World Chess Championship | Exciting second game too ends in a draw

Carlsen and Nepo still trying to find a way past each other’s defence

If Magnus Carlsen was left wondering if he had actually missed a chance to create a winning opportunity, then it is bad news for Ian Nepominachtchi in the coming games.

In what turned out to be an exciting second game of their World Chess Championship title-clash, the two contenders fought harder than they did in the first game before arriving at the same result — a draw.

“I completely missed Nepo’s 18th knight move but I think I had a good position towards the end,” said Carlsen. Nepo admired Carlsen’s play after the champion ran into an inferior position.

For 58 moves, the two battled hard. After Carlsen, playing white, let go of a queenside pawn for initiative and sacrificed a rook for a knight to slip into an apparent disadvantageous position.

But on the 26th move, Nepo captured a pawn and missed a more assertive queen-move to let his advantage slip away. By the 38th move, Carlsen was clearly holding a better position.

Thereafter, the game eventually moved into a rook and pawn end-game where only one result was possible.

The third game, where Nepo plays white, is scheduled for Sunday.

The moves:

Game 2: White: Carlsen, Black: Nepominachtchi

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 b5 8. Ne5 c6 9. a4 Nd5 10. Nc3 f6 11. Nf3 Qd7 12. e4 Nb4 13. Qe2 Nd3 14. e5 Bb7 15. exf6 Bxf6 16. Ne4 Na6 17. Ne5 Bxe5 18. dxe5 Nac5.

19. Nd6 Nb3 20. Rb1 Nbxc1 21. Rbxc1 Nxc1 22. Rxc1 Rab8 23. Rd1 Ba8 24. Be4 c3 25. Qc2 g6 26. bxc3 bxa4 27. Qxa4 Rfd8 28. Ra1 c5 29. Qc4 Bxe4 30. Nxe4 Kh8 31. Nd6 Rb6 32. Qxc5 Rdb8 33. Kg2 a6 34. Kh3 Rc6 35. Qd4 Kg8 36. c4 Qc7 37. Qg4 Rxd6 38. exd6 Qxd6 39. c5 Qxc5 40. Qxe6+ Kg7 41. Rxa6 Rf8 42. f4 Qf5+ 43. Qxf5 Rxf5 44. Ra7+ Kg8 45. Kg4 Rb5 46. Re7 Ra5 47. Re5 Ra7 48. h4 Kg7 49. h5 Kh6 50. Kh4 Ra1 51. g4 Rh1+ 52. Kg3 gxh5 53. Re6+ Kg7 54. g5 Rg1+ 55. Kf2 Ra1 56. Rh6 Ra4 57. Kf3 Ra3+ 58. Kf2 Ra4 1/2-1/2.

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