Ian Nepomniachtchi failed to convert a favourable position out of the opening against Ding Liren with the white pieces and eventually settled for a draw in the penultimate game of the World Chess Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Thursday.
After 13 games, the score remained even at 6.5-6.5, with the last day scheduled on Saturday.
The Russian Grand Master overcame the horrid result of Wednesday, which saw him dropping the game out from his grasp with a big blunder on the 34th move when he dropped a piece by pawn to f5.
Nepomniachtchi was able to stabilise today. However, the Chinese might have the upper hand in the 14th and final game as he will have the white pieces along with the psychological advantage.
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In a king’s pawn opening move of e4, which was tranpositioned to the Spanish game - Ruy Lopez for the second time in three games when Ian played bishop to b5 on the third move.
The first exchange transpired on the 14th move after both players followed the textbook sequence and blitzed out the moves in the opening to develop their pieces early.
In the middle game, neither player had a decisive edge on the board, and they mutually agreed to a draw by three-fold repetition on the 39th move, setting up an exciting final day in which a win for anyone would seal the championship, while a draw would force the game to tiebreakers.
- Game 1 - Draw
- Game 2 - Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Game 3 - Draw
- Game 4 - Ding Liren
- Game 5 - Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Game 6 - Ding Liren
- Game 7 - Ian Nepomniachtchi
- Game 8 - Draw
- Game 9 - Draw
- Game 10 - Draw
- Game 11 - Draw
- Game 12 - Ding Liren
- Game 13 - Draw
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