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Ian Nepomniachtchi speaks about the Candidates and World Championship Match (VIDEO)

Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi secured the trophy at the 2022 FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament with a round to spare. Nepomniachtchi is the second player ever who managed to win the Candidates Tournament two consecutive times, repeating Vasily Smyslov’s feast from 1956.

The post-game interview with WGM Dina Belankaya opened with ovations for Nepomniachtchi, who was touched by the non-stopping applause. Being asked how he feels now that is almost over, Nepo said: “I feel extremely tired. I mean, it’s an insanely difficult tournament and despite the score, it was never easy. It was up and down, and in every game I could have a potential danger“. He spoke about the game against Richard Rapport who chose to play the Sicilian defense: “The line I wanted to see at the board was Berlin. I wouldn’t mind the repetition of the previous game” he added with a smile.

Ian Nepomniachtchi will be the Challenger in the World Chess Championship Match which will be played next year. His opponent should be the reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen who might withdraw from the match. Carlsen yesterday visited Palacio de Santona, the venue of the FIDE Candidates Tournament, and met with the FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich to discuss the format of the World Championship. Answering the question what would he tell Magnus, Nepo said: “I mean, stop playing these h4, a4 nonsense” and laughed. See the video below.

Read more: Carlsen goes with 1.h4 / Wesley So: I felt like playing 1…h5 or 1…a5 against Carlsen (VIDEO)

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