1 December 2021

Ian Nepomniachtchi and Magnus Carlsen Draw Game Five in Dubai

The overall march score remains level — 2.5:2.5.

Photo credit:  E. Kublashvili
Photo credit: E. Kublashvili

Wednesday, December 1, game five of the Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi World Championship Match finished in Dubai. Before the game, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich congratulated the hosts and on the Golden Jubilee, the 50th National Day. (This holiday is celebrated on December 2, but that day is a rest day on the match.) The first ceremonial move of Game 5 was made by H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.

As in games 1 and 3, in which Ian Nepomniachtchi had the white pieces, the opponents opted for Ruy Lopez, or rather, one of its Anti-Marshall setups. The world champion was the first to sidestep from the line tested in game three only to find the challenger demonstrate very deep home preparation and seize the initiative. The game developed under slight but unpleasant pressure from the first player; the world champion had to fight back passively without the slightest chance to tip the scales in his favor. However, White also found it hard to break through the opponent's robust defensive lines.

Magnus Carlsen gradually sorted out his defensive problems, and the position became level. On move 43, the opponents agreed to a draw.

The overall march score remains level — 2.5:2.5. Thursday, December 2, is a rest day. Game six is scheduled on Friday, December 3, with the World Champion playing the white pieces.

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Pictures by Eteri Kublashvili and Vladimir Barsky