Game Two of Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi Match Drawn
The overall score is equal — 1:1.
Saturday, November 27, game two of the FIDE World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia finished at the Expo 2020 Dubai. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich made the first ceremonial move again. The following guests of honour ascended the stage as well: President of the Chess Federation of the Sverdlovsk region, founder of the Sima-land company Andrey Simanovsky, and co-founder and Executive Director of TON Labs Alexander Filatov.
The world champion had the white pieces and opened the game by moving his queen pawn. The challenger would not go into his favorite opening, the Gruenfeld Defense, having opted for a solid setup with 1...Nf6 and 2...e6 instead that transposed into the Catalan opening. The opponents abandoned the mainline theory as early as move 7-8, which led to an original and complex position. Just as in game one, Magnus sacrificed a pawn to get substantial positional compensation in return.
White sacrificed an exchange and a pawn, but his knight landed on d6 to chain down Black's forces; Nepomniachtchi’s bishop was especially passive behind own pawns. Ian gave up two of his pawns to liberate his pieces and trade the passive bishop. Magnus could have saddled his opponent with more serious problems to solve, but rushed to force the game. Ian gave back the exchange, getting rid of the pesky d6-knight instead. The queens also left the board several moves later to transpose into a dead drawn rook ending with three for White versus two pawns for Black on the same flank.
The world champion was apparently unhappy with having let go of his advantage and made 15 more moves to either test the challenger's technique or endurance and alertness. A draw was agreed on move 58.
The overall march score is equal — 1:1. Scheduled on Sunday, November 28, the white pieces are with the Russian GM.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mobarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet of Ministers member, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020, visited the world championship match venue on Saturday morning. He came together with yet another distinguished guest, the legendary world champion Garry Kasparov, who talked to the members of the match Organising Committee.
Photo credit: Eric Rosen and Niki Riga, FIDE;
Eteri Kublashvili, Nina Bodenchuk (from the studio located in the GUM department store in Moscow), and Vladimir Barsky