WCC Game 4: A Petrov and a Draw

11.30.21 Game 4 of the World Chess Championship marks the 18th straight draw in World Championship matches (2016, 2018, and 2021) in games with classical time controls. Online chatter has been discussing "draw death" and there is a growing sentiment amongst spectators, and amongst the players as well, who are looking forward to the Match's first decisive game. The Match score stands at 2 points apiece.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen celebrated his 31st birthday on the day Game 4 was played. image ChessBase.com

The Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi essayed a Petrov Defense against Carlsen's 1.e4. The variation was deeply prepared and followed a "principled" line according to Nepomniachtchi. On the surface, the position appeared equal however in the post-game press conference Carlsen said that Nepo's 24...Nf8 was quite risky as there were myriad ways to go wrong. The Challenger was clearly booked up and masterfully held the position to a somewhat sterile draw.

Former US Champion Sam Shankland gave kudos to Nepo for making an easy draw even while faced with a new idea from Carlsen.

Multiple commentators pointed out that having played both 1.e4 and 1.d4 Carlsen now knows what the challenger has prepared for defenses and can now go about trying to find new ideas in these openings and probe for weaknesses in his opponent's preparation.

Game 5 begins at 7:30 a.m. eastern Wednesday, December 1st

Match Score

Watch The Games Live with Commentary on Chess.com

Games and Coverage from lichess

Official Site of the FIDE World Chess Championship

Game 4 Coverage on ChessBase.com


The match will be played over 14 standard games.

The first player to reach 7.5 points wins.

At the opening ceremony, a drawing of colors determines who will start with the white pieces.

The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 61.

If the scores are level after the regular 14 games, four tie-break games will be played. These are rapid games with 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds after each move.

If it's still equal, two blitz games will be played (5 minutes plus 3 seconds increment). If it's still equal, a second pair of two blitz games will be played. If there is still no winner after five such matches, one sudden-death game will be played.
The player who wins the drawing of lots may choose the color. The player with the white pieces shall receive 5 minutes, the player with the black pieces shall receive 4 minutes whereupon, after the 60th move, both players shall receive an increment of 3 seconds starting from move 61. In case of a draw, the player with the black pieces is declared the winner.

The players cannot draw a game by agreement before Black's 30th move.

A claim for a draw before Black's 30th move is permitted only through one of the arbiters in
the cases of a threefold repetition.

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