The World Chess Championship will begin from 24 November to 14 December. The champion – Norwegian Grandmaster (GM) Magnus Carlsen – faces off in opposition to the challenger: Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Earlier than I start with the predictions for the match, I’ll first describe how every GM made their method via this stage, beginning with the challenger.
Nepomniachtchi’s path was completely different from earlier World Chess Championship challengers as a result of pandemic. Like Carlsen and his earlier challengers, Nepomniachtchi needed to qualify for and win the Candidates Event, an eight-person, double-round robin occasion held each two years.
Midway via the match, Nepomniachtchi and his fellow contestants went again to their respective nations and waited a full 12 months for the match to renew. At midpoint, Nepomniachtchi and French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave took first place.
In April 2021, the second half of the match started, and Nepomniachi took sole management of first place by securing three victories and drawing the remainder of their video games.
Because the winner of the 2020-21 Candidates Event, Nepomniachtchi vie for the World Chess Championship title. If he loses, he’s assured to play a minimum of within the subsequent spherical of the Candidates Event.
Present world champion Carlsen additionally went via a massacre on the Candidates match in 2013. Carlsen and Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik each had profitable positions of their fingers, maintaining a rating of 8.5 factors within the remaining spherical.
Carlsen, nevertheless, misplaced his remaining sport in opposition to one other Russian GM, Peter Svidler. When all hope was gone for Carlsen, Kramnik additionally misplaced in opposition to GM Vasil Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
Regardless of having the same head-to-head rating, Carlsen took a second tiebreak by securing extra general wins within the match, primarily happening within the 2013 World Championship match in opposition to Indian GM Viswanathan Anand.
Within the matchup between Carlsen and Anand, Carlsen took the crown by mathematically securing his victory, profitable three video games and drawing the tenth sport of a doable 12. The next 12 months, Carlsen efficiently defended his title once more in opposition to Anand.
Carlsen confronted Russian GM Sergei Karjakin in 2016, who at one level within the match appeared like he would oust Carlsen. After drawing the primary seven video games, Karjakin shocked the world when he received the eighth sport with the Black Peace.
However Carlsen – being the all-time nice – got here again within the tenth sport, forcing a speedy playoff, by which opponents play on brief time controls to interrupt the tie. Carlsen emerged victorious from the spherical, defending his crown for the second time.
In 2018, American GM Fabiano Caruana posed the same problem to Carlsen. The pair drew all 12 of their video games, taking them to a different swift playoff. Carlsen received the fast matches, defending his title once more and putting it the place it’s in the present day in opposition to Nepomniachtchi.
After summarizing Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi’s lengthy, troublesome paths to a spot on this 12 months’s World Championship match, I’ll now do my greatest to foretell what’s going to occur and who will win.
As a disclaimer, I don’t take into account myself an skilled in chess, so my opinion and causes for this may be taken with a grain of salt. In my protection, I imagine most of these issues are inherently troublesome to foretell. Take it from the grandmasters themselves, who’re additionally removed from definitive solutions.
Nevertheless, my guess is that Carlsen will retain his title for the fourth time in a row. My prediction is predicated on two issues: their statistical dominance and their expertise.
On the time of writing, Stay Chess rankings present that the hole between primary and two locations, or Carlsen and Chinese language GM Ding Liren, is bigger than the distinction between Ding and 18th-ranked Karjaqin. These gaps put into perspective Carlsen’s dominance even among the many high gamers on the earth.
As well as, Carlsen can be primary within the Fast format, which has been used to find out the final two World Championship matches. Though Nepomniachtchi is not far behind the quantity 5 spot, Carlsen has expertise profitable high-stakes fast video games.
Talking of expertise, Carlsen has endured many trials of stress. He stored his composure in 2016, coming again with a win when his again was in opposition to the wall. As talked about earlier, Carlsen ran quick in opposition to Karjakin and Caruana, so he did not have to fret an excessive amount of if the match went into the playoffs once more.
These betting on Nepomniachtchi can level to his lead in a one-on-one matchup in opposition to Carlsen. Whereas it could be true that any psychological benefit will be counted, three of Nepomniachtchi’s 4 victories got here earlier than this Carlsen was the world champion. In reality, two of these victories have been earlier than he was 15 years previous.
I’m not attempting to defame Nepomniachtchi in any method right here. He has earned all the pieces to achieve this place, and it appears to be like like he is able to enter what could possibly be the largest match of his life.
Whereas it’s unattainable to rule out Nepomniachtchi fully, I see Carlsen remaining world champion on the finish of December.