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Another Championship Match Between Carlsen and Nepo Would Be Boring

The final event of the Grand Chess Tour, the Sinquefield Cup, started yesterday with the wildcard, Magnus Carlsen, crushing Ian Nepomniachtchi in Round 1.

Photo: Bryan Adams, Grand Chess Tour

A bit more than a month ago the reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen announced that he will not defend his title in 2023 against Nepo, who had just won the Candidates 2022. Many talked about a foolish decision but would the Championship match be any different than the previous one?!

In Round 1 of the Sinquefield Cup Carlsen faced Nepo and it seemed like he was cruising through the entire game. “I didn’t get a lot of these kinds of games there. I don’t know. He didn’t do so well in the rapid either, so probably this was just the game of somebody who’s not in great shape. He was not finding the right manoeuvres, overlooking some of my ideas. Also he was playing too fast at critical moments — he didn’t really sense them too much. I think I did well in creating a situation that was not pleasant for him, but he certainly should have done better.” Carlsen said after his easy win.

Including this game, Magnus makes it 5 wins in his last 7 classical games against Nepo, a win that took him to 2865 on the live rating and closer to his 2900 goal.

Magnus scored the only win of the event on day 1, with all the other games being drawn.

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