Magnus Carlson took control of the Chess Championship after a challenger’s error

It took 136 steps in one race and a fatal oversight in the other, but we ended up in the championship battle between the Norwegian champion Magnus Carlson and the Russian challenger Ian Nepomnacci. Achieved two decisive results. They just passed the midpoint of the 14 scheduled games. Dubai.

After the game started with five consecutive victories, Carlson used his iconic courage and sheer curse to win in the sixth game. This epic struggle was recorded in history and became the longest in 150-year history. competition. world champion matches. In the fierce battle between Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov and Soviet challenger Victor Korchinoy in 1978, it was overshadowed by a 124-step draw.

This game seems to have lost a lot of Nepomniachtchi. In the 7th game, he used the white Rui Lopez anti-Marshall line to hit an unremarkable draw, then made a basic tactical error and lost the 8th game with a smarter 41 steps on Sunday. .

With only six games left in the competition, the champion is now leading 5-3, making him hopeful of maintaining his title since 2013. Nepomniachtchi will face increasing pressure, and he will get his first full score again on Tuesday to have a white piece in the 9th game.

After three consecutive games that started on Friday, both players looked exhausted. Nepomniachtchi was particularly frustrated and resigned when faced with reporters’ questions about the disaster of the eighth game and how he hopes to reverse the situation.

“I want to apologize for today’s performance,” Nepomniachtchi joked at the post-match press conference. “It may be much lower-even, let’s say-my normal level, but lower than the GM level.”

One day, Game 6 may be worth writing a whole book, but in essence, this is a textbook example of Carlson’s ability to squeeze victory from the smallest advantage. The challenger actually got a better game in this Catalan game, but Carlson was able to defend and-according to a world full of silicon and human kibitzers-missed a shot close to winning with 33. Rcc2 ! (Instead of 33. Rd1 in the game) Bxa3 34. Nf4!, the idea is that White can ignore the pawns behind and use his cart and horse to launch a decisive king attack. Hardly any player suspects that it takes another 103 steps to decide this question.

White’s decision to trade his queen for Black’s two cars worked well, because in the final game that followed, only Carlson was fighting for victory. Black defended bravely, but after White’s pawn patiently climbed onto the board, it After 130, it was over in an instant. Kh3 (see picture) Qe6? (The engine says that both 130…Qb1 and 130…Qc2 must maintain their positions) 131. Kh4 (the king joins the advancement with a decisive influence, protected by some clever knight forks) Qh6+ 132. Nh5 Qh7 133. e6! (The beginning of the end; 133…Qxf5 134. Nxg7+ wins) Qg6 134. Rf7 Kd8 (Qxe6 135. Ng7+ Kxf7 136. Nxe6 Kxe6 137. Kh5 is the basic final victory) 131.17.fg. Black has Qg6 and Black resigns, Because after the queen check is used up, the pawn has a clear path to the queen square.

After a peaceful tie for the seventh game, the Challenger suffered a disaster in the eighth game on Sunday.

Facing Petrov’s defense for the second time in the game, Carlsen used the relatively rare 7.Nd2 and subtle 10.Qe1+! ? (Play after 40 minutes of thinking) Forcing black people to be creative is just to maintain equality. Avoiding the natural (and extremely procrastinating) 10…Qe7, Nepomniachtchi missed several opportunities to suppress white and then committed the worst mistake in this game so far: just losing without compensation A chess piece.

The key action appears in 20. c4 dxc4 21. Bxc4 b5?? (21…Kg8, avoidance check, almost mandatory), due to the simple strategy of 22.Qa3+Kg8 23.Qxa7 and lose a pawn, if 23 …bxc4, White retrieves the bishop with 24.Qxd7. The discouraged challenger failed to make a strong resistance (23…Bxh3! 24. Qxf7+! Qxf7 24. Re8+ Kh7 25. Bxf7 Bf5 provided at least some draw opportunities), because Carlson simplified it to a later ending and he had two extra pawns .

44. d5 g4 45. hxg4 h3 46. After Qf3, when Black’s hope of checking the White King was dashed, the Russian withdrew from the game.

Carlson-Nepomniachtchi, world champion Match, game 6, Dubai, December 2021

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. OO OO 6. b3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. c4 dxc4 9. Qc2 Qe7 10. Nbd2 Nc6 11. Nx24 Nc6 11. Nxc4 Qb2 Bb7 14 . a3 Nc6 15. Nd3 Bb6 16. Bg5 Rfd8 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Rac1 Nd4 19. Nxd4 Bxd4 20. Qa2 Bxg2 21. Kxg2 Qb7 + 24d Rfd8 + 24.24 Qb7 + 24.24d Rfd8 Rac8 Rc8 Qd5 27. 28. b4 a4 29. e3 Be5 30. h4 h5 31. Kh2 Bb2 32. Rc5 Qd6 33. Rd1 Bxa3 34. Rxb5 Qd7 352 R 3 Qd7 e 35 R 36 Rd 35. Ra2 e4 39. Nc5 Qxb4 40. Nxe4 Qb3 41 . Rac2 Bf8 42. Nc5 Qb5 43. Nd3 a3 44. Nf4 Qa5 45. Ra2 Bb4 46. Rd3 Kh6 47. Kd1 Qa2 47. Rd1 Qa2 40 B 40 D 40 B Qd 51. Nd4 Kh7 52. Kh2 Qe4 53. Rxa3 Qxh4 + 54. Kg1 Qe4 55. Ra4 Be5 56. Ne2 Qc2 57. R1a2 Qb3 58. Kg2 Qd5 + 59. f3 Qd1. 6 Kf 16 Kf 16. B 10 Qb3 63. Re4 Kg7 64. Re8 f5 65. Raa8 Qb4 66. Rac8 Ba5 67. Rc1 Bb6 68. Re5 Qb3 69. Re8 Qd5 70. Rcc8 Qh1 71. Rc1 Qd5 72. Rc1 Qd5 72. Rb1 Rec1 Bb6 68. Re5 Qd5 72. Rb1 Bb7 5 c 5. Rb7 Qc2 76. Rb5 Ba7 77 . Ra5 Bb6 78. Rab5 Ba7 79. Rxf5 Qd3 80. Rxf7 + Kxf7 81. Rb7 + Kg6 82. Rxa7 Qd5 83. Ra 6+ Kh7 84. Ra1 K g6 85. Nd4 Qb7 86. Ra2 Qh1 87. Ra6 + Kf7 88. Nf3 Qb1 89. Rd6 Kg7 90. Rd5 Qa2 + 91. Rd2 Qb1 92. Re2 Qb6.1b6 Rd 4 Qd 4 N 91. 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 Qb10 10 Qb1 Qb10 Rd7 Qb10 10. Rd1 Qb3 K7. Rd4 Qb2 + 109. Ne2 Qb1 110. e4 Qh1 111. Rd7 + Kg8 112. Rd4 Qh2 + 113. Ke3 h4 114. gxh4 Qh3 + 115. Kd2 Qxh4 R.18 Rd7 + Kg8 Rd.18 Rd.18 Rd7 Ke3 Qa5 119. Kf2 Rea + Qd7 121 . Ng3 Qd2 + 122. Kf3 Qd1 + 123. Re2 Qb3 + 124. Kg2 Qb7 125. Rd2 Qb3 126. Rd5 Ke7 127. Re5 Ke8 + Kf1a + 123. Re2 Qb3 + Kf7 130. Kh3 Qe6 131. Kh4 Qh6 + 132. Nh5 .e6 Qg6 134. Rf7 Kd8 135. f5 Qg1 136. Ng7 Black resigns.

Carlson-Nepomniachtchi, world champion Match, game 8, Dubai, December 2021

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. Nd2 Nxd2 8. Bxd2 Bd6 9. OO h5 10. Qe1 + Kf842d 116 Qe1.. Qd2 Re8 14. Rae1 Rh6 15. Qg5 c6 16. Rxe8 + Bxe8 17​​. Re1 Qf6 18. Qe3 Bd7 19. h3 h4 20. c4 dxc4 21. Bxc4 b5 22. Qa3. Bx7d 22.Qa3 + Bxe8 R 18. 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 K.x6e. 3 Qxa2 3 Qxe5 Qe1 + 30 Qb2 37.3 Qe4 +. 39. Qc3 Qf4 + 40. Kg1 Kh7 41. Qd3 + g6 42. Qd1 Qe3 + 43. Kh1 g5 44. d5 g4 45. hxg4 h3 46. Qf3 Black resign

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