“It was a little sadder than I hoped,” said Magnus Carlsen of the ending he found himself defending against Ian Nepomniachtchi, but Game 5 of the World Chess Championship ended in a 5th draw with the Russian never really coming close to picking up a full point. The opening was another 8.a4 Anti-Marshall, and though Magnus made the first new move it was Ian who missed any chances to win. The score is now level at 2.5:2.5 going into the 2nd rest day, with Magnus taking solace from the fact he has two Whites before the 3rd.
Game 5 saw Ian Nepomniachtchi playing with the white pieces for the 3rd time, and he stuck to the policy of, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. He’d got solid, comfortable positions out of the opening playing 1.e4 and meeting Magnus Carlsen’s Marshall with the Anti-Marshall in Games 1 and 3, so he kept to the same plan. He played 8.a4 as in Game 3, and Magnus was the first player to vary from that game, with 8…Rb8.