Hardly action in the penultimate game.

After an uneventful course of the game a draw was agreed after 3 1/2 hours. In fact, the evaluation never changed from being totally equal throughout the game.

Despite having the Black pieces once again it was Magnus who was trying to complicate the position, thus indicating he was not ok with an easy draw. One has to admit that his serious will to go for the full point in each game is something that has not been seen for long. In fact, I don’t remember any world championship where one of the players was pushing even when playing Black. You cannot expect the players to change their playing style – especially not in such an important event. However, it is the attitude that finally decides about the potential outcome for the spectators. And thanks to Magnus this has been quite amazing indeed. Great respect!

So let’s have a look how Magnus pushed things today. After several minor piece exchanges the following position was reached.

Position after 18.h3

Position after 18.h3

Here Magnus went for the interesting 18…c3 19.bxc3 d5!? but Sergey replied with 20.Lg5 which led to further simplification where no party had real winning chances.

Position after 23...Qxe6

Position after 23…Qxe6

In this position after 24.cxd4 e3 White was a pawn up but his forces were bound to Black’ passed pawn. A few moves later the players agreed to a draw.

I’m sorry I can’t present any social media activity today. Honestly speaking I wasn’t focused too much today as during the day I was watching the Beautiful Minds Krulich Cup, an invitational rapid tournament that takes places in Munich this weekend! Thanks to the organizer Roman Krulich (a real estate businessman and chess enthusiast) who is also sponsoring my Schachbundesliga team Zugzwang München, I was really happy to get the chance to watch players such as Short, Ragger, Paco Vallejo or the Muzychuk sisters just a block away from my apartment!

The last of the 12 games with classical time control will be played on Monday. Magnus with the white pieces is expected to push one more time. The winner of this game will be (or remain) World Champion!
In case of a draw tiebreak would bring the decision. Check out the rules here.

Last but not least watch Nicas video comments.