In the match for the title of world chess champion between Magnus Carlsen and Jan Nepomniachtchi, half of the planned games with classical time control have already taken place. Following the results of seven meetings, the Norwegian grandmaster took the lead with a score of 4: 3, having one game with White more than the challenger. By December 5, the Russian athlete found himself in an unenviable, but not yet hopeless position. After all, it was with black that he caused Carlsen more problems in Dubai, even despite the defeat two days earlier.

When a Norwegian has white pieces at his disposal, it is usually impossible to predict what his first move will be. In this battle for the chess crown, it has more than once happened that if one of the invited guests went to e4, then Carlsen would return the pawn and do everything in his own way. But the guest of the eighth game was the former Real Madrid footballer Michel Salgado, for whom the world champion is deeply worried. The grandmaster did not contradict his choice in favor of e4.

Nepomniachtchi again decided to leave for the Russian game, as it was in the fourth game, but Carlsen did not follow the beaten track for long. In his third move, instead of taking the pawn in the center with his knight, he moved to d4. The first sacrifices were not long in coming - the opponents quickly threw all the knights and one pawn from the board. As a result of eight moves, a rather amusing position was formed - the d-file was all occupied by bishops, queens and pawns, and all the pieces were absolutely symmetrical. Interestingly, the computer gave an advantage of almost a full pawn to Carlsen, and did not define the players' chances as equal.

The symmetry was broken by the castling of the Norwegian, to which Nepomniachtchi did not respond in the same way.

He moved his pawn to h5, which was a very unexpected decision.

The Russian grandmaster still hoped to outwit his opponent and take advantage of his confusion, as he nearly happened in the sixth game.

This plan began to be implemented rather optimistically for Nepomniachtchi.

Carlsen was really amazed and thought for 40 minutes - he had never thought about one move for so long.

As a result, he moved with his queen to the adjacent right cell, declaring check to the open king.

Nepomniachtchi was forced to hide a piece, after which Carlsen began to prepare the exchange of the dark-squared bishops, so necessary for him to impose a draw.

The Russian had to come to terms with this.

After that, the game still intensified.

Nepomniachtchi, left without the right to castle, threw both rooks into the battle.

Carlsen responded with the queen move to g5, thus gaining a territorial advantage over Black.

Again the Norwegian took a break after the appearance of the black pawn on c6, which could also be classified as unpredictable.

Only now, in a much shorter time, Carlsen was able to work out a solution that corresponded to the first line of the computer.

He exchanged one rook and brought the second to the open file - his advantage had already begun to be estimated at one pawn.

Nepomniachtchi felt that the Norwegian could launch an active attack, and, just in case, suggested exchanging queens.

The world champion rejected him, as he intended to win again with white.

Carlsen's next find was truly brilliant. At first glance, his move with the pawn to c4 seemed, if not erroneous, then at least superfluous - the Norwegian launched an attack on the flank, which he had previously paid no attention to, and on the opposite side left many options unplayed. But it turned out that this was a trap for Nepomniachtchi, into which he immediately fell.

Having exchanged pawns, Carlsen left the light-squared bishop on c4. Nepomniachtchi began to strengthen the flank, forming a diagonal from the pawns, and then the white queen moved to a3. The Russian realized that a catastrophe had occurred, and did not even immediately return to the board to take the king away from the check. When he performed this torturous procedure, Carlsen launched the queen into the gluttonous row. From that moment on, his victory became almost inevitable. It could only be missed in case of a gross error, but time trouble did not loom over the Norwegian, as in the sixth game.

If Nepomniachtchi had a chance to build up a reliable defense, he disappeared with the appearance of a white rook in the center of the board.

A cruel exchange of pieces began, after which only queens remained on the field.

Carlsen cleverly destroyed the extra pawns, leaving Nepomniachtchi only those that could never reach the promotion square.

Although the outcome of the game was a foregone conclusion, the rivals entertained the audience for another half hour and parted after Carlsen's 46th move.

The reigning world champion won his second game.

He needed to add 2.5 points to himself to end the whole match in his favor.

Nepomniachtchi, in order to save himself, needs to be the first to beat Carlsen more than once in the battle for the chess crown - so far no one has succeeded.

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