Carlsen is (still) the champ! - Games and commentary

by ChessBase
12/10/2021 – Magnus Carlsen picked up a fourth win at the World Championship match in Dubai to secure overall victory with three games to spare. Playing black, the world champion saw Ian Nepomniachtchi all but self-destructing for a third time in the match. This was Carlsen’s fourth consecutive defence of the title after becoming world champion in 2013. | Replay all the games with computer analysis. Full report to follow shortly | Photo: Niki Riga

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Game 11 - Carlsen wins it all!

Hosting the World Championship match are the United Arab Emirates. Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi are playing in Dubai, where the match is part of the Expo 2020.

The contest is a best-of-14 match, with rapid and blitz tiebreaks if necessary. This was increased from best-of-12 (in place for every world championship match since 2006), after all twelve regular games were drawn in the previous match in 2018.

The prize fund is 2 million Euros, split 60% vs 40% between winner and loser. If the match is tied after fourteen classical games, the prize fund will be split 55% vs 45% in favour of the tiebreak winner. 

The final moments of the match, captured by the ChessBase India team!

Games and commentary


Commentary by Judit Polgar and Anish Giri

Commentary by David Howell, Jovanka Houska and Kaja Snare

Commentary by Anna Muzychuk and Vishy Anand


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).


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lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/12/2021 01:27
@Hurinnl I did not forgot them, nor the wins in the Olympiads. I specifically answered the question about Hungarian world champions. I did not even get in the detail that Steinitz was Austro-Hungarian (and American) and Polgár Zsuzsa was women's world champion. You have specifically asked for Hungarian world champions, presumably in the open section.

Euwe was a great champion, no doubt. I've studied his match games with Alekhine from both encounters a long time ago and found the games great. It's disgraceful to say that Euwe was weak. A faulty statement I also disagree with. Also, I consider Timman to be among the all time greats.
Hurinnl Hurinnl 12/12/2021 10:56
@lajosarpad. I am suggesting nothing. You even forgot f.i. some pretty strong Hungarian players, Portisch, Ribli, Adorjan who all were candidates in their days.

I answered Vidmar who implied as many other chessbase fans, that Euwe was not a good player. They allways seem to think Euwe beat a drunken player Alekhine like every chessplayer can do.. I suggesed him to read the Kasparov books who has far more knowledge of the matter.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 12/11/2021 02:25
@Hurinnl no, there was not. First, Isidor Günsberg challenged Steinitz and lost. Yes, Günsberg was not Hungarian per se, he was Jewish, but was born in Budapest. Then Lékó challenged Kramnik and it was a close call, ending in a 7-7 tiein 2004. Finally, Polgár and Lékó played for the world championship in 2005, but they did not get the crown. What are you suggesting? Do you imply that Hungarians are weak in chess because there was no Hungarian world champions so far? I remind you that Hungarian chess is pretty strong.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/11/2021 02:11
@Minnasota no, that's an example of why accusations of cheating are a bigger problem in the modern age than, for example, Karpov-Kasparov's "best of" attempt.

In the old days the best accusations were mind-readers in the front row, poisoned yogurt, and intentionally bad lighting.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 12/11/2021 02:02
I wonder how Radjabov would have done against Magnus.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 12/10/2021 08:55
In 1935, Euwe was the strongest challenger other than Capablanca, who Alekhine was ducking. That's not to say Alekhine or anyone else knew that at the time. Euwe had improved considerably in recent years. Bogo had had two shots already, and done poorly, and Nimzovich never could get backing (he actually had priority over Alekhine in 1927, but couldn't get the money up). After Capablanca, Euwe was the best challenger, as he proved.

In 1935, Euwe would have beaten Botvinnik as well, as he hadn't quite arrived yet.
Hurinnl Hurinnl 12/10/2021 08:53
@Vidmar "Euwe got his title shot before any qualifying system, where he'd have lost to Bogolubov, Nimzowitch, Capablanca, Botvinnik, among others. " Actually before 1935 , the year he became wordl champion, Euwe has beaten Bogoljubov and Botvinnik in different tournaments. Nimzowitsch passed away in 1935. Nobody can tell who would have won a candidates tournament between these players. And in 1935 Botvinnik was not in his prime yet.
In 1936 the historical ELO shows that Euwe was no 1 on the rating list. Before the players you mentioned.

@Vidmar "Then he won vrs a drunken and complacent Alekhine" . Read the my great predecessors from Kasparov. The section about Euwe. The story about a drunken Alekhine is greatly excaggarated.

@ Vidmar ...has there ever been a Hungarian worldchampion? Don't think so .
agatti agatti 12/10/2021 08:11
@Masquer, it is sad to see that you haven't picked up my ironic comment that someone had to "explain" to me that Nepo had won the Candidates' tourney.

It is not for everyone indeed.
adbennet adbennet 12/10/2021 07:51
Is the closing ceremony still next Wednesday?
Masquer Masquer 12/10/2021 07:22
You seem to have a comprehension problem if someone has to explain to you that Nepo won the Candidates.

Also, Nepo is not 2800+ and this match proves it. He was simply outclassed. It's not his fault nor Carlsen's that everyone is rated 50+ below the current World Champ. Should the WCh cycle be abandoned because someone out there doesn't quite like it?

I would improve the Candidate selection criteria. A player like Wesley So deserves to be there, but the selection process is making it difficult for players like him to qualify.
agatti agatti 12/10/2021 06:27
Still with the highest respect for Nepo - since he's anyway a 2800+ chess player, something I will never be in this life and in my next 10 or so - I'm not at all surprised on how the world match went (yes, it's a 'went', it is not anymore an 'is going').

Before the match, here on Chessbase, I was wondering "how and why" Nepo was the challenger of Magnus. Someone "explained" me that Nepo won the Candidates tournament.

Aha, Thank-you.

The fact that someone has to explain to someone else something that is not obvious given the result of the World matches, is part of the problem. The fact that Nepo, #5 of the ranking, was the challenger, is part of the problem too.

I thought Nepo at the start of it, didn't have any one minute chance to beat Carlsen. The match is over, I still have the same thoughts. This is part of the problem too.
Son Of Ampzilla Son Of Ampzilla 12/10/2021 06:26
Bobby is the only one you beat Magnus
KevinConnor KevinConnor 12/10/2021 06:17
How many matches for the chess world title did Vidmar play?
Vidmar Vidmar 12/10/2021 05:59
Any ranking of classic players is based on opinion, not necessarily ignorance )
Who was weaker than Gelfand ? Who disgraced himself more than Nepo in this match?
Euwe got his title shot before any qualifying system, where he'd have lost to Bogolubov, Nimzowitch, Capablanca, Botvinnik, among others. Then he won vrs a drunken and complacent Alekhine and was promptly dispatched in the rematch.
Olga 2005 Olga 2005 12/10/2021 05:58
Congratulations King Magnus!!!!!!!!!
Vidmar Vidmar 12/10/2021 05:39
His continually jumping up from the board and staying away for long periods is insulting to Magnus and disgusting to us fans. Nepo acts like he has a part time job.
yuansong4 yuansong4 12/10/2021 05:13
@Vidmar Apparently you know very little about challengers in the history of chess. There might be room for discussion (not that I would agree with you) if you claim Euwe is the least dominant World Champion, but saying Nepo and Gelfand are the worst challengers just shows your ignorance.
Hurinnl Hurinnl 12/10/2021 04:47
@Vidmar show some respect to Max Euwe. He didn't become a World Champion for nothing in 1935. He actually belonged to the top 5 chess players those days. He also was no professional at all. He was a teacher those days and spend his vacation days so he could play Alekhine. Alekhine was a full time professional player.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 12/9/2021 09:03
@Aighearach are u suggesting a new toilet gate is happening, with Nepo disappearing for a long time (in the rest room?) after making his move?
Requoting you: "In the old days, when there was less chance of cheating, less chance of cheating accusations being taken seriously, it didn't matter as much; you could play almost anywhere. These days, it just wouldn't work."
Aighearach Aighearach 12/9/2021 02:40
The real problem with first to n-wins is that you can't do scheduling. What do you do, reserve the venue for 3 years, just in case?

In the old days, when there was less chance of cheating, less chance of cheating accusations being taken seriously, it didn't matter as much; you could play almost anywhere. These days, it just wouldn't work.

If not for that it would be a fine idea; the real problem with Karpov-Kasparov was that they were agreeing to short draws in the early middlegame, simply because the position was even. Top GMs now play those positions out, and the result is many decisive games. With modern understanding of the game, it would take both players wanting an endurance battle for that to happen. Most matches, one player would want to drag it out, and the other wouldn't, and you might actually get more decisive games and a shorter match than with 14 games. So it would be work fine, if not for the logistics.

Another logistical problem is that the players have to pay their teams, and without a fixed length, how do you know how long your team needs to be there? Numerous logistical problems arise, each big enough to scuttle the idea. But that won't stop people from insisting that without the change, chess is dead! LOL

(What a great match, BTW!)
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 12/8/2021 06:36
Could it be that Nepo got a sunstroke in Dubai?
Vibov Vibov 12/8/2021 04:05
"What happens if the match goes 30 games? More than 30 games? At some point it becomes a test of who has more endurance" - while I do agree infinite matches are unpractical, I'd argue that testing who has more endurance is part of the game, actually.
Vidmar Vidmar 12/8/2021 03:23
Nepo can be put with Gelfand as the worst challengers ever. I would include Max Euwe, but he actually won )
John Maccormack John Maccormack 12/8/2021 02:05
You've got the wrong game on display. Please fix. Thax. JXM
Queenslander Queenslander 12/7/2021 11:22
Bobby's blunder 2.0
Anthe Anthe 12/7/2021 08:58
A match is a match and differs significantly from tournaments

One thing will remain. Carlsen will almost likely never again have a problem wiht playing Nepo ...
Michael Jones Michael Jones 12/7/2021 08:51
@kingsindianwins: Nepo would have to take the last five games 4-1 just to take this to tiebreaks, never mind win outright. There is no player in the world who can do that against Carlsen. He might conceivably pull one back if Carlsen slips up, but no chance of three. More likely is that now MC has a 3-point cushion, he'll just coast to victory with draws in the next three games.
ChessTalk ChessTalk 12/7/2021 08:46
Magnus is Magnus and champion, but at the top of professional chess, there is parity. Ian has shown incredible nerves to reach this point and it's so strange to see him implode. I hope he finds a way to win a game or two before it's over.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 12/7/2021 08:26
I don't understand these suggestions for first to 3 wins; similar ideas have been discussed for a long time. What happens if the match goes 30 games? More than 30 games? At some point it becomes a test of who has more endurance. And if the match is tied 2:2 wins, either early on or late, the player who gets the 3rd win has not demonstrated any kind of superiority, when the other player possibly would have gotten wins 4 and 5.
Stupido Stupido 12/7/2021 08:01
This is becoming embarassing. I don't remember a WC match so one-sided and with blunders of that level.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 12/7/2021 07:36
This is just getting ugly.
rkpuia rkpuia 12/7/2021 05:30
The match is over. Ian self destruct under pressure. Lets hope the next challenger (hopefully Ding/Fabi/Firouzja) can do better.
Congratulations Magnus!!! You the beast, the best.
Raphael Comprone Raphael Comprone 12/7/2021 04:57
Great positional play by Magnus. Ian blundered away his bishop in a position that was equal. That has to be a devastating way to lose. With three losses against Carlsen, it is probably also the psychological pressure of playing that got to Ian, so the mistake is forgivable considering the circumstances of the game. I think even Magnus is shocked. I still think the championship rules should be changed, and I hope Carlsen suggests that only classical games are played for the classical world championship. The first player to win three games should be the victor (it seems logical). I think most people agree that a three point lead is insurmountable at the grandmaster level. Ian must have just broken down from the pressure of being behind two points.
Steven Gerrard Steven Gerrard 12/7/2021 04:31
Its Nepo has allowed his bishop to be trapped, out of thin air...
kingsindianwins kingsindianwins 12/7/2021 04:00
It's never over until it's over.Over confidence is what loses some games.Many have slipped between cup,and lip.
Theochessman Theochessman 12/5/2021 09:42
The match is basicly over now.
2 losses and only 6 more games to go.
There's no way on Earth Nepo will come back from this.
Friday's marathon game broke him mentally and perhaps also physically.

Congrats to Magnus for being the World Champion since 2013 and once again earning the crown.
Aighearach Aighearach 12/5/2021 08:51
Look at all these people whining and crying, are you even chess fans? They've played 0 short draws, they've played out every game to conclusion. Carlsen doesn't agree to draws. You have your exciting dream champion and you're too busy crying to notice.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 12/5/2021 08:31
Can one ask a World Championship chess Match, where the challenger gets the odds of a pawn, against Carlsen?
tom_70 tom_70 12/5/2021 08:29
@michael, I don't care who you are or how talented you happen to be, it is easier to deeply concentrate if you stay in one spot instead of running around all over the place. I just think that might help him.
Michael Jones Michael Jones 12/5/2021 07:54
@tom70: the top players are more than capable of calculating variations in their heads. Just because he isn't looking at the position doesn't mean he isn't thinking about it.