Ian Nepomnyashchi took off his jacket on the third move, a fast record time, and played with a captured chess piece as if it was a fidget wheel. On the other side of the table in a glass box in Dubai, world number one Magnus Carlsen sat the two in the middle of a weeks-long battle for the World Chess Championship, for a while. More than eight hours later, at the post-match press conference in his jacket, Nepomnyashchi was wondering what had happened.
Within a few moves, Carlsen offered to sacrifice a pawn at the altar of attack, a maneuver he had tried twice before in the match, which had yet to see a win. It was a creative idea, celebrated by the commenting experts, in this edition of the Catalan opening, a region they also visited last weekend in 2 . game.
Nepomnyakhchi refused the pawn and made a piece of aggression. Chess Analysts introduce Variety of punctuation marks for noticeable movements. Step 11 gave Nepomniachtchi a universal exclamation point – with “11…b5!” He succeeded in navigating the hole with the black slash and baring his teeth, showing his willingness to take the fight. After a few steps, Nepomnyashchi refused the queen’s trade, once again demonstrating his perseverance. Two firm and well-equipped armies stared at each other across an empty area in the middle of the plate—the silence before the fury and the long war of attrition coming.
Soon, Nepomnyakhchi offered his own trade – one white queen in exchange for two black rakes. Carlsen accepted these terms, and the lopsided posture was swinging precariously on the board. Players clocks ticking as they think about how everything went wrong.
Players start World Championship matches with a 2-hour bank – they only get an extra hour once they make their 40th move. If the player’s clock reaches 0:00, he loses. By the 30th movement, Carlsen’s watch had drifted under 10 minutes. By the thirty-fifth, his and Nepomnyakhchi’s hours were less than five minutes away.
For much of the match, the computer rating had sat close to 0.00, the representative of the even dead and Almost perfect chess Played by all of the greats. During this frantic period of time that followed, however, the computer shuddered like a seismometer during Big One.
The hours drained, and Carlsen and Nepomniacchi were caught up in a complex battle for space and materials in the painting’s southwest corner — an asymmetrical skirmish, queen and bishop versus ravens and knight. Carlsen was the first to see real winning chances, but he missed opportunity To launch a long-range fruitful attack on the Black King. (Carlsen said after the match that this idea was off her radar.) Shortly thereafter, Nepomnyashchi should have obtained a free pawn but he did not.
They each made their forty moves with only seconds, the computer again displayed 0.00, and the clock finished one hour.
But after four hours of playing, there was still a rich and precarious ending. With his king safely tucked away and some time on the clock, Carlsen was free to investigate his offensive opportunities once again.
A grueling dance unfolded over dozens of moves, devouring a few pawns and redirecting the pieces to just the right places. In the Eighty Movement, Carlsen replaced one of his marbles with a pawn and a bishop, and the survivors were as follows: a rook, a knight and three pawns for Carlsen; A queen and one pawn for Nepomnyakhchi.
It went about 30 moves before another pawn was moved, and no pieces were picked up, the larger guns swaying and weaving, dashing in and out of traffic, with similar results if you didn’t look both ways. At step 100, the Nepomnyakhchi chair was visibly trembling, another seismic event. With moves creeping into the triple digits, Carlsen began examining his scoresheet, wanting to avoid a triple repetition of the situation that would be declared a draw, and instead strive for victory, however long it takes.
By movement #116, the game can be found in Endgame table rules, those pre-calculated situations known to modern machines – the game was a theoretically foolproof draw. This does not mean that drawing is easy for a person to achieve. Nybo had to navigate a minefield while under heavy fire, finding just the right moves to maintain a tie, while Carlsen was basically playing without risk.
On move number 125, it became the longest game in World Championship history.
On the 130th step, Nepomnyakhchi slipped his foot. powerful computer Match analysis found a guaranteed checkmate of 60 moves in the future.
It won’t take long. Nepomnyakhchi offered his hand at quitting after 136 moves over the course of nearly eight hours, as Carlsen’s pawns were unstoppable, destined for promotion at the far end of the board. Carlsen now holds the top spot in the best of 14 games, 3.5-2.5, and the competition could extend into mid-December.
In a match defined by flawless gameplay, a few human errors on Friday provided deep drama and turned the game into an instant classic. Nepomnyashchi described both players’ play as “far from excellent”, but the game itself was great.
“I was running on smoke at the end,” Carlsen said at the post-match press conference, describing the match as a win like any other, with the familiar indifference.
And how does Nepomnyakhchi return to normal? “Hopefully in style,” he said.
The match continues over the weekend, with Match 7 starting on Saturday and Match 8 on Sunday – both starting at 7:30 AM ET. We’ll cover it here and on TwitterWe are closely watching our watch.
For more writing on chess and other games, check out Roeder’s new book, “Seven Games: A Human HistoryAnd“Available in January.
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