Jan Nepomnyashchi: "I think there is no chess player who doesn't feel sorry for Jan now."
GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP
Chess world champion Magnus Carlsen is about to successfully defend his title after another victory.
The 31-year-old Norwegian won the ninth game against his Russian challenger Jan Nepomnjaschtschi in Dubai and leads the 14-game duel 6-3.
Nepomnyashchi had already lost their eighth game two days ago in a mistake that was unusual at World Cup level, and this time the duel took a similar course.
The challenger had his runner locked out.
His 27th move was a mistake rarely seen at the top level.
Carlsen only had to bring a pawn forward and then pick up the piece that could neither escape nor defend.
The Russian did not begin the ninth game with the king's pawn, but with an English opening.
In the middle game he captured a pawn, but retained several weaknesses.
Perhaps the only way the peasants would not return was to cost the runner instead.
After Carlsen locked him in, Nepomnyashchi stayed in his quiet room backstage for 18 minutes before returning to the board.
In the meantime, Carlsen was seen sitting in his chair with his arms crossed, waiting for Nepomnyashchi to return and give up - another outcome of the game was no longer likely at this point.
"I don't think there is a chess player who doesn't feel sorry for Jan now."
The Polish grandmaster Grzegorz Gajewski commented on Twitter: "I don't think there is a chess player who doesn't feel sorry for Jan." Nepomnyashchi dragged the game until move 39 before he was defeated.
On Wednesday (1.30 p.m.) it will continue with round ten, there can be no decision yet.
There are a maximum of 14 games, whoever reaches 7.5 points first is world champion.
The starting right changes after each match.
One point is awarded for a win and half a point for a draw.
Carlsen had successfully defended his title in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
mon / dpa / sid