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    1. World Chess Championship 2023 thread - Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Ding Liren

      Anyone else following the world chess championship? Background info (feel free to skip if you're already familiar with this): After reigning champion and world #1 Magnus Carlsen declined to defend...

      Anyone else following the world chess championship?

      Background info (feel free to skip if you're already familiar with this):

      After reigning champion and world #1 Magnus Carlsen declined to defend his title, the winner of the Candidates tournament 2022, Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi (world #2), faces the second place finisher in the Candidates, China's Ding Liren (world #3). The championship match takes place over 14 games from April 9-April 30 in Astana, Kazakhstan. As of today, April 13, the score is even at 2-2 after 4 games.

      Ian Nepomniachtchi (aka "Nepo") won the Candidates tournament in 2020-21, which was split in two due to covid. He proceeded to challenge Magnus Carlsen for the title in late 2021. Both players performed with computer-like precision for the first five games. Game six became the turning point, when Nepo made a serious blunder which allowed Carlsen to eventually convert the game to a win in what would turn out to be the longest game in world championship history, lasting more than 7 hours and 136 moves. After this grueling loss, Nepo's play seemingly collapsed, allowing Carlsen to take a comfortable win with games to spare.

      However, Nepomniachtchi would bounce back to win his second Candidates tournament in a row in 2022. When it became clear that Carlsen would not defend his title, the runner-up of that tournament, Ding Liren, became the second player to compete for the title.

      Ding has been a top 5 player for years, with 2018-2019 being his best period yet, when he reached world #2 with well over 2800 Elo, and was undefeated for 100 games of classical chess. This is his first appearance in a world championship final, and also a first for China as a nation.

      Russia, of course, has a long history of world champions, dominating the chess world for most of the 20th century. Nepomniachtchi, who is a critic of the invasion of Ukraine, competes under a neutral FIDE flag in this match.

      This is only the third time the reigning champion has not defended his title since the first world championship in 1886. Bobby Fischer famously disagreed with the match regulations proposed by FIDE, chess' international governing body, and refused to defend his title in 1975. He subsequently retired from competitive chess and didn't re-emerge until the 1990s. The other instance was Alekhine in 1948 -- he had died two years earlier. (There was also a time in the 1990s when the reigning champion, Garry Kasparov, broke with FIDE and organized his own world championship, but I won't get into that complicated story here.) This is the first time a world champion has continued to play competitive chess while refusing to defend their title.

      Nepomniachtchi comes into the match ranked as the world #2 (2795 Elo) while Ding is #3 (2788). The abdicated king of chess, Magnus Carlsen, remains #1 (2853).

      How to watch

      If you want to watch live, the time zone is a bit unfavorable to European and American viewers, as the games start at 3PM Astana time (11 AM Central European summer time, 2 AM Pacific). You can follow the games without commentary here: lichess chess24 chess.com. There's several streams with grandmaster commentary available. FIDE has an official broadcast, but my favorite is chess.com's coverage, which features commentary by GMs Anish Giri, Daniel Naroditsky and David Howell.

      For live computer analysis that's stronger than what you can (likely) get from running a local instance of Stockfish on your own computer, check out Sesse (which is just Stockfish running on a decently beefy server setup).

      If you want shorter after-the-fact recaps, there are several Youtube channels catering to differing levels of chess skill, including:

      And probably at least a half-dozen more.

      Who's your favorite to win it all? Does the fact that the clearly best player in the world refused to compete make the whole thing uninteresting to you? Will Nepo crumble again like he did against Carlsen, or will Ding's inexperience with world championship matches be his undoing?

      6 votes
    2. World Chess Championship 2021 - Megathread

      SPOILERS. If you care about those, don't look at the schedule or scoreboard below either. Final result: Magnus Carlsen successfully defended the World Title by winning in round 11. The competition...
      SPOILERS. If you care about those, don't look at the schedule or scoreboard below either.

      Final result: Magnus Carlsen successfully defended the World Title by winning in round 11. The competition is over. Long live the king!

      Why am I posting this thread?

      Honestly, I'm really excited about this. Isn't that enough? :)

      What is it?

      The World Chess Championship (WCC) is the topmost competition of the sport, and basically determines the best player in the world. It is disputed between the winner of the Candidates Tournament and the current champion. Since his first title in 2013, Magnus Carlsen successfully defended the title on three different occasions and is the undisputed favorite. The challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi does have a positive score against Magnus, but most don't give that much importance, since most of his victories happened when they were much younger. Chess.com combed through the data and gave Magnus 72% winning odds. In terms of style, Magnus is considered a universal player. Nepomniachtchi is generally more aggressive but adopted a more conservative style in the Candidates Tournament.

      Since 2014, the WCC happens once every 2 years, alternating with the Candidates Tournament. The current edition was supposed to take place in 2020, but was postponed due to covid. It will happen in Dubai.

      The World Chess Championship starts this Friday, November 26, at 16:30 local time, 12:30 UTC.

      Where to watch

      In the United States, the NBC over-the-air television channel will broadcast daily 30 minutes highlights.

      The players

      Player Country Age GM Age Rating Peak Rating
      Magnus Norway 30 13 2855 2882 (2014)
      Nepo Russia 31 13 2782 2792 (2021)

      Time controls

      In chess, time controls determine the time each player has to make their movies. A time control of 10 minutes means that each player has 10 minutes to use throughout the game. There can also be increments, which are added to a player's overall time after each move. For example, with a time control of 10 | 5 each player starts with 10 minutes to make their moves, and automatically gains 5 seconds on the clock every time they make a move.

      The time controls for the World Championship matches may seem a bit complex at first. This is just for reference, if you intend to follow the games online, I'm certain that the commentators will make sure to remind you of these details.

      Stage Moves Time (min)
      1 01 to 40 120
      2 41 to 60 60
      3 61 to \u221e 15 + 30s

      The table above means that, on stage 1, each player has 120 minutes to make their moves. On stage 2, they have 60 minutes. On stage 3, each player has 15 minutes, with an addition of 30 seconds after each move.


      • Draw by agreement is only allowed after the 40th move (it used to be the 30th).

      • There will be 14 standard games (it used to be 12). The first to achieve 7½ points will be World Champion.

      • If, after the 14 games, the score is equal, there will be tie-break games in that order, with the subsequent tie-break only being disputed if the previous one maintained the tie.

        1. 4 rapid games of (TC: 25min + 10s)
        2. Best out 5 blitz games (TC: 5min + 3s)
        3. 1 armageddon game.


      Name 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12-14 Total
      Magnus Carlsen ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 N/A 7 ½
      Ian Nepomniachtchi ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 0 N/A 3 ½

      Magnus won on round 11. Rounds 12 to 14 will not be disputed.


      All games, as well as the closing ceremony, are scheduled to 07:30 AM EST / 12:30 UTC.

      This will be updated with the results for each match, as well as the sum of the overall points. I will also try to sum up some experts commentaries for each selected games. Adding notes to every game would require more effort than I initially thought! I'll create a top comment with links and basic info on each game, but will not be adding personal notes to all of them. Feel free to add your impressions to the top comments. Thanks!.

      Date Event Result
      Nov 26 GAME 1 Draw
      Nov 27 GAME 2 Draw
      Nov 28 GAME 3 Draw
      Nov 29 REST
      Nov 30 GAME 4 Draw
      Dec 01 GAME 5 Draw
      Dec 02 REST
      Dec 03 GAME 6 Magnus Win
      Dec 04 GAME 7 Draw
      Dec 05 GAME 8 Magnus Win
      Dec 06 REST
      Dec 07 GAME 9 Magnus Win
      Dec 08 GAME 10 Draw
      Dec 09 REST
      Dec 10 GAME 11 Magnus Win
      21 votes