Apr 28, 2021

Ian Nepomniachtchi wins the FIDE Candidates Tournament

Magnus Carlsen will face his childhood nemesis Ian Nepomniachtchi in a 14-game World Chess Championship match this November in Dubai after Ian won the FIDE Candidates Tournament with a round to spare. Nepomniachtchi’s opponent Maxime Vachier-Lagrave had to win with the black pieces but never came close, while Anish Giri lost to self-confessed “chess terrorist” Alexander Grischuk. Ian called reaching the match a “huge milestone in my career and perhaps in my life also,” but understandably never wants to play a tournament lasting over a year again.

The one player who went into Round 13 of the FIDE Candidates with an absolutely clear task was French no. 1 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who knew nothing but a victory with the black pieces over tournament leader Ian Nepomniachtchi would do. Nepo wasn’t going to make it easy, and began with 1.Nf3, a move he said he had no idea what to do after himself.

Maxime went for 2…b6 and soon a double fianchetto, but it was one of the options Ian had been expecting, and the Russian gradually built up what was verging on an overwhelming position.

See also:

  • Official website
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament games on chess24
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament stopped at halfway
  • FIDE Candidates to resume after 389 days
  • Carlsen to play 5th World Championship in Dubai this November
  • Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates
  • Jan, Laurent & Peter preview the Candidates
  • Alexander Grischuk on the FIDE Candidates
  • Candidates Round 8: Caruana stuns MVL to blow race wide open
  • Candidates Round 9: Giri back in the race
  • Candidates Round 10: Nepo closes in on match with Magnus
  • Candidates Round 11: Giri inspired as Nepo keeps Fabi at bay
  • Candidates Round 12: Giri ends Fabi’s dream | Nepo leads
Apr 26, 2021

The big turning points in chess history

Today could be one of the big turning points in chess history, with Ian Nepomniachtchi in with a chance of wrapping on victory in the FIDE Candidates Tournament with a round to spare to become the next World Championship Challenger for Magnus Carlsen. That’s not the only chess around, however, with Magnus himself in action in the New in Chess Classic. To mark that event, Sean Marsh looks back at some of the great moments in chess history, starting with 21st November 2013, when Magnus won the World Championship title for the first time.

This was back in 2013. Does it feel recent, or distant? Time is playing tricks with us all. Carlsen has already been champion for longer than most of the others in the traditional line. By the time his next title match comes around – in November, this year – his tenure will already be eight years. Only Emanuel Lasker (27 years), Alexander Alekhine (17), Mikhail Botvinnik (13), Anatoly Karpov (10) and Garry Kasparov (15) were champions for longer.

Given Carlsen’s dominance, it is easy to forget just how difficult it was for him to win the London Candidates Tournament in March 2013. He started the event as the clear favourite, but two defeats in the second half of the tournament – to Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler – left him squeezing through on tie-breaks, at the expense of former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Indeed, Kramnik suffered just one defeat, and that was against the mercurial Ivanchuk, in the very last round. It was a close call, but Carlsen was on his way to a title match against the defending champion, Viswanathan Anand.

The New in Chess Classic is now in full swing and it has brought even more top-level chess to a table already graced by the FIDE Candidates Tournament.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen is in action once more and he is joined by a glittering array of strong, talented Grandmasters including Hikaru Nakamura, Alireza Firouzja and Levon Aronian. There is also room this time for significant fresh blood, including England’s Gawain Jones and India’s Praggnanandhaa. The games can be followed live here on chess24.

Read more at chess24.com

Apr 23, 2021

FIDE Candidates Tournament R10: The Game of the day

23-year-old underdog Kirill Alekseenko had been under pressure in his first two games back, but his resilience against Alexander Grischuk was ultimately rewarded with a first win, while he pulled off the impressive feat of outpreparing Fabiano Caruana. He called his clash against compatriot Ian Nepomniachtchi an “awful game”, however, and it was hard to disagree.

Ian Nepomniachtchi has taken a one-point lead over his three pursuers with just four rounds of the FIDE Candidates Tournament to go. He surprised Kirill Alekseenko in the opening and was essentially winning in a dozen moves. Elsewhere Caruana-Ding Liren and MVL-Giri were exciting battles that ended drawn, while Wang Hao-Grischuk was also drawn, but an extraordinary spectacle. Alexander Grischuk spent 1 hour and 12 minutes on move 11, but later had winning chances when Wang Hao gave up his queen and lost his way in the complications.

See also:

  • Official website
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament games on chess24
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament stopped at halfway
  • FIDE Candidates to resume after 389 days
  • Carlsen to play 5th World Championship in Dubai this November
  • Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates
  • Jan, Laurent & Peter preview the Candidates
  • Alexander Grischuk on the FIDE Candidates
  • Candidates Round 8: Caruana stuns MVL to blow race wide open
  • Candidates Round 9: Giri back in the race
Apr 21, 2021

Magnus Carlsen: it was a “very, very, very good game”

Anish Giri won what Magnus Carlsen described as a “very, very, very good game” to beat Wang Hao in Round 9 of the FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg and move to within just half a point of leader Ian Nepomniachtchi. Fabiano Caruana had a great chance to catch Nepo but was held to a draw by Kirill Alekseenko, while MVL is also just half a point back after narrowly avoiding a second loss in a row. He escaped with an 88-move drawn that Magnus called the “last nail in the coffin” of Ding Liren’s chances of winning the tournament.

Every round is massive now, and in Wednesday’s Round 10 we have a clash between two of the chasing pack, MVL-Giri, while Nepomniachtchi-Alekseenko is a game Ian is probably targeting for a full point, despite Kirill’s excellent restart. Caruana-Ding Liren, it goes without saying, is a heavyweight clash, though Fabiano by now has a lot more to play for.

Magnus Carlsen warned us off making any predictions for the final result, since he recalled how the final four rounds of his only Candidates Tournament, in London 2013, had been pure mayhem. “Something weird always happens,” he noted – in short, you don’t want to take your eyes off this event!

Don’t miss all the Round 10 action, with Magnus commentating alongside Tania Sachdev and David Howell, from 13:00 CEST exclusively on chess24.

See also:

  • Official website
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament games on chess24
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament stopped at halfway
  • FIDE Candidates to resume after 389 days
  • Carlsen to play 5th World Championship in Dubai this November
  • Magnus Carlsen to commentate on the Candidates
  • Jan, Laurent & Peter preview the Candidates
  • Alexander Grischuk on the FIDE Candidates
Apr 13, 2021

Carlsen to commentate on the FIDE Candidates Tournament

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will commentate on the event that decides his next challenger when the FIDE Candidates Tournament finally resumes with Round 8 in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Monday April 19th. For Rounds 8-10, Magnus will be joined by Tania Sachdev and David Howell, while for the last four rounds Judit Polgar will team up with Tania and guests for live commentary, with player cameras, here on chess24. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Ian Nepomniachtchi lead the interrupted event by a full point going into the final seven rounds.

The 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament, the second most important event in chess after the World Championship match itself, started in Yekaterinburg, Russia on March 17th 2020. It was stopped by FIDE just before Round 8 was set to start on March 26th, a day before all flights out of Russia were grounded. The pandemic thwarted all attempts to resume the 8-player tournament… until now.

Where can I watch?

You’re going to have a real treat here on chess24 as World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will be commentating live on the action for the first three rounds. He’s joined by former Indian and Asian Champion Tania Sachdev and 3-time British Champion David Howell.

See also:

  • Official website
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament games on chess24
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament stopped at halfway
  • FIDE Candidates to resume after 389 days
  • Carlsen to play 5th World Championship in Dubai this November
Jun 24, 2019

FIDE Candidates Tournament Winners

It’s been a good few days for the Russian class of 1998! 20-year-old Aleksandra Goryachkina won the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament with two rounds to spare, while 21-year-old Vladislav Artemiev shrugged off his first classical loss in 60 games to bounce back with three wins and overall victory in Poikovsky. Our tournament round-up is completed by the Asian Continental Championship, which was won by Le Quang Liem, while 15-year-old Alireza Firouzja was among the players to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

The last couple of weeks were dominated by Altibox Norway Chess, but as we’re going to see throughout 2019, there was a lot of top level chess elsewhere. Two of the winners were Russian players born in 1998 who could be said to have followed in Magnus Carlsen’s footsteps. Aleksandra Goryachkina emulated Magnus in Stavanger by only losing the final game of the Women’s Candidates Tournament, after wrapping up victory three days earlier. In the Karpov Tournament in Poikovsky, Vladislav Artemiev emulated Magnus by winning the event despite losing rating points.
Goryachkina makes no mistake

We said almost everything that needed to be said about Aleksandra Goryachkina’s phenomenal performance in the Women’s Candidates Tournament in our report after 9 rounds, when she’d beaten Valentina Gunina to reach a massive +6, 7.5/9 score. With a 2.5 point gap all she needed was to draw the remaining games, and indeed she drew her next three games to secure victory with two rounds to spare.

The other impressive run Vladislav Artemiev was nursing was an unbeaten streak in classical games that seemed to have stretched to 60 after draws in the first two rounds in Poikovsky. It was going to take something special to beat him, and that was provided by 38-year-old Indian Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran, who played arguably the game of his life to beat Artemiev in Round 3. It was the kind of game that was so beautiful that despite losing Artemiev couldn’t deny his opponent the pleasure of finishing with checkmate on the board.

For full details check out our 2019 Chess Calendar