Carlsen vs. Nepomniachtchi: What do the experts say?

by André Schulz
11/25/2021 – Who will win the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi in Dubai? In video interviews a number of top players, including Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand, have commented on the possible outcome of the match in video interviews. Before the match, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi also revealed what they think about the other and the match. | Image: FIDE

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On Wednesday, 24 November, 2021, the World Championship match between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi started with the press conference. The first game will be played on Friday, and the challenger starts the match with White.

In classical games Ian Nepomniachtchi has a plus against Magnus Carlsen, but that dates back to a time when both played in junior tournaments. Carlsen then shot like a rocket to the top of the world while Nepomniachtchi needed more time to make it to the very top. With an Elo-rating of 2855 Carlsen is currently the clear number one in the world and 63 points ahead of Nepomniachtchi who has a rating of 2782 and is the world's number five.

Nominally, Carlsen is favourite in the match, but what are the chances of Nepomniachtchi? In the weeks leading up to the match, a number of top players and chess experts gave their views on the match and a possible winner. Here's a selection of these videos.

Former World Champion Vishy Anand is one of the top players who commentates the match. During the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Kolkata in November Anand talked with Sagar Shah about the Indian talents, his work as a commentator in Dubai, and the chances of Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi in the match.

"Magnus is clear favourite on paper, but... (starting at about 3:50)

Anish Giri interviewed Garry Kasparov about the match

Kasparov had already expressed his views on the outcome of the World Championship match at the Grand Chess Tour a few months ago.

Wesley So revealed his take on the match at Chess24.

Co-organiser World Chess spoke to the famous US chess coach Bruce Pandolfini about  Nepomniachtchi's chances against Carlsen.

At the World Cup in Sochi the Russian Chess Federation asked some top players about the match and Nepomniachtchi's chances.

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Sergey Karjakin

Alexander Grischuk

And what do the two players think about each other?

Ian Nepomniachtchi in an interview with Eteri Kublashvili

Last, but not least: Magnus Carlsen talking to Tania Sachdev


Date Event
Wednesday 24 November Opening ceremony
Thursday 25 November Media day
Friday 26 November Game 1
Saturday 27 November Game 2
Sunday 28 November Game 3
Monday 29 November Rest day
Tuesday 30 November Game 4
Wednesday 1 December Game 5
Thursday 2 December Rest day
Friday 3 December Game 6
Saturday 4 December Game 7
Sunday 5 December Game 8
Monday 6 December Rest day
Tuesday 7 December Game 9
Wednesday 8 December Game 10
Thursday 9 December Rest day
Friday 10 December Game 11
Saturday 11 December Game 12
Sunday 12 December Game 13
Monday 13 December Rest day
Tuesday 14 December Game 14
Wednesday 15 December Tiebreak or closing ceremony
Thursday 16 December Closing ceremony in case of a tiebreak

All games start at 16:30 local time (12:30 UTC, 7:30 ET).


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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