Another victory for the world number one today at Dubai’s ongoing world chess championship.
After the record-breaking 6th game of the 2021 World Chess championship that went for 136 moves, the seventh game came with the shortest draw so far in the rounds as the Challenger stuck to the predicted Anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez with all preparations and responses as somewhat similar to the previous play.
However, the surprise came again in the 8th round as GM Magnus Carlsen playing the white pieces dominated the Russian GM overwhelmingly. Both players went into a Petroff defense line, and one would have expected a serious challenge from the black side of the board. Still, today seems not to be a good day for GM Ian Nepomniatchchi to throw some fists as the blood of soldiers under his command spilled after he blundered a pawn from an excellent defensive formation.
Magnus proved once again that he is the crowned king of chess for some reason, and evidently, the beautiful ones to take over from him are not yet born. One would have said it was a ride in the pack, but the Challenger demanded respect. After all, he did qualify from the candidates to be the Challenger to the throne.
GM Ian Nepomniatchchi took some 17 minutes to think from a symmetrical position with all pieces packed on the queens’ file and played 9. …h5, the pawn push caught the defending champion off guard as it took Magnus Carlsen 40minutes to give a reply of 10. Qe1+, which GM Ian Nepominatchchi says is just a silent call for a draw from Magnus, if he had played 10. … Qe7.
While Many chess analysts agreed thus, GM Ian Nepominatchchi solidly stood behind the 10… Kf8 he played and still feels should have also ended in a draw. “I didn’t see the difference between 10…Qe7 and 10…Kf8; I thought that, anyway, it will end quickly in a draw,”
As usual, GM Nijat Abasov did annotations for lichess
The surprise move was 21… b5, whatever Ian thought to make that move. The whole commentators from all over the world went into a surprise shock, and one would have believed he knew what he was doing. With some inaccuracies at this point, he walked off confidently, regretting the move in a good disguise as the response 22. Qa3+ win the supposed Trojan pawn. From this point, the Challenger became overwhelmed by his blunder as his moves went sloppy after that and earned himself a loss from a supposed drawn position.
Ian also admitted that he played below expectations.
The game entered the break with a scoreline of 5:3 in favor of GM Magnus Carlsen. We all hope the Challenger will come out of his regrets on Tuesday at 16:30hrs Dubai time or 13:30 CAT and play some attacking and “surprise-filled” chess he is known for.