After a tough year Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi scored a triumph in the London Chess Classic, finishing tied for first and sharing the prize money with Fabiano Caruana before missing out on the trophy in the playoff. He gave an interview afterwards where he talked about the tournament, why Magnus Carlsen has stopped dominating in the way he used to and why he’s not as impressed with AlphaZero as some of his colleagues.

Ian Nepomniachtchi: I really did lie down to sleep, but I didn’t particularly manage. Therefore I switched on the Caruana-Adams game on my phone. White was better, but then they began to repeat moves, and at first I was delighted as a draw in that game suited me. For some reason, though, Adams decided not to repeat moves and played on.

We all saw what came next. Caruana beat Adams and then won the blitz. Nevertheless, second place in such strong company is an excellent result.

Of course when I assessed my chances before the tournament I realised that it was possible to play well, but fighting for first place couldn’t be taken for granted, to put it mildly. Of course everything went well in terms of the outcome, though you always want more, particularly in this case. Plus, I have a very good blitz score against Caruana.

You say you weren’t counting on first place, but until the end of the Caruana-Adams game you occupied it. How did you manage that?

From the very start there were an awful lot of draws, and up to some point in the tournament only Caruana was winning. Then I was a little lucky against Adams, who I won an almost drawn endgame against. Actually Caruana also then got lucky against Adams.

Let’s leave Adams aside. In London he appeared in the role of a points donor, but your record includes wins over Anand and Carlsen.

The game against Anand ended up being a good one. Against Carlsen – well, I didn’t want to lose after two wins, though if you analyse the game you can find a lot of mistakes from both sides. It’s simply that he blundered last. To be fair, Magnus had a bad cold during the second half of the tournament and therefore wasn’t in his very best form.

See also:

Mapping your Chess Progress: A Guide to Chess Rising Stars Courses

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How to Use Chess Rising Stars Courses to Improve Your Chess

Our comprehensive chess courses serve as the roadmap to chess mastery. Whether you’re a junior or adult improver, our expert coaches are here to guide you with the knowledge and support you will need.

Juniors – In-person

Chess Rising Stars London Academy is creating the ideal environment to help introduce the game to younger children, the Chelsea Chess Club for 5 to 7 year olds. Your child will discover the joys of learning chess in an interactive and enjoyable setting. We will work together on chess strategy and tactics plus associated skills such as sportsmanship, planning and focus. Moving forward, our main junior chess club, the Chelsea Chess Club is staffed by 4 expert coaches. The Chess Rising Stars team will ensure that children are grouped with those of a similar age and chess level. We also offer support to more experienced children who are intending to compete in chess tournaments and team matches.

WGM Andreea Navrotescu, Guest coach at the Chelsea Chess Club

Juniors – Online

The Wednesday Online Club is perfectly suited as an introduction to small-group chess lessons for less experienced children. We would recommend that children are already familiar with how the pieces move, check and checkmate but no further knowledge is required. The Friday and Sunday Online Clubs offer groups at Beginner and Intermediate/Advanced level. There is a new group exclusively for secondary school chess players aged 11-16 at the Friday Online Club. Chess is gaining popularity in this age range, with students even using it for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award activity. In our invitational Elite Online Club, we work together on areas of strategy, tactics and mindset to build the confidence and skills necessary to compete beyond Chess Rising Stars. To support this development, there are regular guest coaching appearances from Grandmasters.

Registration is open for the CRS Christmas Online Tournament 2023

Adult Improvers

Our Adult Improvers Online Group Classes would be ideal for adult beginners or parents whose children are learning the game. We will work together on the fundamentals of chess strategy and tactics. You will have the chance to try out what you have learned in our private, friendly tournaments. We offer interactive and engaging private chess lessons online, delivered by our team of experienced coaches. The Chess Rising Stars teachers have been carefully selected and trained by WFM Maria Manelidou and are passionate about sharing their extensive chess knowledge and experience. If you are keen to compete in OTB or online tournaments, our coaches have supported adult students in their local leagues, tournaments and even internationally. We have helped students to exceed their rating goals by following our individual training plans.

What Next?

If you are embarking on a journey to enhance your chess skills, look no further than Chess Rising Stars courses, meticulously designed to cater to players of all ages and levels.

Where to Find Chess Rising Stars Online

Chess Rising Stars London Academy has been buzzing with activity! To help you stay up-to-date with our new projects, we wanted to share where you can find the latest Chess Rising Stars news and views.

Chelsea Chess Club, 2023

5) Twitter (X)

@LondonCRS Get your daily dose of updates from the chess world through our Twitter account. Celebrate student achievements as we showcase their victories and milestones. Challenge yourself with our engaging chess puzzles for all levels.

4) LinkedIn

Chess Rising Stars London Academy Stay informed about our latest chess courses by following us on LinkedIn. Learn about our career opportunities as we regularly advertise vacancies within the company. Keep track of upcoming Chess Rising Stars events with our handy event calendar.

3) Instagram

@crslondon Explore the artistic side of Chess Rising Stars with our Instagram account. Discover the latest addition to our social media line-up and be among the first to follow our new account.

Oxon LJCC U12 Qualifier 2023, 1st Noah B (5/6)

2) Lichess

Chess Rising Stars – London Academy Our global community of chess learners has reached over 300 members on lichess. We schedule tournaments for our weekly clubs, plus regular events for all Chess Rising Stars students, coaches and friends.

1) Our Website

Don’t forget our website! This website remains the Chess Rising Stars hub with its dedicated news section. Explore the comprehensive course information library – right at your fingertips. Immerse yourself in the world of chess through our captivating photo gallery.

Chelsea Chess Club, 2023

Learn Chess in London

Chess Rising Stars London Academy is creating the ideal new environment to help to introduce chess to younger children. We are delighted to announce that the Chelsea Chess Club for 5 to 7 year olds will start in January 2024.

Benefits abound as your child discovers the joys of learning chess in an interactive and enjoyable setting. No knowledge of chess is required, although we would suggest that without any chess background it would be best to join the club by week 3 of term.


Lessons are shorter than at our original
Chelsea Chess Club and will be held in a smaller teaching group. The venue remains at Marlborough Primary School in Chelsea, where we have been based since 2019.

In 2023 the Chelsea Chess Club was recognised at Level 2 within the English Chess Federation’s Junior Development Pathway initiative. We are one of only eleven junior chess clubs across the country to achieve this status.

Once children have mastered the fundamentals of the game, and are feeling more confident about chess, then the Chelsea Chess Club would be the natural next step in their development.

Registration is now open for the Spring Term at the Chelsea Chess Club for 5 to 7 year olds