[Event "World Championship"] [White "Nepomniachtchi,Ian"] [Black "Carlsen,Magnus"] [Site ""] [Round ""] [Annotator "Anish Giri"] [Result "*"] [Date "2021.12.04"] [PlyCount "81"] 1. e4 {} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 0-0 8. a4 {The repeat of the same opening as in game 3 and 5 is not too surprising, given that Ian didn't have much time after the previous long game that ended in a loss for him. Also Ian was getting some small plus there, after all} Rb8 9. axb5 axb5 10. h3 d6 11. d3 {Another twist, keeping the b-pawns on the board for now. In the previous game in this position Ian included 11.c3 b4, got a small plus, but for this game, Magnus (his team) would likely come up with an improvement neutralizing that attempt.} h6 {Magnus is going for the very simple plan of h6, Re8, Bf8, Be6, trading the bishops without doubling the pawns. It is slow, but quite efficient.} 12. Nc3 {Ian chooses the Nc3-Nd5 plan.} Re8 13. Nd5 Bf8 { Black continues with his plan, not minding the trade of knights much.} 14. Nxf6+ Qxf6 15. c3 {Black is left with the "bad" c6 knight, but as so often in these structures, he can reroute it to g6 at will.} Ne7 16. Be3 Be6 {Magnus took some time to go for this move order. It was also possible to start with 15....Be6, or play another move here, for example 16... b4 or 16...c5.} 17. d4 {White gains space in the center, but with the second pair of light pieces getting traded, the center alone is not worth too much. The side with the less space is always happy to trade stuff away.} exd4 $1 {Likely an operation prepared by the team of the World Champion. Giving up the center may seem surprising at first, but it equalizes quite smoothly.} 18. cxd4 Bxb3 19. Qxb3 Ng6 {It transpires that the e4 pawn is hanging and more importantly, c5 push is coming next.} 20. Rec1 (20. Rac1 $1 {The only way to put some pressure, preventing c5, but Black is fine here as well.} Rxe4 (20... Rbc8 {or 20...Qd8 is also possible, trying to be even more pedantic.} )21. Rxc7 Re7 {White is maybe somewhat more pleasant here, with b5 pawn being slightly lightly weak, but it is not a big deal.} )(20. Qc2 c5 21. e5 Qd8 {should lead to mass exchanges as well, just like in the game.} )c5 {Now the stuff just gets traded and the game ends in a draw quickly.} 21. e5 Qf5 22. dxc5 dxc5 23. Bxc5 Bxc5 24. Rxc5 Nxe5 25. Nxe5 Rxe5 26. Rxe5 Qxe5 27. Qc3 {Vacuum cleaner is on.} Qxc3 28. bxc3 Rc8 29. Ra5 Rxc3 30. Rxb5 Rc1+ 31. Kh2 Rc3 32. h4 g6 33. g3 h5 34. Kg2 Kg7 35. Ra5 Kf6 36. Rb5 Kg7 37. Ra5 Kf6 38. Rb5 Kg7 39. Ra5 Kf6 40. Ra6+ Kg7 41. Ra7 {Not the most exciting of the games, but after a 7+ hour long game the day before, the players have nothing to prove to anyone.} *