FIDE World Championship Dubai 2021 Game 6: Are we there yet?
DUBAI, 4 December 2021 – The unique 14-game format of the 2021 FIDE World Championship means that there is no easy spot to stop and play the game of drawing halfway mark conclusions. After game 7, we’ll have had a lopsided half, with challenger Ian ‘Nepo’ Nepomniachtchi enjoying an extra game with the white pieces and advantage of the first move, and we would be comparing the action to the coming mirror version.
If we want to balance colours out, then we need to choose game 6 or 8. Since we have so many pundits assembled, we can expect retrospective assessments … constantly. Game 8 is probably the best time to get a symmetric look back, as it will mark a full set of three blocks of play, 3-2-3.
Although it’s too early to investigate all the nuances, the word on the street, or in the Dubai Exhibition Centre, is that Team Nepomniachtchi and their supporters are feeling like the challenger has an abstract lead after five games, and it isn’t hard to find discussions in print or online that agree.
The ceremonial making of the first move was yesterday taken by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, Natalya Komarova, Governor of the autonomous region Khanty-Mansi, and the Mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin, who actually played the move.
The World Championship, held at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai, will be played over 14 classical games for a EUR 2 million (USD 2.25 million) prize fund, with 60 per cent going to the winner and 40 per cent to the runner-up. It was originally scheduled to start on 20 December last year, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FACT SHEET, Game 6:
White: Magnus Carlsen, Norway
Black: Ian Nepomniachtchi, Russia
Match score: 3½-2½
Game length: 136 moves
Opening: Catalan Opening