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Norwegian grandmaster Carlsen retains world chess champion crown, outplaying Russian rival

After 11 games, Carlsen won the match 7.5:3.5

DUBAI /UAE/, December 10. /TASS/. Norway’s Magnus Carlsen fended off his opponent Ian Nepomniachtchi from Russia with black pieces in the 11th game of the match to hold on to his world chess champion’s title ahead of time. The match was held in Dubai.

After 11 games, Carlsen won the match 7.5:3.5.

Initially, the chess players were set to play 14 games with classical time controls of 120 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting with move 61.

In the event of a draw after 14 games, a tie break would have followed where the opponents were intended to play four games with fast time control and, if needed, to switch to a blitz and then an ‘Armageddon" mini play-off where White has five minutes compared to Black’s four but is required to win.

Carlsen, 31, tops the rating of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). The Norwegian grandmaster has reigned as the world chess champ since 2013, when he outplayed India’s Viswanathan Anand. He defended his world chess champion’s title in a match with Anand in 2014, beat Russia’s Sergey Karjakin in a match for the world chess crown in 2016 and outperformed US Fabiano Caruana in 2018.

Thirty-one-year-old Nepomniachtchi is placed fifth in FIDE’s ratings. The Russian chess player won the European Chess Championship in 2010 and triumphed twice as a member of the Russian national squad in the World Chess Team Championships (2013 and 2019). In 2021, he won the candidates tournament.