#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In Moscow, in the Mikhail Botvinnik Central Chess House, one of the largest Russian businessmen, the Interros Group head and the Nornickel president Vladimir Potanin, and the famous grandmaster Yan Nepomniachtchy met at the chessboard.
Vladimir Potanin said before the game:
“I like to compete with the strongest in their field, because they have a lot to learn. Business is very similar to chess: a confrontation between rivals, a game of thought. Yan is one of the strongest grandmasters, a bright and distinctive player, it is a great success to play a chess game with him”.
The game was played with time control – 30 minutes for each player. Vladimir Potanin had white pieces, Yan Nepomniachtchy had black ones. From the very beginning, both players acted quickly, showing a good grounding.
The rivals played the Spanish game, where Yan Nepomniachtchy chose Marshall’s attack – the same one he did not allow Magnus Carlsen to use in a recent match in Dubai. Vladimir Potanin did not react very well in the opening and soon had to go over to the defense, which he held until the endgame. Nepomniachtchy restored material balance in class and seized the initiative. White defended themselves stubbornly, but gradually Black achieved a decisive advantage and won a rook endgame.
The commentator, grandmaster Sergey Shipov noted:
“Some viewers thought that there would be a draw, a negotiated game. There are many such meetings, when champions meet chess amateurs, some kind of diplomatic draw occurs. I knew in advance that there would be a fight. Vladimir Potanin himself insisted on playing on equal terms, and refused all types of handicap. Yan Nepomniachtchy had to make efforts to achieve the quite expected result”.
Vladimir Potanin and Yan Nepomniachtchy were satisfied with the game course and noted that the friendly duel was aimed primarily at popularizing chess.
The friendly match was broadcast on the chess portal Crestbook.com, on the website and in the Match-TV account on VKontakte and on Youtube. Let us remind you that in October, before the match for the chess crown in Dubai, Nornickel and Yan Nepomniachtchyhad signed a sponsorship agreement. The company actively collaborated with the chess player during the preparations for the World Championship. Yan Nepomniachtchy calls this cooperation very important for himself and for domestic chess, although he didn’t defeat the Norwegian in Dubai. The vice-champion still has the chanceto take revenge. Yan Nepomniachtchy and Magnus Carlsen will take part in the World Rapid and Blitz Championship, which will take place from 25 to 31 December in Warsaw.
Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: Nornickel press service