It has finally begun! The long-awaited 2021 FIDE World Championship between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi got off to an intense start today as first game ended in a hard-fought draw.
Commentating on every move of the €2 million match from the regular Tour studio in Oslo was Grandmaster David Howell.
Here, in the first in a series of video analysis segments brought to you by the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, David picked out his Play of the Day.
Game 1 ended with a handshake on the 45th move after more than four hours of play and a three-fold repetition. Nepomniachtchi appeared to be under pressure after Carlsen’s move 33, but played accurately in the endgame to close out the game.
Carlsen now has the advantage of having up to seven classical games with the White pieces to overcome his opponent, while Nepomniachtchi has six.
Here is Grandmaster Danny King’s round-up of Game 1 in full:
In the press conference afterwards, Carlsen played down his chances of drawing first blood.
He told reporters: “I wouldn’t say I was ever optimistic in the sense of winning the game.”