees the third rank for the queen to come to a3. It's a little strange to play this move and not have the next move ready—White is obviously taking back on c4. So I was surprised when Nepo took some time to play his next move, which lost the game immediately.} (20... g5 {In light of how things went, this might have been a better choice, again aiming for Kg7 next. After} 21. cxd5 cxd5 22. Rc1 { White is surely a little better, but Black is still very solid after either Qe7 or Bc6, and he has good defensive chances.}) 21. Bxc4 b5 (21... Kg8 $1 { This was absolutely the only move, getting the king off of f8 so that Qa3 does not come with check, and Black would be able to play Qxd4 in response. Still, it looks very scary after} 22. Qe7 Be6 23. Qe8+ Kh7 24. Bxe6 fxe6 25. Re4 $1 { The machine does not mind Black's position, but it looks very unpleasant for a human. Still, this was absolutely the only way, and if you want to take on c4, you need to see this in advance.}) 22. Qa3+ $1 Kg8 23. Qxa7 {I suspect Nepo was planning on taking h3 here when he chose to play b5 but only now realized there would follow Qxf7+ and Re8+, with a pawn-up ending for White. This is not totally obvious to see, but it is not wildly difficult either and it's surprising that a player of Nepo's calibur would not notice it, particularly given his strong play in previous games, but I can't really find another explanation for b5.} Qd8 (23... Bxh3 {This was still the best option. After} 24. Qxf7+ $1 Qxf7 25. Re8+ Kh7 26. Bxf7 Bf5 $16 {White is a clean pawn up, but there is still some work to do. I do think it should be technically winning though, at least if Black is unable to trade the bishops.}) 24. Bb3 {The rest was an easy cleanup for Magnus. He is a pawn up, his pieces are much more active, and Black has no counterplay at all. Nepo found nothing better than transitioning into a hopeless queen endgame.} Rd6 25. Re4 Be6 26. Bxe6 Rxe6 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qc5 Qa5 29. Qxc6 Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Qxf2 31. Qxe6+ Kh7 32. Qe4+ Kg8 33. b3 Qxa2 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. Qxb5 Qf2 36. Qe5 Qb2 37. Qe4+ Kg8 38. Qd3 Qf2 39. Qc3 Qf4+ 40. Kg1 Kh7 41. Qd3+ g6 42. Qd1 {A nice final touch. Black will never get another check once the king sits on h1, and White can shove the d-pawn down the board.} Qe3+ 43. Kh1 g5 44. d5 g4 45. hxg4 h3 46. Qf3 {This was the first of the 8 games where I felt one of the players really just had a bad day. After scoring 0.5/3 in the last 3 games, Nepo is surely looking forward to the rest day tomorrow, when he can hope to regroup a little bit, press the reset button, and come back ready to fight on Tuesday. If I were on his team, I would suggest going for something sharper and riskier than what he has done so far—these slight advantages in the Spanish are playing right into Magnus' wheelhouse; he is easily holding every time. While on stream with Hikaru, we learned that the last time Magnus lost with Black in the Spanish in classical chess was 2015!} 1-0 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.12.07"] [Round "9.1"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 d4 $5 (3... Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxc4 c5 7. Ne5 Qc8 {1-0 (49) Nepomniachtchi,I (2792)-Duda,J (2738) Zagreb (Blitz) 2021}) 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. O-O Bc5 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 a5 8. Nb3 Be7 9. e3 dxe3 (9... e5 10. exd4 exd4 11. Re1 O-O 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Rxe5 c6 {1-0 (45) Gabuzyan,H (2587) -Bellahcene,B (2497) Krasnaya Polyana RUS 2021}) 10. Bxe3 Ng4 11. Bc5 O-O 12. d4 a4 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nc5 a3 $5 15. bxa3 $5 (15. b4 Nxb4 16. Rb1 b6 17. Rxb4 bxc5 18. Rb5) 15... Rd8 (15... Rxa3 16. Nb3) 16. Nb3 Nf6 17. Re1 Qxa3 18. Qe2 h6 19. h4 Bd7 20. Ne5 Be8 21. Qe3 Qb4 22. Reb1 Nxe5 23. dxe5 Ng4 24. Qe1 Qxe1+ 25. Rxe1 h5 $5 26. Bxb7 Ra4 $5 27. c5 $4 c6 $1 28. f3 Nh6 29. Re4 Ra7 30. Rb4 Rb8 31. a4 Raxb7 32. Rb6 Rxb6 33. cxb6 Rxb6 34. Nc5 Nf5 35. a5 Rb8 36. a6 Nxg3 37. Na4 c5 38. a7 Rd8 39. Nxc5 Ra8 (39... Ra8 40. Nb7 Bc6 41. Nd6 Nf5 42. Nc4 Bxf3 43. Nb6 Rd8 $19) 0-1 [Event "FIDE World Chess Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.07"] [Round "9"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2856"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.07"] {[%evp 0,78,19,-12,7,-40,-18,-30,20,-18,-15,-8,45,45,22,-5,39,-10,23,28,33,19, 38,45,39,1,-12,-19,-22,-4,-8,-7,-2,0,0,-7,-16,-28,18,-12,2,6,1,28,19,-3,-8,19, 33,0,0,0,8,8,34,-2,4,-121,-149,-198,-155,-145,-145,-145,-145,-217,-202,-212, -221,-213,-227,-204,-179,-227,-235,-154,-179,-205,-205,-199,-199] The ninth game saw Nepo avoid 1.e4 for the first time in the match. He actually got quite a nice position early on, but after White was somewhat outplayed to reach an equalish position, the game ended abruptly in one move.} 1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 d4 {I was a little surprised to see this move, which sort of invites a kind of Benoni with two tempi less: one because of colors reversed, and a second because e6-e5 will come in two moves rather than one. The move is surely fine objectively, but it felt like it would lead to more dynamic positions than I would expect someone to want with the black pieces and a two-game lead. [During the press conference, Carlsen shared that this was his preparation although he was having trouble recalling all the subsequent lines.] } (3... Nf6 {This would be more typical. I don't really think White has anything better than transposing into a Catalan. With Magnus taking the white side of the Catalan twice already, I assume he would have checked it pretty closely. So it was a bit surprising to see 3...d4 instead.}) 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. O-O Bc5 {This is a pretty unusual setup for Black, but it makes some sense. Black is never too worried about b2-b4 since he can always meet a2-a3 with a7-a5. And the bishop obviously does a good job of lessening the punch of e2-e3, which is the only real way for White to try to open the game.} 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 {Nepo was still playing pretty fast, if not immediately. I suspect he had checked this line a little but that he had not reviewed it too much and spent more of his efforts on other moves, but he still knew what to do.} a5 8. Nb3 Be7 9. e3 dxe3 10. Bxe3 {Up to here, Magnus was taking some time, but I think he was still in his preparation. He certainly knew where to put his pieces and that he should not be castling right away.} Ng4 $1 {Black harasses the e3-bishop. This is quite a good decision because White's best chance for an edge is to fix his one bad piece with Nf3-d4. This will be harder to pull off now that the bishop is destabilized.} (10... O-O {This looks like a more natural move, but White should be a bit better after} 11. Nbd4 $1 Bd7 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. d4 $14) 11. Bc5 O-O {Nepo took a long think here, aiming to find the best way to coordinate his pieces.} 12. d4 $1 {This is not an easy decision. First of all, White loses any hope of playing Nb3-d4 later, and also his knight will be forced to c5 and unable to retreat after. It takes a lot of confidence in your calculation to play this way.} a4 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nc5 { Now, Magnus needs to find a tough only-move in a very direct position to keep things under control. His ability to coordinate his pieces in a solid but uncomfortable situation is out of this world, and it really showed in just how easily he held these uncomfortable Spanish positions. Here, it is a different story. Black has to be very direct and calculate close lines in a shaky way.} a3 $6 {This is a very human move, but it's also a serious mistake. White now has to be very energetic, but if he finds the way, he is clearly better. One thing I have often said is that Magnus is certainly not perfect, but if you want to beat him, you do have to be accurate. He rarely gives chances, and when he does, you have to be accurate all the way through.} (14... e5 $1 { This was the only way for Black, and even then, he remains a little worse.} 15. Re1 $1 Rd8 $1 {Now, White has a few tempting options, but none of them work too well.} 16. b4 $1 (16. Nxa4 Qb4 $1 17. b3 exd4 $1 {After a precise sequence, Black gets his pawn back, and looks more or less okay to me.}) (16. h3 $2 Nxd4 $1 {Black emerges ahead, as the c5-knight is hanging.})) 15. bxa3 $2 {Already now, the machine still gives some 0.2 for White, but in practice, I actually prefer Black. His position feels very easy to play, and White is the one with long-term weaknesses. The a-file will cause endless annoyances.} (15. b4 $1 { This was the way, and White is clearly better after some complications.} Nxb4 { This has to be the most critical try for a human to worry about.} (15... Rd8 { This is the machine's choice, but after} 16. Rb1 {White is clearly better.}) 16. Rb1 $1 b6 (16... Nc6 17. Nxb7 Rb8 18. Na5 $1 $16 {This is another only-move that White needs to see before pushing b4. It is not too hard, but having to find a bunch of easy-ish only-moves all in advance to justify playing the right way can be tough.}) 17. Rxb4 bxc5 18. Rb5 $1 {An important only-move that White has to see before pushing b2-b4. Black cannot take on d4 and will lose his c5-pawn. The game then continues, but White is surely better due to his superior structure.}) 15... Rd8 16. Nb3 Nf6 17. Re1 Qxa3 18. Qe2 h6 {This is exactly the kind of position where the a-file is a huge problem for White. He needs to play Ne5, and to do this, he needs to secure the d4-pawn. As such, he would very much like to get his a-rook to d1, but this would drop the a2-pawn.} (18... Bd7 {I would have preferred simply tucking the bishop away on e8, as the inclusion of h4 and h6 could allow some vague chances on the kingside. What Magnus did is fine too, of course.}) 19. h4 Bd7 20. Ne5 Be8 {Now, I was somewhat surprised White did not take on c6.} 21. Qe3 {This is a solid and reasonable move, though I certainly would have tried something else.} (21. Bxc6 $5 Bxc6 22. g4 $5 {The machine is totally unimpressed with this idea, and claims Black is just better. But in human terms, this feels very scary. g4-g5 is not messing around and all of Black's pieces are on the queenside—I would be worried about getting mated. When I was following the game without the computer, I thought this could be very powerful. It would be interesting to know if Nepo saw this option and (correctly) chose to reject it—or if it did not occur to him.} Nd7 $1 {Not an easy decision as this seems to just be begging for Nxf7.} 23. Nxf7 $1 {Let the fun begin!} (23. Nxc6 bxc6 24. g5 hxg5 25. hxg5 Nf8 $1 {Black prevents g6, and once his knight sits on g6, any queen and rook lift to the h-file doesn't do much either.}) 23... Rf8 $1 {This is a very tough move.} (23... Kxf7 24. Qxe6+ Kf8 25. d5 Ba4 26. Re3 {Apparently, Black is fine here. I would be terrified.}) 24. Nxh6+ gxh6 25. Qxe6+ Kh7 { The machine claims Black is better here, but it looks very unclear to me, and it is hard to get here in the first place.}) 21... Qb4 $1 {A high-class move. As soon as White's queen no longer defends a2, this move is possible without allowing Rad1. Furthermore, it is prophylaxis against the plan of Qe3-f4 and g4-g5.} 22. Reb1 (22. Qf4 {This looks scary, but after} Rxa2 $1 {it's all over already.}) 22... Nxe5 $1 {I was surprised to see this move—it felt a little inhuman, but it is also best.} 23. dxe5 Ng4 $1 {It takes some guts to play this move since the knight is nearly trapped, but it is correct.} 24. Qe1 (24. Qf4 $2 h5 $1 {The knight can escape to h6. After} 25. Bf3 Qc3 $1 {Black's pieces are plenty active, and White can't win a pawn so easily.}) 24... Qxe1+ 25. Rxe1 h5 26. Bxb7 Ra4 {[%csl Rc6][%cal Rb7d5]} 27. c5 $4 {I have a bit of sympathy for this decision, but I still have to give it two question marks. I suspect what happened is that Nepo saw the idea of c6, realized it is not a big deal because the bishop is easily defended by Nc5, and then sort of forgot about it. Once c4-c5 comes though, the c5-square is no longer available, and the bishop is straight up lost. [During the press conference, Nepo admitted he missed the idea of ...c6 entirely. He mentioned that ...c6 is easy to miss because it is never possible while the white pawn is on c4 because White would have Nc5 to defend the bishop.]} (27. f3 {This should be preferred, but after} Nh6 28. Be4 Nf5 {White will not keep his extra pawn, and a draw looks super likely. Still, this is obviously better than what actually happened.}) 27... c6 $19 {I have to give Nepo a little credit; he forced Magnus to find some only-moves later on, but they were all routine enough.} 28. f3 Nh6 29. Re4 Ra7 30. Rb4 Rb8 31. a4 Raxb7 32. Rb6 $1 {a4-a5-a6 is coming.} Rxb6 {This is the only move, but hardly rocket science.} 33. cxb6 Rxb6 34. Nc5 {White gets the c5-square and the a-pawn is coming, but Magnus still has it under control.} Nf5 35. a5 Rb8 36. a6 Nxg3 $1 {White will not be able to force the pawn through without moving the knight off of c5. Once this happens, c6-c5 comes and the bishop gets to c6. White can win a piece back but will be down several pawns and still have no hope.} 37. Na4 c5 $1 {The bishop gets to c6 and that is the end of that.} 38. a7 Rd8 $1 {The last important move, and it is all over.} 39. Nxc5 (39. Rb1 {This would have been more challenging, inviting Black to play Bc6, but I'd be beyond shocked if Magnus did not play it right.} Ra8 $1 (39... Bc6 $2 {I suppose I could see a human messing this up.} 40. Rb8 Rf8 41. Nxc5 $1 {Black cannot prevent Nd7 and the tables have turned.}) 40. Rb8 Rxa7 41. Rxe8+ Kh7 42. Nxc5 Nf5 {White got his piece back, but is obviously done for.}) 39... Ra8 {[%cal Gc3b5,Rb5a7,Gg3e2,Ge2c3] Nothing more to say here. 0-} 0-1 [Event "World Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.07"] [Round "5"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A13"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.08"] 1. c4 {Finally! What everyone had been expecting since Game 1 has happened. Nepo opens the game with 1.c4 and hopes for a full fledged fight! The interesting thing is that Praggnanandhaa who had to make the first move for the game, chose 1.c4. Pragg had discussed it with Vishy Anand and together they felt that 1.c4 looks the most likely choice of Ian. And it proved to be correct.} e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 d4 $5 {In a position where 9340 games have been played Magnus chooses d5-d4 which has only been played 161 times.} (3... Nf6 { is the main move.}) 4. Nf3 (4. b4 $5 Bxb4 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. Bxc6+) 4... Nc6 (4... c5 {is played more often, but Magnus had done his homework in the opening.}) 5. O-O Bc5 {No strong player has gone for this. Once again Magnus keeps up the trend of going for slightly obscure lines which haven't been analyzed in great depth.} 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 (7. Bg5 O-O 8. Nbd2 a5 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Ne4 Qe7 11. Nxc5 Qxc5 $11) 7... a5 {This move in general is useful against White's queenside expansion with a3 and b4. At the same time it can be useful to push the knight away from b3 with a4.} (7... O-O 8. Nb3 Be7 9. e3 dxe3 10. Bxe3 $14) 8. Nb3 Be7 9. e3 $1 {Well timed. Now the d4 pawn is hanging.} dxe3 10. Bxe3 Ng4 {Until this point Magnus knew. It was his preparation.} (10... O-O 11. Nbd4 $1 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 $14) 11. Bc5 $1 O-O 12. d4 (12. Qd2 $5 a4 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nbd4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Bd7 16. Bxb7 Rab8 17. Bf3 (17. Bg2 Qf6 $11) 17... Qf6 $1 $15) 12... a4 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nc5 a3 $6 (14... e5 $5 {was perhaps the best move in the position, but it seems to be a little too complicated.} 15. Re1 Rd8 16. b4 $5 $14 {This is not how humans play chess!}) (14... Nxd4 $2 15. Qxd4 e5 16. Rfe1 Rd8 17. Rxe5 $1 Nxe5 18. Qxe5 Qxe5 19. Nxe5 $18) 15. bxa3 $6 {A very surprising decision by Nepo. The pawn on a2 will be weak.} (15. b4 $1 {This is something that Nepo should have played. It gives him quite a good position.} Nxb4 16. Rb1 b6 {Magnus said that he would have gone for this.} (16... Nxa2 17. Qc2) (16... Nc6 17. Nxb7) 17. Rxb4 bxc5 18. Rb5 $1 Ra6 $1 (18... cxd4 19. Nxd4 $18) 19. Rxc5 Bb7 20. Rb5 $14) 15... Rd8 {The rook opposite the queen is quite uncomfortable for White to deal.} (15... Rxa3 $5) 16. Nb3 (16. Rb1 Ra7 17. Qe2 $1 Nf6 $11 (17... Nxd4 $2 18. Nxd4 Rxd4 19. Nb3 $18)) 16... Nf6 17. Re1 Qxa3 { The queen comes out of the latent pin on the e--file and chops off the pawn. Notice how the weakness of the a2 pawn prevents White from activating his rook on a1.} 18. Qe2 h6 19. h4 Bd7 20. Ne5 Be8 $1 {The bishop is very well placed on e8. Black has equalized in this position. Although Black looks slightly cramped, he has things under control.} 21. Qe3 (21. Red1 Rd6 $11) (21. Nxc6 Bxc6 22. Bxc6 bxc6 {It might seem tempting to give doubled pawns to Black. But they do not affect Black's position, because he has weaknesses to attack on a2 and c4.}) 21... Qb4 $1 {A classy move. It puts pressure on c4 and at the same time prepares Ra3 with the doubling of the rooks on the a-file. Although Magnus mentions that this move was played based on a miscalculation. Yet, when you make positionally good moves, they more often than not turn to be a good decision.} 22. Reb1 Nxe5 $1 {Concretely making it work.} 23. dxe5 Ng4 (23... Nd7 {was also fine.} 24. Nd4 Qc5 (24... Qxc4 25. Bxb7 Rab8 (25... Ra7 26. Nxe6 $1) 26. Rc1 Qa4 27. Nc6 $18) 25. Bxb7 Ra3 $11) 24. Qe1 $1 {This move came as a surprise to Magnus. He was expecting Ian to go Qf4 where he had prepared ...h5. } (24. Qf4 h5 $15 {And now there are no real great discovered attacks in the position.} 25. Nd4 $2 Qxc4 $19) 24... Qxe1+ (24... Qxc4 25. f3 $16 {The knight is trapped.}) 25. Rxe1 {The bad news for the World Champion is that he was two things to wory about - he b7 pawn is hanging and f3 will trap the knight on g4. } h5 $1 {Prioritizing the knight's safety over the pawn on b7.} 26. Bxb7 Ra4 27. c5 $2 {A huge oversight by Nepomniachtchi. When you are playing a World Championship you cannot afford to make such a big mistake. Question for you. Now it is Black to move. How did Magnus finish off his opponent?} (27. f3 Nh6 28. Be4 (28. Rec1 Nf5 29. Kf2 c6 30. Nc5 Ra3 $44) 28... Nf5 {The position is around equal.} (28... Rxc4 $2 29. Rec1 $14 Rxc1+ (29... Rb4 30. Rxc7) 30. Rxc1 $16) 29. Kf2 Rxc4 30. Rec1 Bb5 31. Rxc4 Bxc4 32. Rc1 Bxb3 33. axb3 Rd2+ 34. Ke1 Rb2 $11) 27... c6 $1 {Exactly so, the bishop on b7 is completely trapped. The unfortunate part for Nepo is that there is no way to even create couterplay etc.} 28. f3 Nh6 29. Re4 Ra7 30. Rb4 Rb8 {The bishop is lost.} 31. a4 Raxb7 32. Rb6 Rxb6 33. cxb6 Rxb6 34. Nc5 Nf5 {White is hoping that his a-pawn and the dominating knight on c5 will help him to create some counterplay. But it is a little too late.} 35. a5 Rb8 36. a6 Nxg3 37. Na4 c5 38. a7 Rd8 $1 (38... Ra8 39. Nb6 $11) 39. Nxc5 (39. Nb6 Bc6 40. a8=Q Bxa8 41. Rxa8 Rxa8 42. Nxa8 Nf5) 39... Ra8 {With the bishop coming to c6, it is all over. Black is jut a piece up.} 0-1 [Event "Dubai"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.12.08"] [Round "10"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "MF Sylvain Ravot"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [WhiteTeam "Norway"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] 1. e4 {Carlsen ouvre par 1.e4 comme dans la 8e partie.} e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 { Nepomniachtchi préfère jouer la prudence en restant sur sa défense Petrov comme dans les parties 4 et 8.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nd3 {Carlsen a déjà utilisé ce coup rare contre Caruana en 2018. Le placement du Cd3 est très mauvais mais il se dirige vers f4.} Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 {Forcé.} 6. Nf4 {Voici l'idée du peu esthétique 4.Cd3. La menace Cd5 est sérieuse.} Nf6 {Le choix prudent.} ( 6... Nc6 {est plus animé !} 7. Nd5 Nd4 8. Nxe7 Nxe2 9. Nd5 (9. Nxc8 Nxc1) 9... Nd4 10. Na3 Ne6 {est proche de l'égalité, comme dans Carlsen-Caruana 2018.}) (6... c6 {est la 3e option}) 7. d4 Nc6 $6 {Joué en 5 secondes. Il semble que Nepomniachtchi ait inversé l'ordre de coups de sa préparation.} (7... Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 Nc6 9. c3 d5 {est certainement ce qui l'équipe russe avait prévu, avec une position proche de la partie.}) 8. c3 {Après presque 20 minutes de réflexion ! Tout comme après 9...h5 dans la partie 8, Carlsen est confronté à un dilemme : il imagine bien que 8.Fe3 est objectivement le meilleur coup mais ça laisse les Dames sur l'échiquier. Il préfère finalement la sécurité avec 8. c3 qui va échanger les Dames.} (8. Be3 Bf5 (8... g5 9. Nd3 $14) 9. Nc3 (9. Qb5 d5 10. Qxb7 (10. Nxd5 $2 Nxd5 11. Qxd5 Be4 $15) 10... Qb4+ 11. Qxb4 Nxb4 12. Na3 {est chaotique mais semble légèrement favoriser les Blancs}) 9... O-O-O 10. O-O-O d5 {est proche de l'égalité, et peu tranchant}) 8... d5 {On retrouve la structure classique de Petrov / Française d'échange. Notons que celui qui prendre la Dame adverse aide son adversaire à se développer.} (8... g5 $5 {pour pimenter le jeu ! Mais aujourd'hui Nepomniachtchi n'était pas d'humeur à faire comme dans la partie 8.} 9. Nd3 h6 (9... Bf5 $2 10. Bxg5 Bxd3 11. Qxe7+ Bxe7 12. Bxd3) 10. h4 Rg8 {avec une position inhabituelle mais pas mauvaise pour les Noirs}) 9. Nd2 (9. Be3 $6 Bf5 {Les Blancs n'ont plus le "dynamique" Cc3.}) 9... Nd8 $5 {Le Cc6 était muselé par le pion c3. Il laisse aussi passer son pion c7 (pour c6 mais pas c5 qui se créerait un pion isolé d5 sans jeu dynamique pour le compenser).} 10. Nf3 {Idée Ce5.} Qxe2+ {Supprime la tension.} 11. Bxe2 Bd6 {Les Blancs sont en légère avance de développement mais dans une telle position sans Dames et où il est difficile de créer un déséquilibre, c'est difficile d'en retirer quelque chose.} 12. O-O O-O 13. Bd3 Re8 14. Re1 Rxe1+ 15. Nxe1 { Les deux bons Fous (d3/d6) sont bien placés mais les mauvais Fous n'ont pas un développement facile.} Ne6 16. Nxe6 (16. Ne2 Bd7 $11) 16... Bxe6 17. g3 { C'est le coup que j'ai choisi comme "coup du jour". Pour la 3e fois du match, Carlsen va placer un Cavalier en fianchetto. Cela rappelle beaucoup sa manoeuvre de la 4e partie (Ch4 g4 Cg2). L'objectif est Cg2 Ff4 pour échanger le mauvais Fou contre le bon.} (17. a4 $5 Re8 18. Nc2) 17... g6 18. Ng2 Re8 19. f3 $1 {Le pion f3 coupe les oreilles du Cf6, libère f2 pour le Roi et empêche Fg4.} (19. Bf4 Bxf4 20. Nxf4 Bg4 $1 21. Kg2 g5 $1 22. Nh3 Be2 $11 23. Re1 $4 Bf3+ 24. Kf1 Bg2+) 19... Nh5 {Le Cavalier muselé trouve du travail : il empêche Ff4.} (19... Bh3 {est le choix de l'ordinateur mais} 20. Bd2 { empêche toute infiltration de la Te8}) 20. Kf2 {Le Roi va empêcher la Tour noire de s'infiltrer.} c6 {Consolide d5 en anticipation d'un futur Ce3/ Cf4.} ( 20... Ng7 21. Bf4 Bxf4 22. Nxf4 c6 23. h4 Bf5 24. g4 Bxd3 25. Nxd3 { symboliquement mieux pour les Blancs}) 21. g4 Ng7 22. Bf4 {Réalise finalement la bonne opération stratégique.} Bxf4 23. Nxf4 {On peut argumenter que les 2 pièces mineures blanches sont meilleures que leurs homologues mais elles n'ont quand même pas grand-chose à cibler. De plus Nepomniachtchi va repousser le Cf4 et s'activer.} g5 $1 (23... a5 24. h4 h6 25. Bc2 g5 26. hxg5 hxg5 27. Nh3 f6 28. Rh1 $13) 24. Ne2 (24. Nxe6 Nxe6 25. Re1 h6 $11) 24... f5 $1 {Attaque g4 et invite gxf5.} 25. h3 (25. gxf5 Bxf5 26. Bxf5 Nxf5 {Les Noirs ont eux aussi échangé leur mauvais Fou et restent même avec une meilleure structure.} 27. Rg1 h6 28. f4 Nd6 29. fxg5 Ne4+ 30. Ke1 hxg5 31. h4 Kf7 32. hxg5 Rg8 $11) 25... Kf7 26. Rh1 (26. a4 Rh8 27. a5 h5 28. gxf5 $11) 26... h6 ( 26... h5 {très légèrement risqué} 27. h4 (27. gxh5 $1 Nxh5 28. h4 g4 $6 ( 28... Nf4 $1 29. Nxf4 gxf4 $11) 29. Ng3 Nxg3 30. Kxg3 $14) 27... fxg4 28. hxg5 Bf5 (28... gxf3 $2 29. Nf4) 29. Bxf5 Nxf5 30. fxg4 hxg4 (30... Rxe2+ $2 31. Kxe2 Ng3+ 32. Kf3 Nxh1 33. gxh5) 31. Ng3 Kg6 $11) 27. f4 {Carlsen n'a pas de façon de progresser.} (27. h4 $2 fxg4 28. hxg5 hxg5 $15) 27... fxg4 28. hxg4 Bxg4 29. Rxh6 Bf5 (29... Bxe2 $4 30. Bg6+) 30. Bxf5 Nxf5 31. Rh7+ (31. Rh5 $4 Rxe2+ 32. Kxe2 Ng3+) 31... Ng7 32. fxg5 Kg6 {Récupère g5 et annule.} 33. Rh3 Kxg5 34. Rg3+ Kf6 35. Rf3+ Ke7 36. Nf4 Kd6 37. Ng6 Re6 38. Ne5 Ne8 39. Rf7 { Menace Td7#} Rf6+ 40. Rxf6+ Nxf6 41. Ke3 {Le 40e coup est atteint, les joueurs peuvent se proposer nulle. Une journée pacifique. Ian Nepomniachtchi stoppe l'hémorragie avec une nulle propre avec les Noirs. Magnus Carlsen a hésité mais, menant 3-0, il n'était pas d'humeur à tenter le diable. Cette nulle le rapproche de la victoire finale.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Chess Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.08"] [Round "10"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2856"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.08"] {Game 10 was only interesting in that it showed some of the players' priorities and choices—the gameplay itself was an absolute snoozefest. Magnus predictably went for 1.e4, which is certainly the best move to play in a situation where a draw is a very welcome result.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 { I was a little surprised to see the Petroff appear on the board. If Nepo wants to get back in this match and try to make use of whatever (admittedly meager) chances he has left to fight to become world champion, he will need to win at least one game with the black pieces. The Petroff is a fine opening to play for a win against an ambitious opponent, but if White wants to keep everything as solid and boring as humanly possible, Black will never have a chance. Of course, Magnus chose to exercise this option. I can only imagine two rationales for Nepo's opening choice. One is that he has just given up and wants the match to be over with. The other is that he needs to stop the bleeding, gain some confidence back, score an easy draw with the black pieces, and then look to aim for a real fight and play something more dynamic in his remaining two black games once he is in better shape and play for a win from move one with black against the GOAT. I actually think the second explantion is more likely, and I certainly hope this is the case as well. It would keep the match more interesting.} 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nd3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. Nf4 Nf6 7. d4 Nc6 {I suppose this is a somewhat risky decision, as it would allow Bc1-e3, which the computer rates as slightly better for White. But this would keep queens on the board, potentially lead to opposite side castling, and not be without risk for White. Magnus had no interest in such a proposal.} (7... Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 Nc6 {This would have prevented White's additional option.}) 8. c3 d5 9. Nd2 Nd8 10. Nf3 Qxe2+ 11. Bxe2 {If there were no anti-draw rules, the players may as well have agreed here. The position is totally dry, balanced, boring, symmetrical, and neither side has any plan whatsoever to create any kind of imbalance.} Bd6 12. O-O O-O 13. Bd3 Re8 14. Re1 Rxe1+ 15. Nxe1 Ne6 16. Nxe6 Bxe6 17. g3 g6 18. Ng2 Re8 19. f3 {Around here, the machine somehow gives White a slight edge. This is obviously nonsense; it is still very symmetrical with no weaknesses for either side. Anything other than a draw would be shocking.} Nh5 20. Kf2 c6 21. g4 Ng7 22. Bf4 Bxf4 23. Nxf4 {Now, at least White has managed to put some pawns on the dark squares and can claim he has the better bishop. If he is allowed to advance h2-h4 next, I will concede he is slightly better. This was the only moment throughout the entire game where one of the players had to make a specific move to avoid being worse, when at any other moment they could probably play any of five decent moves, but Nepo found it easily.} g5 $1 {White is not allowed to push h2-h4.} 24. Ne2 f5 25. h3 Kf7 26. Rh1 h6 27. f4 {The kingside will be liquidated shortly.} fxg4 28. hxg4 Bxg4 29. Rxh6 Bf5 30. Bxf5 Nxf5 31. Rh7+ Ng7 32. fxg5 Kg6 33. Rh3 Kxg5 34. Rg3+ Kf6 35. Rf3+ Ke7 36. Nf4 Kd6 37. Ng6 Re6 38. Ne5 Ne8 39. Rf7 Rf6+ 40. Rxf6+ Nxf6 41. Ke3 {Who needs Ambien when you have games like these? Of course, the result is very welcome for Magnus, who now needs merely a single point from four games to keep his title. Given that he has not been particularly close to losing yet, it is very hard to imagine he won't get it. Still, I will be interested to see if Nepo plays a bit more sharply in his next black game... assuming it happens. I could easily imagine the match ending tomorrow if Nepo goes for broke with White and burns all the bridges. I think this is what he should do, and if he loses, so be it. But it is clearly time to start playing with a lot more risk.} 1/2-1/2 [Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.07"] [Round "5"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2855"] [BlackElo "2782"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2021.12.09"] 1. e4 {Magnus sticks to the move where he has had} e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nd3 Nxe4 5. Qe2 Qe7 6. Nf4 Nf6 7. d4 Nc6 8. c3 {Magnus was in a solid mood and wanted to get the queens exchanged as soon as possible.} (8. Be3 $5 {was the critical move and we could have had a more exciting game after} g5 9. Nd3 Bg4 10. f3 Bf5 11. Bxg5 O-O-O $5) 8... d5 9. Nd2 Nd8 10. Nf3 Qxe2+ 11. Bxe2 Bd6 12. O-O O-O 13. Bd3 Re8 14. Re1 Rxe1+ 15. Nxe1 Ne6 16. Nxe6 Bxe6 17. g3 {Carlsen liked this move.} g6 {Nepo was a bit unhappy with this move. He felt that his e6 bishop becomes a bit passive after this.} (17... Re8 18. Ng2 Bg4 {is what could have given Black a very comfortable equality.}) 18. Ng2 Re8 19. f3 Nh5 20. Kf2 c6 {Here Nepo felt that White should calmly push his queenside pawns with a4-a5 before pushing ahead on the kingside with g4.} 21. g4 (21. a4 $5) 21... Ng7 22. Bf4 Bxf4 23. Nxf4 g5 24. Ne2 f5 25. h3 {Magnus was hoping for Ian to play ...f4 at some point so that he can later play h4 and open the h-file in his favour. But Ian was alert.} Kf7 26. Rh1 h6 27. f4 {A move that liquidates all kingside pawns and the game ends in a draw.} fxg4 28. hxg4 Bxg4 29. Rxh6 Bf5 30. Bxf5 Nxf5 31. Rh7+ Ng7 32. fxg5 Kg6 33. Rh3 Kxg5 34. Rg3+ Kf6 35. Rf3+ Ke7 36. Nf4 Kd6 37. Ng6 Re6 38. Ne5 Ne8 39. Rf7 Rf6+ 40. Rxf6+ Nxf6 41. Ke3 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Championship 2021"] [Site "Dubai"] [Date "2021.12.10"] [Round "11"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2021.11.25"] [EventType "match"] [EventCountry "UAE"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. O-O a5 7. Re1 Ba7 $5 (7... O-O 8. Nbd2 Ba7 9. Nf1 Be6 10. Bb5 Ne7 11. Ng3 Ng6 12. h3 c6 {1/2-1/2 (51) Duda,J (2743)-Carlsen,M (2862) Wijk aan Zee NED 2021}) 8. Na3 h6 (8... O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Nh7 12. Nc2 h5 13. h4 Bg4 14. hxg5 Nxg5 15. Ne3 Bxe3 16. Rxe3 Kh8 17. d4 Bxf3 18. gxf3 h4 19. Bh2 Qf6 20. Kh1 Nh3 21. Qd2 Rg8 22. f4 Nxf4 23. Rf3 Rg4 24. Bxf4 exf4 25. Rh3 f3 26. Qe3 Rag8 27. Rxf3 Qg6 28. Qe1 { 0-1 (28) Volokitin,A (2656)-Rakotomaharo,F (2487) Riga LAT 2021}) 9. Nc2 O-O 10. Be3 (10. a4 Ne7 11. d4 d5 12. exd5 exd4 13. d6 Nf5 14. Ncxd4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qxd6 16. Nb5 $2 Qc5 $2 (16... Bxf2+ $1 $17 17. Kxf2 Qxh2) 17. Qd4 Qxb5 18. axb5 Bxd4 19. cxd4 Rd8 20. Ra4 {1-0 (39) Saric,I (2646)-Yankelevich,L (2448) Skalica SVK 2020}) 10... Bxe3 11. Nxe3 Re8 12. a4 Be6 13. Bxe6 Rxe6 14. Qb3 b6 15. Rad1 Ne7 16. h3 Qd7 17. Nh2 Rd8 18. Nhg4 Nxg4 19. hxg4 (19. Nxg4 $6 Ng6 20. g3 h5 21. Ne3 h4) 19... d5 20. d4 exd4 21. exd5 Re4 $1 22. Qc2 $5 (22. Rxd4 Rxd4 23. cxd4 Nxd5 $11) 22... Rf4 23. g3 $4 dxe3 $1 24. gxf4 Qxg4+ 25. Kf1 Qh3+ 26. Kg1 Nf5 27. d6 Nh4 28. fxe3 Qg3+ 29. Kf1 Nf3 (29... Qh3+ $1 30. Kg1 cxd6 31. Re2 Re8 $19) 30. Qf2 Qh3+ 31. Qg2 Qxg2+ 32. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 33. Rxe1 Rxd6 34. Kf3 Rd2 35. Rb1 g6 36. b4 axb4 37. Rxb4 Ra2 38. Ke4 h5 39. Kd5 Rc2 40. Rb3 h4 41. Kc6 h3 42. Kxc7 h2 43. Rb1 Rxc3+ 44. Kxb6 Rb3+ 45. Rxb3 h1=Q 46. a5 Qe4 47. Ka7 Qe7+ 48. Ka8 Kg7 49. Rb6 Qc5 $1 0-1 [Event "FIDE World Chess Championship 2021"] [Site "?"] [Date "2021.12.10"] [Round "11"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2856"] [Annotator "samsh"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] {Game 11 turned out to be the final encounter of the match. It looked very equal throughout until Nepo's sense of danger completely eluded him and the game ended in one move.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Unlike all of the previous games, Nepo chose the Italian. Hindsight is 20/20, but it looked to me like Magnus understood the resulting middlegame better.} Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. O-O a5 {The a7-a5 system is a very topical one, and is one of the big mainlines in the Italian today. The point is some prophylaxis against b2-b4, but I was a little puzzled by what happened next.} 7. Re1 Ba7 $5 {I had never seen this idea of playing a5 and then Ba7 before castling. I always thought one of the big points was to prevent b2-b4 so that the bishop can remain on c5 free of harassment, but it is a sensible waiting move.} 8. Na3 h6 {Now, I really dislike the idea Nepo came up with here. In general, the most ambitious thing White can do in the Italian is fight for d3-d4, turning the a7-bishop from a good piece into a bad piece. If White decides this cannot happen, Bc1-e3 is a sensible alternative, but I really think White should be taking back with the rook on e3 rather than the knight.} 9. Nc2 $6 (9. Nb5 {This surely must be more critical. White takes advantage of Black weakening the b5-square with a7-a5 and hits the bishop on a7 to win a tempo. After} Bb6 10. Be3 Bxe3 11. Rxe3 {This looks like a more ambitious way for White. The rook on e3 is better than a knight would be since the e4-pawn is well-supported, and d3-d4 is coming next. White looks a little better to me, though of course Black is still very solid.}) 9... O-O 10. Be3 Bxe3 11. Nxe3 Re8 {Now Black has a striaghtforward plan of Be6, taking back with the rook, and rerouting the c6-knight to g6. The pressure on the e4-pawn makes it very hard for White to advance d3-d4, and I don't see another credible plan.} 12. a4 Be6 13. Bxe6 Rxe6 14. Qb3 b6 15. Rad1 Ne7 {Of course. The knight heads for g6.} 16. h3 Qd7 { Now Black's position plays itself. Bring the rook to d8 or e8 as you see fit, knight to g6, and eventually push d5.} 17. Nh2 {This does not seem impressive, but I guess it makes some sense. bringing the knight to g4 to exchange for the f6-knight will make it easier to push d3-d4, but Black is well in time to get his peices ready to deal with it.} Rd8 18. Nhg4 {Now, Black should be at least a little careful. Allowing White to take on f6 and push d4 would give him a good position, but it's almost hard to suggest a move for Black that makes any sense at all other than the best one.} Nxg4 (18... Kh8 $2 {Some non-move like this would allow White to show his idea.} 19. Nxf6 Rxf6 20. d4 {This is indeed unpleasant for Black.}) 19. hxg4 d5 $1 {Black beats White to the punch and makes his break first. White was just too slow to get d3-d4 in before d6-d5, all because the knight on e3 was misplaced and the e4-pawn was loose.} 20. d4 { Now there is some minor showdown in the center, but it should all fizzle out easily enough.} exd4 $1 {Magnus had to see this Re4-f4 idea to justify this move, but it is hardly rocket science.} 21. exd5 {Now, Black cannot take back on d5 thanks to Rxd4, and he really should make sure the d-file remains closed, but this is not too hard to do.} (21. Rxd4 {This does not work too well. After} Rxe4 $1 {Black wins a pawn, and White needs to be precise to maintain the balance.}) 21... Re4 $1 {Good prophylaxis against Rxd4.} (21... Nxd5 $2 22. Rxd4 {Black loses material. The pin on the d-file is too powerful.}) 22. Qc2 ( 22. Rxd4 {This could still be played, but after} Rxd4 23. cxd4 {The d-file is closed, and Black can grab the pawn on d5. For example, after} Nxd5 24. Nxd5 Qxd5 25. Re8+ Kh7 26. Qc2+ g6 27. Rxd8 Qxd8 28. Qe4 {This appears to be a dead draw.}) 22... Rf4 {Now, the only explanation I have for the next move is that there are 2 versions of Nepo. He did not just blitz out g2-g3 without thinking and miss something obvious because he was not paying attention. He spent nine minutes, and still came up with a move that is very hard to understand from a player of his caliber. Sometimes he just seems to tilt really hard. I know from my own experience—I've played him twice. The first game I was on the black side of a Caro-Kann, and he played a fantastically energetic game. It was a wild fight with plenty of chances for both sides. He did not play perfectly, as nobody ever really does in super-complicated positions, but after a somewhat back and forth affair, he found a lot of best moves plenty of times, and eventually ground out a well-deserved win. The other time I played him, it was toward the end of a tournament, I guess he may have been struggling with stamina, and he played some d6/g6/a6/e6 setup, moving pawns around in the first few moves without developing his pieces, and I absolutely demolished him with almost no effort. It was a weird feeling afterward, that I had crushed a near-2800 so easily, and I can imagine this is probably how Magnus is feeling now. Every now and then, this seriously sub-optimal version of Nepo shows up, and unfortunately for him, it came at the worst possible time.} 23. g3 $4 {Not only does this move lose violently, it absolutely forces Black to play the winning continuation since everything else is tantamount to resigning.} (23. Rxd4 {This is just a draw.} Rxd4 24. cxd4 Nxd5 25. Nxd5 Qxd5 26. Qxc7 Qxd4 27. b3 {There's not much to say here. 13 more moves to reach move 40.}) 23... dxe3 {Of course. Moving the rook would allow Rxd4.} 24. gxf4 Qxg4+ 25. Kh1 {This move makes g2-g3 even harder to understand. It allows Black to make a draw immediately with perpetual check. This being the case, why not just go Rxd4 and make the draw without allowing Black extra options? Even if you have not thought about this position for half a second, it should be immediately clear from first glance that Black has a very dangerous attack and possibly could have a better move than forcing a draw. According to my machine, there are nine winning moves.} (25. Kf1 Qh3+ 26. Ke2 exf2 27. Rf1 Nf5 {White is demolished.}) 25... Qh3+ 26. Kg1 {From this point on, Magnus could have found easier wins in multiple places, but the final result was certainly never in doubt.} Nf5 (26... exf2+ 27. Qxf2 Rd6 {This would have ended the match immediately.}) 27. d6 {The best practical chance, but it's certainly over.} Nh4 28. fxe3 Qg3+ 29. Kf1 Nf3 {Now, White is absurdly lucky to have not gotten mated and to be able to bail out into an endgame, but the ending is absolutely lost, so he can't really count his blessings.} 30. Qf2 Qh3+ $1 { The last important move.} (30... Qxf2+ $2 {This would be a grave error. After} 31. Kxf2 Nxe1 32. dxc7 $1 {White wins.}) 31. Qg2 Qxg2+ 32. Kxg2 Nxe1+ {Now, this move comes with check, so White cannot take on c7.} 33. Rxe1 Rxd6 { Black is a clean pawn up and has full control over the only open file. It will take a little work to finish the game off and he certainly could have won faster when White's king was getting thrashed, but it should be routine enough. } 34. Kf3 Rd2 35. Rb1 {A very sad move, but what choice was there?} (35. b4 axb4 36. cxb4 Ra2 {Black wins a second pawn.}) 35... g6 36. b4 axb4 37. Rxb4 { White can now imagine going Rb4-c4, aiming to provoke c7-c5, and then a4-a5 comes and White can start trading stuff. Black's next move prevents this idea.} Ra2 {Now a4-a5 will never come, the rook is stuck defending the a4-pawn, and Black can bring his king to the center and start pushing his passed h-pawn.} 38. Ke4 {Now White has a simple plan. Ke4-d5-c6-xc7-xb6 and go promote the a-pawn. The problem is Black's h-pawn is much faster.} h5 39. Kd5 Rc2 {This did not feel entirely necessary, but it doesn't spoil anything.} (39... h4 { Black wins the race by something like 6 tempi. It helps to have an extra pawn! He had a passed pawn right from the start of the endgame, while White has to spend ages bringing his king all the way to c6 and c7 and b6 to finally get a passer of his own.} 40. f5 {This is the best try, getting the rook behind the h-pawn.} (40. Kc6 h3 41. Kxc7 h2 42. Rb1 f6 {The g-pawn is coming.}) 40... h3 41. Rh4 h2 {The g-pawn comes next and White is done for.}) 40. Rb3 h4 {Move 40 is reached. Magnus has all the time in the world, and he easily wins the pawn race.} 41. Kc6 h3 42. Kxc7 h2 43. Rb1 Rxc3+ {I actually really dislike this decision. It is not enough to not win the game, but it really feels like it is going in the wrong direction.} (43... f6 {Why not just shove the g-pawn straight to g2?} 44. Kxb6 g5) 44. Kxb6 $1 (44. Kb7 {Avoiding taking the pawn does not help. After} Rxe3 45. Rh1 Re4 $1 {White is relieved of his a-pawn, and Black wins the game routinely on the kingside.}) 44... Rb3+ 45. Rxb3 h1=Q 46. a5 {Now, this a-pawn is coming, and it will be very annoying to stop. The rook and king coordinate well, and I could imagine an accident happening. Black's king is a long way away from the action and he does not have any passed pawns of his own yet. Still, it should win without a ton of trouble.} Qe4 47. Ka7 $1 {The rook comes to a square like b6, and a6 comes after... I would be worried with Black here.} Qe7+ 48. Ka8 {One can hope Magnus will play Qd8+ to fork the king and pawn. Of course, this is not a likely scenario.} Kg7 $1 {An excellent move. Black's king gets off the back rank so that Qd8+ becomes a threat.} (48... Qd8+ $2 49. Rb8 {Oops!}) 49. Rb6 (49. a6 Qe6 $1 { White loses his a6-pawn.}) 49... Qc5 {Nepo called it a day here, as after Ra6 Qb5, he will never be able to get his rook out of the way from in front of the a-pawn. It really felt like two matches were played. Nepo A played match one, and in my opinion, Nepo A is the second-best player in the world. Nepo B showed up for match two, and that was a farce. I really think if he can manage to consistently bring Nepo A to the board, he can be very ambitious about playing in another world championship match and giving Magnus a better fight someday. I'd like to thank for inviting me to annotate the games—I certainly enjoyed it and did my very best to bring the most fair and objective analysis I could, void of any of my own personal biases, and covering the games exactly as I saw them. Until next time!} 0-1 [Event "Dubai UAE"] [Site "Dubai UAE"] [Date "2021.12.10"] [Round "11"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2782"] [BlackElo "2855"] [Annotator "Crowther,Mark"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2021.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. O-O a5 {according to my database 0-0, h6, a6 and this move are key points of discussion in 2021.} ({ Relevant:} 6... h6 7. Re1 O-O 8. b4 Bb6 9. Nbd2 Ne7 10. Bb3 a5 11. Nc4 Be6 12. Nxb6 cxb6 13. Bxe6 fxe6 14. Qb3 Qd7 15. Be3 a4 16. Qc2 b5 17. Rad1 Qc6 18. a3 Rac8 19. Qa2 Qd7 20. c4 Ng6 21. h3 Nh5 22. Nh2 Nhf4 23. Nf1 Qe7 24. Kh2 Nh4 25. Bxf4 exf4 26. f3 Rf6 27. cxb5 Rg6 28. Re2 Qg5 29. Rf2 Qxb5 30. Qd2 Rxg2+ { 0-1 (30) Svidler,P (2694)-Nakamura,H (2736) INT 2021}) 7. Re1 Ba7 8. Na3 (8. h3 {was played in the highest level game in this position.} O-O 9. Na3 Be6 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 g5 12. Bg3 Nh5 13. Kh2 Qf6 14. Nb5 Bb6 15. b3 Rad8 16. d4 Bc8 17. Nxe5 Nxg3 18. Nxf7 Rxf7 19. Bxf7+ Qxf7 20. fxg3 Rf8 21. Na3 Ba7 22. Nc4 Ne7 23. Qd3 a4 24. Rf1 Qg7 25. Rxf8+ Qxf8 26. Rf1 Qg7 27. e5 dxe5 28. Nxe5 Be6 29. Qb5 axb3 30. axb3 Bb6 31. Qe8+ Kh7 32. Ng4 Bg8 33. Nf6+ Kh8 34. Nxg8 { 1-0 (34) Eljanov,P (2691)-Hovhannisyan,R (2622) Riga 2021}) 8... h6 9. Nc2 O-O {[#]} 10. Be3 $146 ({Predecessor:} 10. a4 Ne7 11. d4 d5 12. exd5 exd4 13. d6 Nf5 14. Ncxd4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qxd6 16. Nb5 Qc5 17. Qd4 Qxb5 18. axb5 Bxd4 19. cxd4 Rd8 20. Ra4 Bf5 21. Bd2 Nd5 22. Rxa5 Rxa5 23. Bxa5 Be6 24. Rc1 Nf4 25. Bf1 Rxd4 26. Bxc7 Nd3 27. Rd1 Rd7 28. Bxd3 Rxc7 29. Be4 Kf8 30. f3 f5 31. b6 Rf7 32. Bc6 Rf6 33. Rd8+ Ke7 34. Rb8 Bd7 35. Bxd7 Kxd7 36. Rxb7+ Kc6 37. Rxg7 Kxb6 38. Rd7 Kc6 39. Rd2 {1-0 (39) Saric,I (2646)-Yankelevich,L (2461) Skalica 2020} ) 10... Bxe3 11. Nxe3 Re8 12. a4 Be6 13. Bxe6 (13. Bb5 {was the only way to even try for an advantage according to Caruana although also in this case the position must be close to equality.}) 13... Rxe6 14. Qb3 b6 15. Rad1 Ne7 16. h3 Qd7 17. Nh2 Rd8 18. Nhg4 Nxg4 19. hxg4 d5 20. d4 {Forcing the pace but Carlsen has a precise sequence to equalise.} exd4 21. exd5 Re4 {Forced and black needs to have this all worked out.} 22. Qc2 Rf4 {The only move to maintain equality for black.} 23. g3 $4 {Equivalent to resigning the match. It's really hard to know what was going on in Nepomniachtchi's mind here.} (23. Rxd4 Rxd4 24. cxd4 Nxd5 25. Nxd5 Qxd5 26. Qxc7 Qxd4 27. b3 Qf6 $11 {with a draw.}) 23... dxe3 24. gxf4 Qxg4+ 25. Kf1 Qh3+ 26. Kg1 Nf5 (26... Qg4+ {making the decision all the more puzzling is that black has an easy draw here if he wants it so Nepomniachtchi's move wasn't even a winning attempt.}) (26... exf2+ 27. Qxf2 Rd6 {also wins.}) 27. d6 {The only try.} Nh4 (27... Qg4+ 28. Kf1 cxd6) 28. fxe3 Qg3+ 29. Kf1 Nf3 30. Qf2 Qh3+ 31. Qg2 Qxg2+ 32. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 33. Rxe1 Rxd6 { Carlsen plays it extremely safe - converting to a winning Rook and Pawn endgame.} 34. Kf3 Rd2 35. Rb1 g6 36. b4 axb4 37. Rxb4 Ra2 38. Ke4 h5 39. Kd5 Rc2 40. Rb3 h4 41. Kc6 h3 42. Kxc7 h2 43. Rb1 Rxc3+ 44. Kxb6 Rb3+ {The Queen vs Rook endgame is also a trivial win.} 45. Rxb3 h1=Q 46. a5 Qe4 47. Ka7 Qe7+ 48. Ka8 Kg7 49. Rb6 Qc5 0-1