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Kremlin spokesman weighs in on Nepomniachtchi’s performance against Norway’s Carlsen

Nepomniachtchi is a brilliant chess player, Dmitry Peskov noted

MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. Russian chess grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi has outstanding skills but his performance in the final game of the 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship was weaker than Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, chairman of the Board of Regents of the Russian Chess Federation, told TASS on Friday.

"Nepomniachtchi is a brilliant chess player. But his performance was weaker," Peskov said, commenting on the Russian’s defeat.

After 11 games of the championship in Dubai, Carlsen won 7.5 to 3.5.

Calsen, 31, tops the International Chess Federation (FIDE) rating. The Norwegian grandmaster has held the world champion crown since 2013, when he defeated India’s Viswanathan Anand. He defended his title in a 2014 match against Anand, beat Russia’s Sergey Karjakin in 2016 and defeated US challenger Fabiano Caruana in 2018.

Nepomniachtchi, 31, is fifth on the FIDE rating. The Russian won the European Individual Chess Championship in 2010 and the World Team Chess Championship as a member of the Russian team in 2013 and 2019. He also won the 2021 FIDE Candidates tournament.