New Revolutionary vs Old Guard

Chess, as sport — was as exciting as it gets — it is the finals of the well-named “Legends of Chess” chess24 tournament, four games of Rapids have been inconclusive, and we are now in Blitz. Nepo, the challenger to the World Champion, has Black, and needs a win.

Both sides started out with sharp hypermodern set-ups, with Magnus opting for the Re’ti setup (called by Tartakower “the opening of the future”) and Nepo responding a’ la mode with an very modern defence, opting for fianchettoed Bishops rather than central pawn push. In the end Carlsen ended up with the more classical set-up, Bishops placed a’ la Morphy on 3rd rank, centre occupied, leading to this beautiful and iconic (but evaluated fairly equal) position):

What proceeded was total obliteration of the queenside, with both king’s castled to safety in their relatively intact kingside —

Now we have simplified, after a rook trade, into the battle for activity between Queens and light Bishops. The position is still ambivalent.

Magnus chooses to not trade down his Bishop and offer an entire Knight. Black gets in a few checks, White gets in a few checks, and we end up in a long (no really, 44-move) Queen vs Queen and Bishop endgame:

Leading to this position — what would you do as White? — yes, Qf5. Black has allowed White to trade down Queens, and White then wins, with no pieces but three pawns to Black’s piece. Long live the pawn!