Magnus Carlsen won’t defend his title, leaving China’s Ding Liren to face Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi in Astana for the chess crown
© Getty Images/Jitawat Chanpraneet
Russia and China have been making headlines of late for their deepening bilateral ties, but for three weeks in April, two men from these respective countries will be locked in a fierce battle for the ultimate prize in professional chess – the title of world champion.
Admittedly, a bit of the air was taken out of this year’s event when five-time reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway declined to defend his title – a crown he maintained with a convincing victory over the same Nepomniachtchi in Dubai two years ago.
RT previews what is in store for this year’s duel and takes a peek into the rarified world of top-level chess.