World Championship in Dubai: Carlsen takes fourth world title in chess

Status: 10.12.2021 5:58 p.m.

Magnus Carlsen successfully defended his world title at the World Chess Championship against Jan Nepomnyashchi. The Norwegian delivered a show of power and sat the chess crown for the fifth time.

Jan Nepomnjaschtschi (l) plays with the white pieces, it is Magnus Carlsen’s turn with black.

Build: Kamran Jebreili/AP/dpa

After Magnus Carlsen had put on the chess crown for the fifth time in the Dubai Exhibition Center, the Norwegian first blew hard. Visibly relieved, he analyzed the decisive moves with his erratic challenger Jan Nepomnjaschtschi while the corks popped in his home country.

“Then it clicked”

The 31-year-old made everything clear against his Russian opponent in the eleventh of a maximum of 14 games and remains after his triumph on Friday (December 10th, 2021), which he won with the fourth win and a score of 7.5: 3.5 made perfect, world champion for eight years now. “Of course I’m very happy. I didn’t expect this to happen,” said Carlsen with satisfaction: “After five games there were five draws and I hardly had a chance to get more out of it. But then it clicked and things went better for me. I never thought I’d move away so much. ”

Absolute loss move

“He’s become a pretty solid chess player,” said Carlsen’s father Henrik jokingly: “It’s very important for us Norwegians, I’m proud, it’s time to celebrate.” The whole country cheered in front of the screens – and the national hero did not disappoint. On Friday, “Nepo”, as he is called in the chess world, tried everything again with the white pieces. But the 31-year-old went completely wrong again with the 23rd move and played an absolute losing move that robbed him of all chances of winning. As a result, Carlsen put his opponent in order. Nepo defended himself until move 49, but then had to admit defeat without a chance.

A memorable record match set the course

Carlsen had already made the preliminary decision last Friday, in a memorable record match that Nepomnyashchi had broken permanently. It was only after midnight, after 136 moves and almost eight hours of play, that the Russian gave up. It was the longest World Cup duel in history – and gave Carlsen plenty of tailwind.

While Carlsen played out his experience and made no more mistakes, “Nepo” often acted too hastily and made mistakes that are unforgivable at this level. Carlsen won twice with the white and black pieces, the first five games had all ended in a draw. In addition, Carlsen was able to look forward to prize money of 1.2 million euros, Nepomnyashchi received 800,000 euros.

Fourth title defense

Carlsen remains the sovereign world champion and has held the title since 2013. At that time, at the age of 22, he had prevailed against the Indian Viswanathan Anand. A year later he successfully defended the title against the Indian, as well as against Sergej Karjakin in 2016 and against Fabiano Caruana in 2018.

However, Carlsen had a much more difficult game against Caruana and Karjakin. The duel against Caruana was decided after twelve draws in classic chess only in the tie-break, where rapid chess is played. Against Karjakin he had to make up a deficit from a win and also won in extra time.

Next World Cup in late 2022 or early 2023

The next World Chess Championship is to take place either at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023, as the world association FIDE had announced in advance. The Candidates Tournament with eight participants, in which Carlsen’s next challenger will be determined, is to take place in the second half of next year – “Nepo” is automatically qualified for it.


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