Today could be one of the big turning points in chess history, with Ian Nepomniachtchi in with a chance of wrapping on victory in the FIDE Candidates Tournament with a round to spare to become the next World Championship Challenger for Magnus Carlsen. That’s not the only chess around, however, with Magnus himself in action in the New in Chess Classic. To mark that event, Sean Marsh looks back at some of the great moments in chess history, starting with 21st November 2013, when Magnus won the World Championship title for the first time.
This was back in 2013. Does it feel recent, or distant? Time is playing tricks with us all. Carlsen has already been champion for longer than most of the others in the traditional line. By the time his next title match comes around – in November, this year – his tenure will already be eight years. Only Emanuel Lasker (27 years), Alexander Alekhine (17), Mikhail Botvinnik (13), Anatoly Karpov (10) and Garry Kasparov (15) were champions for longer.
Given Carlsen’s dominance, it is easy to forget just how difficult it was for him to win the London Candidates Tournament in March 2013. He started the event as the clear favourite, but two defeats in the second half of the tournament – to Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler – left him squeezing through on tie-breaks, at the expense of former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Indeed, Kramnik suffered just one defeat, and that was against the mercurial Ivanchuk, in the very last round. It was a close call, but Carlsen was on his way to a title match against the defending champion, Viswanathan Anand.
The New in Chess Classic is now in full swing and it has brought even more top-level chess to a table already graced by the FIDE Candidates Tournament.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen is in action once more and he is joined by a glittering array of strong, talented Grandmasters including Hikaru Nakamura, Alireza Firouzja and Levon Aronian. There is also room this time for significant fresh blood, including England’s Gawain Jones and India’s Praggnanandhaa. The games can be followed live here on chess24.
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