Alberto Chueca, FIDE Trainer & International Master 
ian nepomniachtchi
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Ian Nepomniachtchi

Ian Nepomniachtchi is the official challenger of the world champion Magnus Carlsen, and it will be a great encounter. This player’s name has been appearing a lot since he won the candidates 2020.

Ian is an interesting chess player with a very reckless style that is also a Dota 2 streamer. This guy has been preparing for the candidate’s tournament for more than a year!

Looks like his efforts gave him a good result because now he is the number one candidate for the world champion. After beating Anish Giri and achieving some hard draw with MLV, he has become the maximum contender of Carlsen.

In an interview, he had after winning the candidates’ competition for the ChessBase channel he shared his experiences in the tournament. You can find the complete interview on YouTube.

He said the tournament was an experience that required him a lot of effort, and he looked a little traumatized by that.

Also, it was a tough battle against the hard professionals he had to beat in the process to get there.

Undoubtedly, the results of this tournament were pretty surprising for most people. The GM Ian Nepomniachtchi had never been the best world champion candidate, it looks like his time has arrived.

Playstyle

ian nepomniachtchi competition

The playstyle of Ian Nepomniachtchi is aggressive, he doesn’t like to give time to their players to think too much. Although he usually makes mistakes for playing too fast, nothing he can’t handle.

His game has progressed a lot since the last years and nowadays is the fourth-best player ranked on the FIDE board. The results of the candidates’ tournament were not the most expected, however, is extremely interesting.

Most of the players at the top level have a pretty conservative and positional nature. Nevertheless, the winner of the candidates’ tournament Ian Nepomniachtchi is not a passive player.

You can be sure, he will do anything to win the advantage from Carlsen, this is going to be a good match.

Two giants will fight and we will see who will preserve the initiative in the end. We know none of both players like the boring and traditional, purely theoretical chess, they will go for the attack.

We can expect fireworks at the board with these two players, knowing the characters, they will not take the easy path.

Ian in the candidate’s tournament 2020

ian nepomniachtchi candidates

The tournament had to be extremely difficult for GM Ian Nepomniachtchi if he has said it hadn’t been a beautiful experience. Surely, all of that time of preparation has filled him with pressure but paid off in the end.

In the first round, he was able to eat GM Anish Giri with the black pieces leading the tournament along with GM Wang Hao. Three more rounds were played and the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi achieved some disputed draws.

He got draws against GM Alexander Grischuk, GM Alexander Aleseenko, and GM Fabiano Caruana. Until he reached the 5th round beat the Chinese GM Wang Hao, getting a great score ahead.

Then won another great game against GM Ding Liren, for this moment Nepo was in control with a great score. After losing a game against the French star Maxime Vachier Lagrave he continued his journey to victory!

Up to the tenth round, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi was leading the leaderboard by himself!

He went on, after 14 tough rounds he was able to result in the winner of the candidates’ tournament. An event in which he has resulted in the winner, and the next challenger of Magnus Carlsen.

However, the statistics seem to be in the favor of Ian Nepomniachtchi, and there is a strong possibility that he beats Carlsen. He has been the only player who has been dominating the champion in classic.

Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Magnus Carlsen

ian nepomniachtchi tournament

Comparing both player’s statistics there is a great question that arises because of the nature of both players. They have already played against each other in the past and we can get some conclusions.

Magnus has always been the king of blitz; he has dominated this speed control for a long time. But in classic, we have seen some equality and even superiority in some success from Ian Nepomniachtchi against the champion.

In the London chess classics celebrated in 2017, Ian Nepomniachtchi beat Magnus Carlsen with the black pieces.

The encounter we will see can give us a great surprise, the champion knows the strength of this master is not an underestimate. Many masters in the elite highly suspect Magnus Carlsen could lose the title against the Russian.

Remember, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi has been preparing for the candidates’ tournaments a long time ago and ended up winning it. It would not be surprised he is practicing right now to take over the maximum title.

GM Ian Nepomniachtchi won the candidates’ tournament

ian nepomniachtchi playing
Ian Nepomniachtchi playing

Now that Nepo has won the candidates’ tournament he must prepare for the storm that is coming. The world champion Magnus Carlsen has had the chance of looking at the games in the candidates’ tournaments.

This gives an idea to Carlsen as to what he must prepare against, which means he should be already preparing for that match. On the other hand, a very exhausted Ian Nepomniachtchi must prepare himself and take a good rest to play Carlsen.

Carlsen himself on a press interview, which you can watch on YouTube, says he’s happy about having Nepo as an opponent. He knows that the match against Nepo will be an exciting one, recognizing him as a strong player as well.

He also mentioned Ian Nepomniachtchi’s usual rush to get an advantage and that he could offer an “advantage” by rushing himself. This is the main factor Carlsen will try to seize, knowing his style.

We know we all expect fire on the board, and I hope we get those exciting games. But Carlsen will surely try to win slowly to induce Nepo to make mistakes, all we can do is wait.

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🔸2 Masterclasses and 1 Online Tournament every month. According to your level of knowledge on the topics you need to move forward on.
🔸Access to recorded chess lessons, so you don’t miss anything!
🔸Access to the training area where you will have assignments weekly to keep you active!
🔸You will join the private academy, with new videos uploaded every month.

🔸Tutorials, free chess ebooks…
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