Ian Nepomniatchi, the world No.5 won the candidates early in the year. However, at the World Chess Championship Nepomniatchi lost against the five-time World Champion Magnus Carlsen.
Similar things took place at the World Rapid Championship 2021, merely two weeks after facing a shameful defeat against Carlsen in the World Championship. Nepomniatchi faced Nodirbek Abdusattorov a 17-year-old youngster who managed to defeat Nepomniatchi in the tiebreak and the Russian lost yet another chance to win a title.
A forgettable year for Ian Nepomniatchi
The Russian No.1 comes from the land where chess is both played and praised. He comes from the land which produced legends like Kasparov, Kramnik, Karpov, and many more. It is obvious that the Russian chess enthusiasts had much greater expectations from Nepomniatchi.
Ian managed to win the candidates at the beginning of the year and had an opportunity to face the World Champion Magnus Carlsen. The Russian was very resilient at the beginning of the World Championship with five consecutive draws against the defending champion.
However, Magnus Carlsen managed to win 4 out of the 6 games and defeated Ian Nepomniatchi in a comprehensive manner. This was the first time in five years that Magnus managed to win a classical game at the World Championship, the last being his win against another Russian Sergey Karjakin.
Merely two weeks after facing the humiliation at the World Championship it was time for the World Rapid Championship 2021. Nepomniatchi was believed to make a comeback from the miserable performance against Carlsen and he did live up to the expectations as he managed to qualify for the Tiebreaks leaving Carlsen behind.
However, in the tiebreaks, Nepomniatchi once again choked against the 17-year-old prodigy Nodirbek Abdusattorov. The youngster won his match against the World No.5 and won became the youngest World Rapid Champion.
Ian Nepomniatchi had a disappointing end to a year which could’ve brought great achievements for him as well as his country. But with another candidates tournament is just around the corner, Nepomniatchi will be looking to make a comeback and take his revenge against Carlsen at the World Championship 2022.