Stabroek News Sunday
Carlsen retains title, eager for new challenge
Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, 31, retained his world championship title last week as he defeated his Russian challenger, Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi 7.5 to 3.5 in a 14-game match. The prize money for the title match was €2 million.
Carlsen played unbeaten, drawing seven games and winning four. Hungarian Grandmaster Judit Polgar, the strongest woman chess player in history, who commentated the match, said Nepomniachtchi, in her estimation, was not alert enough. He was too calm. She added that when opportunities are given at the world championship level, they should be fully grasped.
This was Carlsen’s fifth defence of the title which he won in 2013 . He defeated Viswanathan Anand for the crown and opposed him again when Anand won the next Candidates tournament. Carlsen also defended his title against Sergey Karjakin and Fabiano Caruana.
In 2014, he won the World Rapid Championship and the World Blitz Championship in addition to the World Classical Championship, thereby becoming the first player to hold three titles simultaneously. Carlsen repeated the feat in 2019.
Following his defeat of Nepomniachtchi, it was widely reported that Carlsen may opt out of defending the title again owing to a lack of motivation. He was reported to have said: “It doesn’t mean as much any more as it once did.” The only thing likely to persuade him otherwise is if 18-year-old IranianFrench Alireza Firouzja is his next challenger. But first, Firouzja has to win the next Candidates’ tournament