FIDE World Chess Championship 2021, G3: Ian Nepomniachtchi(White) and Magnus Carlsen(Black) agrees to a draw in Game 3 as well. They will have a day to rest or to say change their tactics for the fourth game.
The first move in the glass box was executed by a guest invited by FIDE to the event: 2004 French Open winner Anastasia Myskina. Interviewed by Chess.com’s FM Mike Klein, she noted a strong tie between chess and tennis:
“When I was a little kid, my coach said that chess is tennis on a field. You have to always think when you play tennis—you have to think about where to put the ball. I think it’s very important to involve chess in tennis.”
As it turned out, she knows how to play as well. “My father really wanted me to play chess before the matches and between the matches because he said that when you play chess you start to think better,” Myskina said.
The 2004 French Open winner pushed 1.d4 but as Carlsen did the other day, Nepo too changed it to 1.e4. It was a Game 1 highlight for the first seven moves. Nepo was the one on the eighth move to deviate with 8.a4. Carlsen followed his usual plan against this move.
However, the Russian surprised everyone with 10.Nbd2 which the defending champion was facing for the first time. It looked like Magnus had looked into this move in his training and was playing relatively fast. White’s 12th move 12.Bd2 and Black’s 15th move 15…Nc6 were praised by the experts.
Caruana on Magnus’s different opening style: “Just because Magnus has a slightly different approach and prepares lines which are not theoretical, that does not mean he has not prepared them well, that just means that he feels that that’s where he has the best chance in the opening. I think that as an overall opening player, Magnus is probably the best prepared in the world and has been for many years now.”
The Norweigan think big for his 16th move when he finally decided 16…Bc8. Things looked somewhat more pleasant for his opponent, as Caruana went as far as saying: “I’m a bit worried for Magnus now.”
As it turned out, Carlsen’s 17…Bc8 move was a reroute of that bishop to e6 to prepare the thematic. …d6-d5 break. At depth 48, Stockfish 14.1 is considered the unusual 21.Qd3 is the only advantageous move to meet 21…d5 with 22.Bxf6 and capture on d5.
The Russian decided to spice things up after 23.e5 but it turned out to be a boring position at the end. Soon after, Caruana said: “The players played very accurately. They now look a bit bored because this is just a formality.”
It was referred to as a “Clean game” from Nepo. “I was obviously making some fairly ugly moves but it seemed all to work out reasonably well,” said Carlsen. “At least, I couldn’t see any concrete way to pose serious problems. I think it was a reasonable game.”
GM Hikaru Nakamura had similar thoughts: “Magnus was only slightly worse—it never really seemed to get out of control, per see.”
Carlsen didn’t agree with one of the journalists who argued that things have been very comfortable for him in his black games so far.
“I wouldn’t say very comfortable,” argued Carlsen. “I feel like I’ve been trying to equalize in both games without getting a lot of chances.”
Asked how Nepomniachtchi is going to “change the trend” of not getting a tangible opening advantage so far, the Russian GM countered: “Whatever I am going to do, the trend will remain the same. It’s not about my preparation, it’s about current theory.”
Nepomniachtchi on doping: “If you are using doping, you are getting banned from the event, that’s how it works! Also, I don’t know about any medicine which especially helps you play chess. Hopefully, we won’t witness someone taking headphones out of his ears!”
Carlsen: “I think there are probably experiments to be made. I mean, people use drugs to both prepare for and to do exams, for instance. I assume they could possibly help chess as well. If at some point my level of chess drops drastically I might start experimenting, but for now, I don’t see the need!”