The World Cup has begun! The start of the match for the world chess title to be held in Dubai from November 26 to December 15 was awaited with great expectation. The 8 times Spanish champion Miguel Illescas correctly predicted that the challenger “Nepo” would advance his king’s pawn two squares on the first move.
For his part, Carlsen responded with his favorite 1…e5 and the first moves of both went towards a Spanish Opening, which the Norwegian player knows like no one else. With his move 8…Ce5, the world champion sacrificed a pawn that allowed him to put pressure on his opponent thanks to a slight initiative. At the end of the opening, the position was balanced, as Nepomniachtchi’s extra pawn was compensated by the more dynamic play of the black pieces. Of course, the Russian player had played quite fast and it was Carlsen who had consumed more time.
The real crisis of the game came after Carlsen’s excellent and ambitious move 33…b4! opening another front on the queenside taking advantage of the poor disposition of White’s passive pieces. From this key moment, Nepomniachtchi began to outthink his opponent and had to face a difficult defense before overcoming the first time control located at the 40th play. But just at that moment, the champion did not sharpen and missed a good opportunity to keep up the pressure with 40…Nf4.
With the actions level again both players agreed a draw on move 45 after a triple repetition of moves.
SCORE after game 1
- Magnus Carlsen: 0.5 points.
- Ian Nepomniachtchi: 0.5 points.
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