Garry Kasparov, widely regarded as the all-time No 1, has praised Magnus Carlsen as the Norwegian world champion defeated Russia’s best player Ian Nepomniachtchi 6.5-2.5 over two days to win Tuesday’s Legends of Chess final.

Nepomniachtchi is the only top grandmaster who has an over-the-board plus score against Carlsen. He is also the joint leader of the candidates tournament, which was stopped by Covid-19 at halfway and which will resume this autumn. Its winner will meet Carlsen for the world crown in 2021.

Although Carlsen won the Legends final, he lost in only 21 imaginative moves in the third game of the match. Kasparov, a guest on the hosting website, had this to say about his successor:

“Magnus is very tough and what is important, and what I enjoy, is that he’s not standing still; he always tries to improve his chess. He’s so good at the chessboard, looking for practical chances, he does a lot of work. It’s a combination of great players of the past: he has Karpov’s ability to locate his pieces in perfect positions, Fischer’s rage at the chessboard and also from myself/Botvinnik, the willingness to analyse his games and find improvements. He’s a universal type of player, and that explains his dominance. Even after winning so much, he wants to win more, and that’s commendable.”

Puzzle 2379
Ian Nepomniachtchi vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, online Nations Cup 2020. Queen against rook can be harder than it appears. Black made the best move, and White resigned. What was the instant winner?

For solution, click here

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