2021 World Championship Match, Game 3

 With Nepomniachtchi having achieved little from his Anti-Marshall line in Game 1, it seemed likely that he would make a small change for Game 3. And so it proved, with his choosing 8.a4 rather than 8.h3, and the game moving into slower lines featuring the knight manoeuvring for which the closed Lopez is noted.

And, it seems, the experiment was reasonably successful - he appeared to get a slight edge from the opening, and had he made a different choice at move 21, he may have retained it, although the resulting position was still quite tricky to exploit.

As it was, the line he actually chose allowed Carlsen to simplify into a level ending, and the match remains tightly poised at 1½-1½ heading into the first rest day.


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