Jan Nepomnyashchij (31) has lost ten kilos in weight and is training more physically before the World Cup meeting with Magnus Carlsen (30) in Dubai in November-December.
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The Russian himself confirms the weight loss in an interview with the Russian television channel Matsj TV.
The World Cup match has been extended this time from 12 to 14 matches, and there are fewer days off than before.
– It’s about ten kilos, Nepomnyashchij answers the interviewer’s question if it has become lighter.
– But I have heard that in earlier times they recommended the opposite before a World Cup match, to put, so that you have something to follow. So I don’t know what is best.
– It’s been a while since I lost weight. I don’t follow him so closely now, the important thing is to avoid big fluctuations, Nepomnyashchy tells Matsj TV.
There are also rumors that Carlsen’s 2016 World Cup opponent Sergei Karjakin is part of Nepomnyashchij’s team of assistants. Rumors began to circulate after Karjakin posted a photo of himself in Dubai on Instagram.
Nepomniashchi’s team manager Vladimir Potkin explains it all this way to VG:
– I helped Sergej Karjakin during the World Cup match in 2016. Now he helps me prepare Jan for Carlsen’s match in 2021.
Karjakin was dubbed the “Secretary of Defense” in New York after game after game he managed to keep Carlsen in the draw. They won one game apiece in the match, and Carlsen was excellent on replay.
Magnus Carlsen may set a new monetary record: 11.7 million.
Chess expert Atle Grønn, who is also a Russian teacher and can follow chess news in the Russian media, tells VG:
– I think your preparations are much more thorough and serious than those of Carlsen’s tenant. At the same time, Carlsen knows what this is all about and probably just confident that he is a better player. It is much easier for “Nepo” and Karjakin to motivate themselves for the preparations at the “once in a lifetime” level than it is for Carlsen, who has to go through this for the fifth time.
Both players are currently preparing for the World Cup match, along with their so-called “seconds”.
– It’s primarily about vacancies, Magnus Carlsen said when asked by VG a few weeks ago.
Peter Heine Nielsen leads Carlsen’s professional chess team. The Norwegian world champion wants to keep a secret who he collaborates with, but from what VG understands, at least Frenchman Laurent Fressinet is part of the team.
The German Jan Gustafsson, the Swede Nils Grandelius and the Russian Daniil Dubov were also among the good assistants in the last match of the World Cup, in 2018. It is not known if any of them are in this weather.
When asked by the interviewer if this will be the game of his life, Nepomnyashchij wisely responds:
– I dont know. It will depend on the result. I can answer that later.
PS: VG has presented Atle Grøn’s statements to Henrik Carlsen, who is the son’s coach. He does not wish to comment further on this.