2021 World Chess Championship: Will Magnus Carlsen Eat His Own Words?

A few days before the 2021 World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi, Magnus said Fabiano Caruana or Ding Liren would have been more formidable opponents

See all the details of the chess event of the year below.

2021 World Chess Championship Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi blogimage

Magnus Carlsen went on to say he felt Nepomniachtchi winning the Candidates Tournament was a good result for him. Will Carlsen need to eat his words? We will all know in a few weeks.

Magnus’ comments are even stranger in light of the fact Nepomniachtchi has a record of 4-8-1 in classical games against Magnus.

Despite being well-known for grinding out wins in the endgame, Magnus Carlsen is capable of playing great attacking games. Enjoy the following video where GM Arkadij Naiditsch shares one of Carlsen’s best games.

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Organization of the 2021 World Chess Championship Match

The commercial partner of FIDE, World Chess, is organizing the event. Initially scheduled for 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the match got postponed to 2021.

The World Chess Championship Match takes place from November 26th, 2021, to December 16th, 2021, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

This world championship match is a best of fourteen games, which is two more than usual. World championship matches since 2006 were the best of twelve rounds.

If the title gets won in regulation, the US $2 million prize money is split 60% and 40% in favor of the winner. However, if the match is decided in a tie-break, this changes to 55% and 45%.

To be a champion requires more than being a strong player; one has to be a strong human being as well - Anatoly Karpov. We will soon find out who the stronger human being is in the 2021 World Chess Championship.

Match Conditions

Thanks to the extra two games, in the 2021 World Chess Championship Match, a score of 7 1/2 is needed to win the 2021 World Chess Championship. 

The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30-second increment per move. The increment starts on move 61.

If a tie-break is needed, this will start with four rapid games, each 25 minutes plus 10 seconds increment. Scoring 2 1/2 points or more will win the championship.

Five mini-matches of 2 blitz games will get played next in the tie-break. The time control for the blitz games is 5 minutes with a 3-second increment. Winning one of these mini-matches wins the championship.

A sudden death Armageddon game decides the match if the match after the rapid and blitz games. Black gets draw odds with 4 minutes on the clock, and white has 5 minutes. A 2-second increment starts at move 61.

2021 World Chess Championship Match: Schedule

Rounds 1-3: November 26th-28th.

Rest day November 29th

Rounds 4-5: November 30-December 1st.

Rest day December 2nd

Rounds 6-8: December 3rd-5th.

Rest day December 6th.

Round 9-10: December 7-8th.

Rest day December 9th

Rounds 11-13: December 10th-12th.

Rest day December 13th.

Round 14: December 14th

Tie break or closing ceremony: December 15th

The closing ceremony (in the event of a tie-break): December 16th.

Past Meetings Between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi

The rivalry between these two players, who enjoy a friendly relationship, began almost twenty years ago in 2002. Nepomniachtchi and Carlsen met in the U-12 European Championship.

Ian Nepomniachtchi – Magnus Carlsen, 2002.10.03, 1-0, EU-ch U12 Round 5, Peniscola ESP

In 2011 at the Tata Steel tournament, Nepomniachtchi showed he could win with the black pieces. This was a hard-fought victory that took 66 moves.

Magnus Carlsen – Ian Nepomniachtchi, 2011.01.26, 0-1, Tata Steel Group A Round 10, Wijk aan Zee NED

Carlsen defeated Nepomniachtchi in 2019 at the GCT Croatia tournament in Round 7. Magnus refused to be drawn into an Open Sicilian Defense and played the Old Sicilian opening with Nf3, Nc3, and Bc4.

In Conclusion

Despite Carlsen’s comments about being happy to face Nepomniachtchi, there is no refuse for the challenger to lack confidence. The 2021 World Chess Championship Match promises to be a very intriguing encounter.

Playing in his first World Chess Championship Match, Nepomniachtchi’s greatest obstacle could well be the extreme pressure he will face. Is Ian capable of keeping his focus on the position and not his opponent or the event?

The entire chess world will know the answer three weeks from now.

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