The Champion vs. The Challenger!
We are certainly looking forward to the next World Chess Championship match.
Reigning champion Magnus Carlsen will face his new challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, later this year. Specifically, the match will span from 24 November to 16 December. At least, that is the plan as things stand; we have recently learned not to take anything at all for granted.
Nepomniachtchi, who qualified for a shot at the title by winning the FIDE Candidates Tournament, is an intriguing player. As mentioned by Malcolm in today’s Daily Telegraph column, the challenger has no fear of Carlsen.
The games of both players will now be under greater scrutiny as we head towards November and any games between the champion and the challenger will be especially interesting. In fact, we have only a few short days to wait before they will play against each other for the first time since Nepomniachtchi became the official title challenger.
The FTX Crypto Cup
The forthcoming FTX Crypto Cup features an extraordinary set of players, including the entire world top ten. The tournament is part of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and has to be the strongest one to date.
The Players in Detail
It is worth spending some time looking at the details of each of the players in the following table.
Ian Nepomniachtchi is ‘only’ number four in the current world rankings. He is joined by five players who were also in the FIDE Candidates Tournament (Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, Alexander Grischuk, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave are all there; Wang Hao and Kirill Alekseenko are the only ones missing).
Chess fans of a certain age who remember pictures of a fresh-faced, youthful Peter Svidler from chess magazines may be surprised to find that he is now the tournament veteran, at 44.
At the other end of the age scale, there is Alireza Firouzja, still only 17, yet already attracting attention as possible future champion of the world.
The players will be eager to show their strength. Anyone having a hard time will turn their fortunes around if they manage to beat either Carlsen or Nepomniachtchi. Which brings us to the game we suspect will be the most popular, in terms of spectators.
The Champion vs. The Challenger
The big clash, Magnus Carlsen against Ian Nepomniachtchi, will occur in the second round of the FTX Crypto Cup, which will take place on Sunday, 23 May. Both players will be hoping to make a clear statement of intent.
Follow all of the action over at chess24.com.