2021 World Chess Championship: Game #4

2021 World Chess Championship
Dubai, UAE (November 24th-December 16th)

Magnus Carlsen (Norway) vs. Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia)
Game 4
Match Score: 2-2
Official Site: https://fideworldchampionship.com/

2021 World Chess Championship: Game 4
Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Another draw, but tense moments in tough struggle
Draw streak continues!

Before today’s game, everyone was getting their last posts about Magnus Carlsen’s 31st birthday. It seemed like a few years ago that we saw a 13-year old Carlsen taking on an amazed Garry Kasparov. Now almost two decades later, Carlsen is the sitting World Champion defending his title for the fourth time. This time his opponent is Ian Nepomniachtchi who is also 31. Time has flown!

Today’s game was the shortest thus far. A 33-move Petroff may appear to be a dull affair if you didn’t watch the broadcast. There were some interesting patterns shown by the commentating teams as each tried to breathe some life into the position with creative attempts.

Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi broadcasts

Interestingly enough, each commentary team was coming up with similar lines, but it was Viswanathan Anand who was the best calculator. Yesterday, ChessBase India interviewed Anand and he gave his opinion on the downsides of using an engine when analyzing a game. Here is what he had to say. Wait for it…

Video by Sagar Shah/ChessBase India

What was so instructive was the tactical possibilities with so few pieces on the board. White had a menacing threat on the black king with possible mating patterns that were beautiful but highly unlikely with such a strong player. Nevertheless, the analysis showed the incredible attacking power of the rook and knight.

There was even a line where black would queen the a-pawn and white would get a perpetual check with the rook on the d7 and the knight checking on f6 and h7. During the chess24 broadcast, IM Danny Rensch was asking for a term to describe the checking maneuver and a fan came up with “pendulum”!

Unfortunately, or fortunately, there were no missteps and the two players sued for peace on move 33. What will be the next opening in Game 5? Will it be a Sicilian? A Petroff? Another Ruy Lopez? One thing for sure… if there is another draw, FIDE will most likely come up with an alternative format for the future that may include rapid and blitz. In what other way can we determine the best player overall? That may be an ongoing discussion for this match.

Video by GM Daniel King

Video by chess.com

Video by Maurice Ashley/NBC Sports

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