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Will Esipenko take down the World Champion again in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2022?

It was early in 2021, when the Russian GM Andrey Esipenko shook the world by beating Magnus Carlsen at the 2021 Tata Steel Tournament, and becoming the first teenager to beat the World Champion in classical chess.

It is one thing beating Magnus in blitz and rapid, and totally different to beat him in a classical game. The rarity of this event increases drastically when you’re a teenager! 16-year-old Anish Giri had beaten Magnus back in 2011, but at that point Carlsen wasn’t a World Champion, so Esipenko’s win at the 2021 Tata Steel made him the first teenager to ever beat Magnus as the World Champion.

As GM Vladimir Dobrov wrote: “Almost all chess fans remembered Andrey’s clear and happy blue eyes. And the camp of admirers has arrived, and surely a whole queue has already lined up for the enviable suitor.”

Esipenko couldn’t believe what had just happened and his smile lit up the room and all chess fans’ hearts. “I think it’s one of the best days in my life”, Esipenko said.

Later the same year, Esipenko faced Carlsen one more time at the 2021 World Cup, in Sochi. Their match could easily be nominated as the  “Match of the Year” as the 18-year-old Russian GM was very close to winning Carlsen again. It was a thriller game and professional players as well as amateurs agreed that they were seeing something special.

Today, in Round 1 of the 2022 Tata Steel Tournament, Andrey Esipenko will face Magnus Carlsen for hopefully another fascinating match. Will the 19-year-old GM manage to take down the World Champion one more time?

Watch the game with us:

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