Ian Nepomniachtchi wins Candidates Tournament
He gained the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the upcoming World Championship match.
During the penultimate round on Monday, the 30-year-old Russian drew his game against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France to pack a total of 8.5 points after 13 rounds.
Nepomniachtchi became unattainable for runner-up Anish Giri of the Netherlands as Giri holds 7.5 points in total following his defeat on Monday to another Russian chess player Alexander Grischuk.
The 2020 Chess Candidates Tournament, which was disrupted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed this year, is to decide who of the world’s top eight grandmasters would win the right to face reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Speaking to journalists after his match with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Nepomniachtchi said: “I cannot name a particular match as a deciding one.”
It was extremely important to clinch wins against Kirill Alekseenko and Wang Hao. In fact, when I worked as a commentator during the previous two Candidates Tournaments, I realized that a player should never go frantic and lose matches.
The tournament kicked off in the Russian Urals city of Yekaterinburg on March 15, 2020 and was scheduled to end on April 5, 2020, but was suspended shortly after its start as Russia was forced to close all international flights on March 27 amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
Nepomniachtchi is now set to battle for the world’s chess crown against Norway’s Magnus Carlsen in Dubai between November 24 and December 16. The tournament in Dubai will be held within the frames of the Expo 2021 Dubai and offers two million euros ($2.4 million) in prize money.
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