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27/11/2021

World Championship Game 2

 

The second game between Magnus Carlsen and Yan Niepomniashchy was played on 27/11/2021.

 

Carlsen opened with 1. d4, as did Boris Spassky in game 2 at Reykjavik in 1971.  At this point, Fischer’s winning match strategy was simply to not turn up.  However, Fischer’s approach never seemed to catch on, and Niepomniashchy, having turned up, replied 1. … Nf6.  This rapidly transposed to a Queen’s Gambit, and with 4. g3 more specifically into a Catalan.  After 9. a4 Black seemed to spend more time than one would expect, suggesting he was considering something other than the usual 9. ... Nd5, but that was in fact what he played.  Carlsens’ 19. Nd6, apparently allowing Niepomniashchy to win the exchange, will have surprised the average player, though compensation for the exchange and pawn material deficit are evident in the unassailability of the d6 knight, some pressure down the h1-a8 diagonal and the weakness of the e6 pawn.  Would these be enough to win?  Carlsen regained the pawn at move 32, and Niepomniashchy decide to return the exchange at move 37, whereupon Carlsen went a pawn up at move 41, and after queens came off at move 43, Carlsen had R + f-pawn, g-pawn and h-pawns versus R + g-pawn and h‑pawn.  Carlsen clearly had it in mind to try to win, but draw was finally agreed at move 58.

 

Click here to play through Game 2, Magnus Carlsen ˝-˝ Yan Niepomniashchy.