Russian Jewish chess player to challenge world champion for title in United Arab Emirates

Russian Jewish chess player Ian Nepomniachtchi will challenge current world chess champion Magnus Carlsen for the title in Dubai later this year after winning the FIDE Candidates Tournament on Monday with a round to go.

The Russian grandmaster, 30, will face the Norwegian world champion in a 14-game match from November 24 to December 16 at Expo Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The winner will take home $ 2.4 million.

Nepomniachtchi, officially third in the world rankings, learned chess at age 4 and was a master candidate at age 7, according to The Guardian. He won several European youth titles as a preteen and even beat Carlsen, who started playing chess much later.

Nepomniachtchi won his first Russian title in 2010, the same year he was European champion; his second was in 2020 when an opponent had to forfeit due to COVID-19.

He competed in the 2009 Maccabiah Games with the Hungarian Jewish chess grandmaster Judit Polgar and won the 2019 FIDE Grand Prix in Jerusalem, which qualified him for the contestants tournament.

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