World Chess Championship Game 4: Birthday boy Magnus Carlsen face nothing new


Dubai: Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia drew for the fourth time in the latest round of the world championship showdown in Dubai on Tuesday, leaving the best-of-14 match 2-2 with 10 games remaining.

The 2hr 37min outcome was the shortest of the match so far, with no blood shed yet but supercomputers analysing the plays indicating that it is the most accurate world title match ever played in the event’s history.

Carlsen, using his preferred white pieces, started with 1 e4 before the players were forced to consider the Petrov Defense (1 … e5 2 Nf3 Nf6). Many spectators were taken aback by the Russian’s unusual opening, but not Carlsen, who noticed later that Nepomniachtchi used it in the eight-man candidates tournament when he clinched his spot as a world championship contender.

However, much like in the first three games, when Nepomniachtchi was forced to rely on precise play to secure a half-point after Carlsen was the first to depart from established theory, the challenger played with extreme precision until the match ended with a threefold repetition of position after 33 moves.

Norwegian Carlsen, who turned 31 on Tuesday, has held the top spot in the Fide rankings for the past ten years and was widely regarded as the finest player in the world even before he defeated Vishy Anand for the title in 2013. He is defending his world title for the fourth time against world No. 5 Nepomniachtchi, who is also 31.

Carlsen is playing his fifth World Championship match, and the tournament is being held for the fifth time in November. Turning 23, 24, 26, and 28 years old have all been happy events for the Norwegian, whose birthday is November 30 and he has won all four matches he has played thus far. In 2016, he beat Sergey Karjakin in the playoffs on that day.


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