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2021 World Chess Championship - Game 11

 

MATCH OVER!

7.5-3.5

Magnus wins the 11th game and reaches the half-plus-o-five points needed to retain the title.

Today Ian went for an Italian game, a.k.a. Giuoco Piano. Piano in Italian means – in this case – "quiet."

Incredibly enough, the Italian Game has only been played six times in World Championship history, the last time being 1981, and 3...Nf6 hasn't been played since 1892.We all were expecting a long, excruciating game, with Ian trying his best to crack Magnus, who defended with black.The game looked interesting and balanced until move 23, where Nepomniachtchi managed to blunder again.

 

Ian Blunder

23.g3 carved the word "END" on the Championship.

 

Magnus had a more or less immediate win, but he went into a long thought, then decided to be as pragmatic as possible, entering a won rook vs. queen endgame. Ian placed his hopes on a fastidious pawn, but it was, indeed, only hope.

 

Ian's pawn

 

Despite failing to find the best continuation after move 23, Magnus played the endgame as precisely as it gets, and Ian had to resign at move 49.

 

final position

 

In the short interview right after the game, Magnus said that he thought it was game 6 to shape the rest of the match, with Ian unable to recover after that loss. In the post-game press conference, Nepomniachtchi said that the good news is that it was not about chess and that such a match is taut. Then added that, of course, tension can't justify missing simple things that he would never miss in a Blitz game and that he will have to find why this happened. Ian is a very good sport. He found the strength to joke about his blunders, saying that he should probably spend time solving puzzles, which may help his board vision.

Magnus explained again that game 6 was the turning point of the match. It was a great fight, regardless of the precision of the moves, and it decided everything.



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