Birthday-boy Magnus Carlsen chose to play it safe against a well-prepared Ian Nepomniachtchi and forced a 33-move draw following perpetual checks in Game Four of their World chess championship title-clash in Dubai on Tuesday.
With the sequence of draw continuing, the players are locked 2-2. On Wednesday, in the fifth game, Nepo plays with white pieces.
Nepo, playing black, employed the rarely-played Petroff Defence after Carlsen started by pushing his king-pawn to the fourth rank.
The game followed 17 moves of well-known theory before Carlsen deviated on his 18th move, taking just seven seconds to play his knight to the extreme-right file.
At this point, Nepo took about five and a half minutes to find a risk-free continuation.
Later, Carlsen took 22 minutes on Move 25 and another 34 minutes for Move 30 but could not find any concrete plan.
Three moves later, the game ended.
Game 4: White: Carlsen; Black: Nepomniachtchi
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Re1 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qd7 11. Nc3 Nxc3 12. Bxf5 Qxf5 13. bxc3 b6 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Qb5 Qd7 16. a4 Qxb5 17. axb5 a5 18. Nh4
g6 19. g4 Nd7 20. Ng2 Rfc8 21. Bf4 Bxf4 22. Nxf4 Rxc3 23. Nxd5 Rd3 24. Re7 Nf8 25. Nf6+ Kg7 26. Ne8+ Kg8 27. d5 a4 28. Nf6+ Kg7 29. g5 a3 30. Ne8+ Kg8 31. Nf6+ Kg7 32. Ne8+ Kg8 33. Nf6+ game drawn .