– Mood player – VG

- Mood player - VG
WC-READY: Magnus Carlsen was photographed during Norwegian chess earlier this fall.

Magnus Carlsen, 30, believes World Cup rival Jan Nepomnyasheg, 31, was a “very temperamental player” and that the world champion is unsure whether the Russian will handle adversity guaranteed in a long World Cup match.


come out in World Cup special from the podcast “Running Class”. Made by Magnus Carlsen with his friend and good assistant Magnus Barstad.

On Friday, November 26, he will play in the first game of his fifth World Cup match. The Russian has never before fought for the World Cup title in the classic game of chess.

In Norwegian Chess he looked very strong in the first three or four rounds, then had a small setback and then collapsed. He can’t stand it in the World Cup match. I wouldn’t fall even if I got one in my face. Perhaps his biggest challenge – to overcome the adversity that comes, whether it’s in the form of a good position that fails to win or a party he should have kept in a draw – but ends up losing, or just an opening setup that goes wrong – will be a challenge. big for him.

Magnus Carlsen describes Nipomnyacht as a “wild card,” without explaining further what he means by that. Usually the “Wild Card” is used about an athlete who is not officially qualified, but who is still invited to participate in one of the competitions.

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The best players I’ve met are Fabiano Caruana and Ding Liren. I would say they are the best. I thought up front that anyone else would be a good outcome for me – and I still think so.

A “good result” means the result of the so-called candidate cycle, the World Cup qualifiers where the winner gets the honor of meeting the world champion in the title match. This candidate tournament was played partly in 2020, partly in 2021, due to the pandemic.

Meet again: Magnus Carlsen and Jan Nepomnjasjtsjij during their meeting at Norwegian Chess in Stavanger earlier this fall.

Magnus Carlsen believed that splitting the tournament in this way was an advantage for Nepomnyashchy:

– I don’t think he would have won the nominated tournament had it not been divided as is, he says in his podcast called “Løperekka”.

why? Carlsen explains:

– Because he lost the last match in the first half of the tournament. He rarely plays very well after a loss. Now, after much deliberation, he was able to participate (in the World Cup match). It has become more pragmatic.

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Magnus Carlsen and Nepomnyasheg belong to the same year’s group and already played against each other when they were 11-12 years old. At first the Russian was the best. Then the Norwegian withdrew sharply. Now they meet in the biggest chess event in the world.

His problem was that he was undisciplined. He can have a good match – followed by a bad match. He could start a cycle by winning three of his first four matches, so in the fifth he couldn’t win a better position, and he “took advantage” of everything. He’s in a very good mood, says Magnus Carlsen.

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However, the Norwegian believes that the Russian has become more stable and realistic over the years.

Magnus Carlsen says the physical form is on its way to the settlement in Dubai in the coming weeks.

– I will not hide that the shape was not very good. But now the energy is better, and the shape is too. He says on the podcast that I’m good on schedule.

– It’s almost the most important thing I can do now, he says about keeping the body in good shape before the World Cup in 14 games.

It takes three weeks to build up enough energy.

Carlsen does not deny that he has an advantage in having played four World Cup matches before.

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– Yes sure! Especially in the beginning. I needed three or four matches to get into this for the first time. Caruana was also very “shaky” in the first match. As the reigning champion, I have good chances to strike at the start. I will definitely try.

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He also admits that the World Cup settlements in both 2016 (Serge Karjacken) and 2018 (Fabiano Caruana) were very difficult:

– Nothing comes easily. I didn’t advance once in the two games. I was frustrated against Karjakin, but I came back. It’s an advantage I’ve been in those situations before.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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