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World Chess Championship Game 5: A Missed Chance for Nepo

The fifth game of the World Chess Championship ended with a draw. After a very dynamic start of the game, Nepo lost the advantage and the game spiraled into a draw after 43 moves. At the after-match press conference, Ian commented that the flow of the game was pleasant and he was disappointed with the result. His fans and supporters probably felt the same. After 5 games, the score is level — 2.5— 2.5.

Photos: Eric Rosen and Niki Riga (FIDE)

The ceremonial move 1.c4 kept us all on our feet for a new opening from the Russian GM, who had the privilege of the first move today. The official start though took us back to the first game of the Championship, when the Spanish Opening made its appearance.

Magnus chose a new 8th move to shake the waters, but Nepo’s instant response showed confidence, determination, and preparation. The game was revealed to be particularly difficult for the World Champion, who in his own words “did not make a single active move”, and also was in time trouble.

Besides the position and time superiority for the Challenger, as the game was reaching to move 40, everything seemed more than balanced and easy to handle for Magnus. Nepo, blatantly bothered, initiated a repetition of moves, and the game ended in a draw. Later he admitted: “Of course I am disappointed. You are not happy, obviously, I should have tried harder to use the momentum.”

The match is best-of-14 games with a prize fund of 2 million euros, with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw is half a point. The first player to reach 7.5 points will be the winner. (If the match should be tied after 14 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breaker games.) It’s two more games than in the 2018 World Championship Match.

The venue for the event is located in downtown Dubai at the Dubai Expo.

The match’s sponsors include Algorand, a leading blockchain company; Kaspersky, the official cyber security partner; and PhosAgro, a giant international fertilizer group.

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

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 1487   2021   Magnus Carlsen   Main feature   Match 2021   Nepo