[Event "2021 FIDE World Championship"] [White "Carlsen,Magnus"] [Black "Nepomniachtchi,Ian"] [Site "http://www.chessbomb.com"] [Round "8"] [Annotator "Anish Giri"] [Result "1-0"] [Date ""] [WhiteElo "2856"] [BlackElo "2782"] [PlyCount "91"] 1. e4 {} e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 {Ian stays loyal to the Petroff. A draw in this game means he gets a rest day and an opportunity to go for it in the next game with the White pieces.} 3. d4 Nxe4 4. Bd3 d5 5. Nxe5 Nd7 6. Nxd7 Bxd7 7. Nd2 $5 {A very innocent looking try, but Carlsen evidently felt it was good enough for this particular game and it worked out indeed.} Nxd2 {Not the only move, with 7. ..f5 and 7...Nf6 looking like interesting alternatives.} 8. Bxd2 Bd6 {Objectively this natural move may be quite inaccurate. The computer's first suggestion is 8...Qe7+.} 9. 0-0 h5 $5 { This can be seen as a sign of aggression, but in fact it is more than that, a very clever idea. The simple castle at this point, maintaining symmetry will not maintain it for too long, as after 9...0-0 10.Qh5! Black is forced to weaken his position somewhat with 10...f5. With the move in the game, Ian guards h5 square, accepts the fact that the king will no longer castle and think about activating the h8 rook already.} 10. Qe1+ {After a surprise, followed a long thought and this move, essentially offering simplifications and basically a draw. After the game Magnus mentioned that he was also not 100% sure whether Ian was not out of book at this point.} (10. c4 {was the most tempting move, but the lines could get very complicated here.} dxc4 11. Re1+ Kf8 12. Bxc4 {here it's tempting to go for the double attack with Qh4, but actually Black should be very alert here.} Qf6 $1 {The strongest reply, preventing Qf3 first and foremost.} (12... Qh4 {This would be good if not for a very powerful reply.} 13. Qf3 $3 {Suddenly it transpires that White's threat of Qxf7 is far too serious, while Black's check on h2, even though it captures a pawn, is only a check.} )13. Qb3 h4 $1 {Black can meet 14.Qxb7 with 14... Bc6! gaining a lot of time to generate kingside play. The position is actually quite unclear, as the h8 rook is ready to get into the game via h5.} )Kf8 $6 {An inexplicable error, even though the arising position is still pretty solid and very drawish. It is just not clear why not to play 10...Qe7 instead, which would equalize on the spot, while the move in the game isn't a winning attempt at all.} (10... Qe7 {there isn't much to show here, as the queens come off, the position is totally dry.} )11. Bb4 {White obviously elimates the d6 bishop (else why did he go Qe1+) and gets a very slightly better position, thanks to a very very slightly better bishop and better coordination of rooks, as the rook on h8, though it can join the game via h6, is still somewhat oddly placed, with h5 pawn being weak if it ever leaves the h-file.} Qe7 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. Qd2 Re8 14. Rae1 Rh6 {This questionable move was played too fast and I started to get worried for Black here. It started to become clear that Ian was out of balance on this day.} 15. Qg5 {An annoying move, pointing out that f6 now reduces the range of the h6 rook.} c6 16. Rxe8+ Bxe8 17. Re1 Qf6 18. Qe3 {Magnus plays it simple. Also possible was to go for another route.} (18. Qg3 Qd6 19. Qh4 Qf6 20. Qh3 $5 {This is another attempt at transforming the position and making use of White's better coordinated pieces.} Qxd4 21. Qc8 Re6 22. Rxe6 fxe6 23. g3 $1 {Threatening Bg6 and keeping Qxb7 in the pocket as well. Black can likely hold, but only with very precise play.} )Bd7 19. h3 h4 {A decent move, even though Ian felt this was not accurate, unhappy that he allowed c4 in this version.} 20. c4 {Transforming the position somewhat, opening it a little bit, trying to use Black's weird piece coordination.} dxc4 21. Bxc4 b5 $4 {A blunder that is hard to explain. I'd go with the cliches: the nerves, tiredness, pressure and all of that.} (21... Kg8 $1 {Would equalize, as 22.Qe7 can be met with 22...Be6! when things work out just fine for Black.} )22. Qa3+ {Now Magnus picks up the a7 pawn for free, thanks to some back rank tricks. Besides that now Black's position is pretty much lost, not able to cope with all the setbacks, he doesn't manage to put up any resistance.} Kg8 {The alternative was still better-22...Qd6 23.Qxa7 g5 and somehow fight on, though White is up a pawn and has all the compensation for it as well, as they say in such cases.} (22... Qd6 23. Qxa7 {is the trick, as 23...bxc4 loses to 24.Qa8+.} )23. Qxa7 Qd8 {This and the next move, puts Black's pieces to a total freeze, though I have to say it's not that there was a great alternative.} (23... Bxh3 {Would have been the best shot. The endgame is more lost than it seems, but there was a trap, though Magnus at the press conference pointed out that he had seen it.} 24. Qxf7+ (24. Re8+ Kh7 25. Bxf7 $2 {White threatens the spectacular Rh8+ followed by Qa8-g8 mate, but here comes the shocker.} Rg6 $3 {and things suddenly turn around for Black.} )Qxf7 25. Re8+ Kh7 26. Bxf7 Bf5 27. Bg8+ Kg6 28. Bb3 {The endgame is significantly worse than it may seem at first, as Black is still poorly coordinated and is struggling with a weak c6 pawn.} )24. Bb3 Rd6 {Black is already dead lost, but Rh5-Rg5 was a better try to somehow fish for some miracle.} 25. Re4 {Black is now paralyzed and White can come up with threats at will, for example Rf4 is coming.} Be6 {Entering a dead lost queen endgame, but there was no salvation at this point.} 26. Bxe6 Rxe6 27. Rxe6 fxe6 28. Qc5 {The queen endgame is just too winning for Magnus to really need his famous endgame skills, though he still shows them in this game, winning this endgame with the biggest of margins.} Qa5 29. Qxc6 Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Qxf2 31. Qxe6+ Kh7 32. Qe4+ Kg8 33. b3 {The queen on e4 ensures that there is never any perpetual check, as after Qg3+ Kh1, the e1 square is always under control.} Qxa2 34. Qe8+ Kh7 35. Qxb5 Qf2 36. Qe5 Qb2 37. Qe4+ Kg8 {Now Magnus could capture the h4 pawn, but he chooses a more clinical finish, keeping all of his pawns alive.} 38. Qd3 Qf2 39. Qc3 {The queen controls all the vital squares. Black has no perpetual here ever.} Qf4+ 40. Kg1 Kh7 41. Qd3+ {Too accurate, as on d1 the queen controls everything even better.} g6 42. Qd1 Qe3+ 43. Kh1 g5 44. d5 g4 45. hxg4 {Prettier was 45.d6! gxh3 46.Qh5+ and the idea is that Black is going to have to allow the queens to come off- 46...Kg7 47.Qg4+ Kf8 48.Qf3+.} h3 46. Qf3 {Three pawns is more than enough as well and so Nepo resigns.} 1-0