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‘He can outplay me’: World Chess champ Magnus Carlsen lauds Ian Nepomniachtchi as Russian races in front at tournament in homeland

‘He can outplay me’: World Chess champ Magnus Carlsen lauds Ian Nepomniachtchi as Russian races in front at tournament in homeland
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has evaluated the chances of Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi becoming a genuine rival, admitting that the man in the lead at the Candidates Tournament is a serious threat to him.

Nepomniachtchi cemented his lead at the FIDE Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg oon Wednesday, defeating compatriot Kirill Alekseenko in round 10.

The winner of the showpiece, which was halted at its halfway point last year after the Russian government ruled to suspend air traffic with other countries as a result of the pandemic, resumed in round eight, with the winner  earning the right to challenge Carlsen.

He's someone who can outplay me," the famed Norwegian said while providing expert analysis on the tournament. "It's always been an interesting clash of styles."

Nepomniachtchi continues to lead at the tournament with 6.5 points, leaving Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave and Giri a full point behind him.

In other matches, Fabiano Caruana, of the US, recorded a draw against Ding Liren, while Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave also drew against Dutch player Anish Giri.

Earlier this year, Carlsen suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Russian 18-year-old sensation Andrey Esipenko, who beat the current king of chess at the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament in Holland, recording Carlsen’s first loss since 2017.

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