Magnus 7½ – 3½ Ian
THE DUBAI SHOWDOWN
Magnus Carlsen has been the world’s top-ranked chess player for the past eleven years, achieving a peak rating of 2882 in 2014, which no one has reached since. After becoming World Champion in 2013 at the age of 22, he has defended the title three consecutive times – in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and is now looking for his fifth victory.
Ian Nepomniachtchi is the fifth-ranked player in the world, and the best current player from Russia – the heir of a long tradition of great champions. A distinctive, well-rounded player, he won the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg with a round to spare. With a 4-1 score against Carlsen in their classical games, he is seen as someone who has realistic chances of snatching the title from the Norwegian and bringing it back to Russia.