Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi played the second match of their World Chess Championship to a draw on Saturday evening at Expo 2020 Dubai.
After 58 moves and nearly four-and-a-half hours, a stalemate was a formality. The result means we are all square after two draws.
Carlsen thought he had the edge at one point but admitted an error let Nepomniachtchi back in in game 2.
“At some point I blundered because I didn’t intend to sac quite as much material as I actually did,” Carlsen was reported as saying by The Guardian. “I think a lot of things could have been done differently. After that, I was trying to hang in there, not to lose. The position was very, very interesting. It was going my way for a bit but I couldn’t really find a plan.”
Hall 2 of the South Wing of Dubai Exhibition Centre, at the entrance of Expo 2020 Dubai is where Carlsen, arguably the greatest chess player of this generation, will be defending his Fide world crown for the fifth time against Russian Grandmaster Nepomniachtchi in the Fide World Championship match here for a period of three weeks till December 16.
The organisers have announced a hefty two million euros prize fund, which will be split 60 per cent for the winner and 40 per cent for the runner-up. This is a substantial increase from the one million euros in the 2014, 2016 and 2018 World Chess Championships, but still a lower amount than the 2013 World Chess Championship where the players shared 2,65 million euros.
The Carlsen — Nepomniachtchi 2021 match will have an extended format. Instead of the 12 games that were traditionally played in the past decade, this match will feature 14 games. In case the result is equal after Game 14, tie-breaks will follow.