Norway's chessmaster Magnus Carlsen competes against Russia's chessmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi during Game 2 of the FIDE World Chess Championship Dubai 2021, at Expo 2020 Dubai
Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen broke down Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi's resistance in the sixth round late on Friday night. Image Credit: AFP

Kolkata: A week after the World Chess Championship battle started at the Expo 2020 Dubai, four-time world champion Magnus Carlsen finally broke the resistance of Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi on Friday night in a marathon sixth round of their 14-game title match after 136 moves. The win helped the Norwegian, who has held onto the No.1 Fide ranking, forge a 3 1/2- 2 1/2 lead after six games.

This was the longest game in the history of the championship, overtaking the 124-move draw between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi at the ‘Battle of Baguio’ in the Philippines in 1978. Carlsen’s victory took nearly eight hours and the game finished after midnight in Dubai.

Till the win, Carlsen’s world championship draw sequence in classical games had reached 19, the last two of his 2016 series with Sergey Karjakin, all 12 of his 2018 defence against Fabiano Caruana and the first five in Dubai, breaking the unenviable record set by Karpov and Garry Kasparov during their timeless test series in Moscow, 1984-85.