New Delhi: With another victory in game 8 of the FIDE World Chess Championship 2021, GM Magnus Carlsen extended his lead to two points going into the third rest day. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi initially defended creatively in another Petroff but then blundered a pawn and collapsed quickly after. Game nine is scheduled for Tuesday at 16:30 Dubai time (13:30 CET, 4:30 a.m. Pacific).
Asking several grandmasters of their predictions for 2021’s world championship, comparatively it came out as GM Hans Niemann, saying “I think if Nepo loses one game, the match is over, just from him, as a player.” Niemann could’ve been spot on, the challenger who lost today suggested.
It’s hard to avoid the word “tilt” to describe the rapid demise of Nepomniachtchi’s position after he blundered a pawn. He is now facing a two-point deficit with six games to go. To tie this match, let alone win it, will be a Herculean task.
In world championship history, only two challengers who were two points down against the reigning world champion managed to take over the match and win the title anyway: GM Max Euwe in 1935, where the match was limited to 30 games, and Bobby Fischer in 1972, when the so-called Match of the Century was over 24 games.