2021 World Chess Championship: Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi close Game 7 with 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 by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by 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 by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Coming off a grueling, 136-move duel less than a day ago, Game 7 of the 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi ended in a rather peaceful 41-move draw on Saturday (December 4) in Dubai.  

After tipping the scales to his favor with a historical Game 6 triumph, the defending world champion Carlsen faced little resistance from the Russian challenger, who decided to bank on a safe approach with the white pieces by utilizing the anti-Marshall variation of the Ruy Lopez.  

It was the fourth time in the championship bout Nepomniachtchi relied on the said theoretical line, and the familiarity with such an approach allowed the fancied Norwegian to equalize without much of a hitch. 

With the result, Carlsen, who is looking to defend his title for the fourth consecutive time, takes a 4-3 series lead heading into the second half of the tournament.  

Action resumes on Sunday (December 5) for Game 8 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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