World Championship 2021 match will start Nov. 24!!

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  • World Championship 2021 match will start Nov. 24!!

    The World Championship 2021 match will be starting on November 24 in the United Arab Emirates. That is two weeks from today.

    It will feature champion GM Magnus Carlsen of Norway and challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. Both were born in 1990, with Ian slightly older.

    It will be the best of 14 games this time, up from 12 the past few matches.

    The challenger must have one of the toughest surnames to pronounce in chess history!

  • #2
    I'm looking forward to this. Magnus and Ian have contrasting styles IMHO. It should be a great clash.

    Ian's last name looks impossible to pronounce but if it were spelled like this: Neppomnichi, it doesn't seem so bad.

    I suggest the hardest challenger name to pronounce is Machgielis Euwe. I have no idea how to pronounce his first name. Thankfully he is better known as Max. His last name is very deceptive. For some years I thought it was pronounced Yew, or something similar to that. Using the International Phonetic Alphabet it's actually ˈ°ːʋə; which is more like URva, with a bit of a guttural rolling of the UR. Not easy for native English speakers.
    Last edited by Brian Clarke; Thursday, 11th November, 2021, 11:31 PM.

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    • #3
      Hi Brian,

      I am hoping for a great match! I think the games will be lively, due to the contrasting styles of the opponents. I think also champion GM Carlsen is playing more games with sharp systems in the past few years. Of course, match tactics are a land of their own. Only the players at that level can really understand this, I think. GM Mikhail Tal opened his brain and his heart when he wrote his book on the 1960 title match against champion GM MIkhail Botvinnik; it is the best title match book I've ever seen.

      Your suggestion on Nepo's pronounciation makes sense. Seeing so many letters bothers native English speakers, I think!

      I believe the pronounciation of Euwe's surname is something like: Yo-vay. I have a friend with the exact same name, as his first name, here in Kingston, and he is of Dutch and German heritage. That is how he pronouncers it! My friend NM Dr. Jean-Francois Wen, economics professor in Calgary now, is of Belgian and Chinese heritage, and he told me the same thing a number of years ago.

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      • #4
        I favor Magnus 65-35 , I would have given 80-20 but I watched most of Magnus' online tournaments and I find he has made a lot of uncharacteristic blunders this year which makes it closer in my view. Of course most of these tournaments were rapid or blitz.

        This will be an entertaining match due to the contrasting styles of the two opponents. It is my personal feeling that Caruana or So would have been better challengers.

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        • #5
          One question is whether there will be any decisive games.

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          • #6
            super stoked for this match,

            brad I feel like there will be a decent amount of decisive results because Ian counters magnus's style a lot more combatively then Caruana's did I honestly think Ian will be the toughest matchup yet for Carlsen since Anand.

            its going to be a good one!

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            • #7
              Rather than result, any prediction for openings? I feel like Carlsen will pick another Sicilian, not Sveshnikov. Nepo may try 1 Gruenfeld but switch if Carlsen breaks through...

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              • #8
                Quite difficult to predict openings for Magnus, He plays e4 d4 almost equally and sometimes c4 or Nf3. He beat Wesley with b3 two times. Against d4, I have seen him plays most defence
                except for the modern benoni. Against e4 he plays mostly e5 and c5, I have not seen him lose too often in the Sveshnikov or Rossolimo. But, I expect d4 and try to beat Nepo's Grunfeld.

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                • #9
                  If there will be no Alekhine, I'll be disappointed :)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Egidijus Zeromskis View Post
                    If there will be no Alekhine, I'll be disappointed :)
                    That reminds me of a funny moment from the Canadian Seniors in Calgary a few years ago. One round, within about 7 boards (I don't remember exactly), there were like 5 Alekhines played lol

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aris Marghetis View Post

                      That reminds me of a funny moment from the Canadian Seniors in Calgary a few years ago. One round, within about 7 boards (I don't remember exactly), there were like 5 Alekhines played lol
                      this must have been planned,
                      can't imagine so many people subjecting themselves to such torture

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                      • #12
                        I agree Henri , the Alekhine is far from the best defence against e4. In fact I think it is one of the worst. No space and a bad b6 poney after only 10 moves,:-))

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                        • #13
                          The main thing with the Alekhine Def. is that there are plenty of unclear positions, which can be exploited by the player with more knowledge, deeper preparation, and the nerve to take it on. Generally, White cannot play just solidly and expect to win, against very strong opposition. He has to sharpen the play, leading to unbalanced positions, and this gives chances to the second player. Hey, GM Bobby Fischer played it twice against GM Boris Spassky in their 1972 match, winning game 13 and drawing game 19. Of Fischer's play in game 13, former World Champion GM Mikhail Botvinnik wrote: "Nothing like it has ever been seen before in chess." He was talking about Fischer's play in the endgame. The game probably should have been drawn, but Spassky was trailing and he had to take chances, winding up losing. I believe this was the first Alekhine Def. in a world title match. Fischer's surprise choice for game 13 came after he had been crushed in game 11 on the Black side of his favorite Najdorf Poisoned Pawn Sicilian. Fischer got the advantage out of the opening in game 13 against Spassky, who took quite a bit of time to wind up just worse in the early middlegame; clearly Spassky wasn't expecting to face this line! Fischer had earlier drawn with GM-to-be Walter Browne in a 1970 game using the Alekhine, in a 98-move marathon.
                          I am an Alekhine Def. tourist, using it very occasionally as Black, and have faced it a lot with White, generally against NM Maher Saleh in a multitude of friendly games in the late 1980s, and against Kingston CM Geoff McKay in many tournament and friendly games, for ten years starting in 1994. I won my first ever tournament game over a Master when I defeated NM Sharon Burtman in the 1987 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championship; that game started 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.exd5 Nxd5 4.Qf3!? I thought at the time this may have been a novelty; it was not in any printed sources I had seen; later I found several earlier Soviet examples. My win allowed Queen's to defeat Rhode Island College in a match which was called the biggest upset in the history of the PanAms by TD Glenn Petersen (2300 team average losing to 1950).
                          There are also a lot of unusual lines for White which are relatively unexplored. For example, FD (~2000) -- Geoff McKay (~2100), Kingston Open 2002, went 1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e5 d4 4.Nce2!? (1-0, 30). Then, there is the Retreat Var., named as the Brooklyn Def. by Benjamin and Schiller in their late 1980s book on unusual openings. 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Ng8!? Used quite a bit by IM Geza Fuster (for example in the 1972 Zonal), and also by Kingston CM Wayne Coppin, to good effect.

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                          • #14
                            The Alekhine is almost never played at the highest level. You have no space , are cramped, and against good opposition, the best you can hope is a kind of fortress draw. Of course, it is playable but as a surprise weapon, I think. Fischer played it about 5 or 6 times in his career and with success but that was because he was so much stronger than everyone . The game he won against Spassky he had a wretched game at one point. The Alekhine is not as bad as I think but , to my mind, it is an inferior defense and I will never play it. Wesley So thinks so too.

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                            • #15
                              Why are you guys going that deep in history and so serious?

                              Magnus Carlsen is not a stranger to the Alekhine defence. Recent (2020) three his games brought him 3 points against top players Nakamura, Caruana, Aronian. Maybe the actual result is different but that a short search on chessgames is good enough to hope that opening might be played in this match :)

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