2021 World Chess Championship: Carlsen escapes Nepomniachtchi in Game 5 draw

·Contributor
·1 min read
(L to R) Russia's grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi faces Norway's grandmaster Magnus Carlsen during game five in the FIDE World Chess Championship Dubai 2021, at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the Gulf emirate, on December 1, 2021. (Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)
(L to R) Russia's grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi faces Norway's grandmaster Magnus Carlsen during game five in the FIDE World Chess Championship Dubai 2021, at the Dubai Expo 2020 in the Gulf emirate, on December 1, 2021. (Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi remain shackled in a fierce deadlock as Game Five of the 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship concluded with a 43-move draw on Wednesday (December 1) in Dubai.  

Carlsen, the reigning world champion who was handling the black pieces, found himself in trouble early on after the well-prepared Russian dictated the pace with the anti-Marshall variation of the Ruy Lopez.  

Reminiscent of the previous clashes, the Norwegian would be the first to deviate from theoretical lines, but Nepomniachtchi was prudent enough to remain in control of the match. However, the lack of assertiveness from the side of the challenger and the precise defensive acumen of Carlsen culminated to a threefold repetition. 

For the first time in the 14-game championship bout, Nepomniachtchi gained the upper hand over Carlsen for the majority of the match. Still, the string of draws continued in the end, setting up a 2.5-2.5 series stalemate.  

Both elite grandmasters will have a day of rest before plunging back into action on Friday (December 3) for Game Six of the World Chess Championship.  

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.

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