Added on 11/28/2021


GM Joel Benjamin reviews games 1, 2 & 3

Should we be afraid now? Five games into the World Championship we have not seen a decisive game, after the two games since the break, games four and five, ended in fairly short draws.



Nepo with white again today.

Will it be 1.e4 e5? That's the question. Everyone on Twitter was asking for a prediction. Some seem to be sure Nepo will face the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez again. And it was a Ruy Lopez indeed. But this time, the opening is an anti-Marshall with 8.a4. Magnus went with 8...Bb7, a very trendy system.

Magnus played Re8 at move 10, which has not been played in top games for over a decade. Magnus surprised Nepo for the third time in a row. Still, although Ian needed to think longer than usual, the Russian found all the right moves to contrast the "novelty," equalizing the game with relative ease.

It looked like both players were already out of theory, but the preparation was still there, and the game went on with Magnus and Nepo playing carefully and precisely until the draw at move 41.

GM Miguel Illescas will explain us all the nuances in his fantastic video recap.

In the interview right after the game, Magnus looked a bit tired, somehow somber.

He said he always tries to drive the game out of theory early but admitted that Nepo's preparation is excellent. The Russian never gave the Norwegian the slightest chance to take advantage over the board. Therefore, Magnus decided to liquidate and enter a drawn endgame with bishops of the same color. The Champion said he's sufficiently satisfied so far and that he'll need to create more opportunities in the next games. In the end, Magnus said he welcomes the rest day after two games with black.

It was probably the most uneventful game so far. Still, it's always thrilling to see the two contestants play chess at this unbelievable level and appreciate the excellent preparation they have.