World Chess Championship: A decisive game seems around the corner

In Wednesday’s fifth game, Carlsen was on the defensive from the opening and eventually escaped with a draw. Nepo was left regretting his choice of move on the 20th turn.

Over the next three days, Carlsen will play twice with white pieces and that could end the ongoing deadlock before the next rest day on Monday, before the ninth round. (File Photo)   -  AP

Although the deadlock continues after five draws into the World chess championship title match, Ian Nepomniachtchi seems to be gaining a psychological edge over Magnus Carlsen.

In Wednesday’s fifth game, Carlsen was on the defensive from the opening and eventually escaped with a draw. Nepo was left regretting his move on the 20th turn. This could encourage Nepo to be more proactive in the coming games.

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So far, Nepo has not appeared intimidated by the champion at any stage. The Russian looks very well-prepared for the Norwegian favourite and is willing to test him on various counts. In fact, with every draw, Nepo gains a rating point while Carlsen loses one.

“It’s becoming clearer and clearer that it’s going to be hard for either of us to break through,” said Carlsen after the fifth game.

Over the next three days, Carlsen will play twice with white pieces, and that could end the ongoing deadlock before the next rest day on Monday, ahead of the ninth round.

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