Nepo Beats Firouzja, Carlsen’s Preferred Opponent
Ian Nepomniachtchi (Nepo), Russian Grandmaster and 2021 Championship challenger, beat Alireza Firouzja with White in Round 2 of Superbet Chess Classic. The game was captivating not only because of chess (it was chaotic), but also because everyone is watching for Firouzja’s chances to win the Candidates Tournament. The reason — Magnus Carlsen recently said that he would play the Match only against Firouzja. Apparently, chances are slim.
Nepo, grumpy but visibly pleased with the result, was first to point out that he managed to win the first classical game since September 2021. He laughed that he is one of the world’s top experts in the Queen vs Rook and Knight ending, referring to the now famous game 6 of the 2021 World Chess Championship. He lost that one.
Superbet Chess Classic, part of the Grand Chess Tour, organized by Garry Kasparov, is taking place in Bucharest, Romania, and features the world’s top players. You can follow the games live on World Chess.