The great dominator of the board seeks from this Friday to retain the World scepter against his Russian friend Nepomniachtchi.
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250 employees, four million users, sponsorships from multinationals, listing on the stock market … all thanks to chess. Who could think that the sport of the board would be one of the most popular in recent years? In the age of video games, streamers and social networks, an ancient sport is at the top thanks to characters such as Marcus Carlsen, the Norwegian genius who has dominated the last decade in championships and dispatches. The only one capable of combining it with the creation and development of a multitude of millionaire businesses related to the sport to which he has given a second life.
Tonsberg, just 100 kilometers south of Oslo, is a small city of just over 50,000 inhabitants, and the birthplace of the genius and great world champion. The capital’s fjord, where the town can be found, is also one of the tourist centers in the area. Now, from there they will be very attentive to what happens 5,000 kilometers to the southeast, in Dubai. There, Carlsen plays against his Russian friend Nepomniachtchi which will be his fifth consecutive World Cup. Approaching the great historical ones like Karpov and Kasparov (both with six titles), the Norwegian wants to maintain a reign that would entail pocketing more than a million euros.
What now carries dizzying numbers, in his childhood he was nothing more than a hobby with his father Henrik. The first opponent he won? His own sister Ellen, barely a year older than him. Since then and until now, the board has made it his own playground. A garden where he has developed poker-style online gaming platforms, learning schools, and even his own company (Play Magnus), which is listed on the stock market and has taken off like a rocket from confinement. With it, and in a project in which the whole family intervenes, the patrimony and its innumerable investments are managed.
A different player who has left behind the stereotype of seriousness in the world of pieces, and who makes it something attractive for the general public, even for the billionaire Arab world, where he is about to enter the scene. On the other side of the table is Ian Nepomniachtchi, a Russian player who already knows what it is to beat him and who wants to end the dynasty in the desert. A reign that began in 2013 in Chennai, where Carlsen snatched the title from the local Indian Anand, and it has spread in Russia, New York and London every two years.
Two millions of euros
In an irregular stage for the great genius, who is not going through his best moment with surprising defeats, the Russian contender wants to return the crown to his country, where chess has always been one of the sacred pillars within the national sport. With controversy included by the election of the headquarters in the Emirates, the advancement of the sport is non-negotiable, which will distribute on this occasion triple the prizes than the last edition of 2018. In this case, the bag amounts to more than 2 million euros. euros, the champion taking 60% of the money.
With a 14-game format, where the winner will be consecrated by reaching 7.5 points, the championship will be played from this Friday until December 14 in case of needing a tiebreaker. With a variable duration that can last several hours, the players will face each other once a day and will have a rest day every three games. This will be one of the most complicated appointments for Carlsen, since his rival knows him as very few, and it is that he has become part of his own analysis team in previous big appointments.
Therefore, and although the physical wear is not remarkable, maintaining concentration and nerves is one of the keys, and there the Norwegian genius has long proven to be the most prepared to take the long-awaited million euros back home. Whoever the winner is, chess is back to stay.
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