Yekaterinburg (AP) - Jan Nepomnjaschtschi won the candidates' tournament for the Chess World Cup in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and will challenge world champion Magnus Carlsen in the fall.
The 30-year-old Russian had an early advantage in the 13th round against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), who was fighting for his last chance.
When his closest rival Anish Giri (Netherlands) was losing to the Russian Alexander Grishchuk with two pawns less, Nepomnyashchi offered the draw and now has 8.5 points.
Even if he loses to Ding Liren in the following encounter and Giri draws level with a win, the direct comparison will decide.
Nepomnyashchi had defeated the Dutchman in the first round.
The world championship fight between challenger Nepomnyashchi and defending champion Carlsen is scheduled to begin on November 24th - as part of the Expo World Exhibition in the Emirate of Dubai, which has been postponed due to the corona pandemic.
According to the World Chess Federation Fide, the world championship fight, which is worth two million euros, is to take place even if the expo is canceled or postponed.
Nepomnyashchi has always been a tough opponent for Carlsen - he has won against the Norwegian more often than he has lost.
“He's one of those people who can outplay me.
Jan plays fast, is extremely strong, tactically inventive, ”Carlsen praised his challenger.
"If Jan is inspired, then he is extremely good."
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World Federation Fide for the Candidates Tournament
Data and facts about the tournament
World champion Carlsen comments on chess24
Message to the commentators
Replay games from the 13th round