Tuesday, January 18

Carlsen has thought half an hour longer than Nepo

DUBAI (VG) The experts do not agree that Magnus Carlsen (30) has been surprised by how Jan Nepomnjasjtsjij (31) plays in the World Cup. In any case, the Norwegian has thought almost half an hour longer about his moves so far in the World Cup than the challenger.

WC Aquarium: Magnus Carlsen and Jan Nepomnyashchiji are “locked up” in their WC arena in Dubai.

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It shows an overview that Peter Doggers in chess.com has created and shared with VG:

  • The average thinking time for each move in lots 1–5 is 2.44 min. for Nepomnyashchy and 2.54 for Carlsen.
  • The total thinking time for the parties so far is 10.28.20 for Carlsen and 9.59.07 for Nepomnyashchy.
  • In the fifth game, where the Russian had white pieces on Wednesday, Nepomnyashchy played very fast for a long time, but towards the end he thought for a long time and spent a total of six minutes longer than the Norwegian.
  • In the fourth game, on the other hand, Carlsen spent just over three quarters of an hour more than Nepo.

– I try to use the time as best I can and work well across the board. That way it has gone well. Wednesday was a difficult position, so I needed to spend extra time early, says Carlsen himself in an interview posted with the sponsor Unibet.

Leontxo Garcia, a chess specialist in Spanish El Pais, believes that Carlsen has been surprised by Nepomnyashchy’s strategy:

– Instead of playing aggressively and with risk, as we know Nepo, he has played very conservatively. Therefore, Magnus needs his team to think of something clever, and it can take a few days, says Garcia.

Mike Klein at chess.com is not so sure Carlsen has been surprised:

– Magnus probably already felt during the candidate tournament that Nepo’s way of playing had changed, and we have received a reinforcement of this here in Dubai.

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Finally, all parties ended in a draw. Now the experts believe in something completely different.

– Nepo has been even more solid than I had expected. He is definitely trying to win with white. He got a small advantage in the fifth game. The problem is that he did not take the one moment he had, says Carlsen in the Unibet interview.

Ukrainian Grandmaster Dmitry Komarov says the same thing:

– You can not beat Magnus if you do not take risks with white pieces.

VG asked Nepomnyashchy after the fifth game if he agrees with those who believe that he has a different style of play now than before. This is how the Russian replied:

– I do not really want to answer that. It may look like I’ve changed my mind, but I’m trying to play good moves. Maybe the opponent feels pressure and makes mistakes.

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17 World Cup games in a row without a winner: – No way we can explain this to most people

– I do not think Magnus has been surprised, says Peter Doggers.

– I make sense to play carefully in a match like this, and moreover, the modern top grandmasters have the ability to play different styles depending on the circumstances, the chess.com expert believes.

NRK’s ​​Atle Grønn answers this when we ask if Carlsen has been surprised by the Russian:

– Well, maybe a little in games 4 and 5, but Magnus Carlsen won the opening duel in games 1 and 3.


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