Dubai – Andrey Guryev, Vice President and Trustee of the Russian Chess Federation and CEO of PhosAgro, presented the World Chess Championship trophy to Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.
The FIDE World Chess Championship match, between the reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen, and the winner of the 2020/2021 Candidates Tournament, Ian Nepomniachtchi, took place from 24 November to 10 December in Dubai, at the site of Expo 2020. A total of 11 games were played. Following five draws, Carlsen got on the board first in the match’s sixth game, before going on to win the eighth, ninth and eleventh games as well. Carlsen, who has held the world title since 2013, won the match with a final score of 7.5–3.5.
PhosAgro, a leading Russian producer of phosphate-based fertilizers, was the general partner for the World Championship. The Company has traditionally been a strategic partner of the Russian Chess Federation and sponsored Russian grandmaster Nepomniachtchi as he prepared for the tournament.
“The match for the world title was very tightly contested. We were all rooting for Ian, but luck was on Magnus’s side today. We congratulate the grandmaster from Norway and wish Ian more victories in the future,” said Arkady Dvorkovich, President of the International Chess Federation.
Mr. Guryev noted the great skill that the players demonstrated throughout the match.
“This championship was the fourth in a row sponsored by PhosAgro, which is 20 years old this year. And every new match presents us with a unique emotional experience. We will never forget the sixth game of the match between Nepomniachtchi and Carlsen. Over 7 hours and 45 minutes, the players made 136 moves, breaking a 43-year-old record for the longest game in championship history.
“No, the chess crown is not returning to Russia this year. Ian is a brilliant chess player, but he didn’t have enough experience to defeat the indomitable Magnus, who turned out to be the stronger player. We are going to continue developing chess in Russia at all levels, together with the Federation, nurturing new generations of players starting in preschool. This work is already bearing fruit – in two of the last three championships, the players opposing Magnus were Russian grandmasters,” said Mr. Guryev during the championship’s closing ceremony, as he expressed the hope that, one day soon, a Russian player would be capable of defeating the invincible Carlsen – thus returning the chess crown to Russia.
While handing the championship trophy to the winner, Mr. Guryev congratulated Carlsen on his victory and noted that it was truly well deserved.
Chess is one of the priority areas of PhosAgro’s social responsibility policy. The Company first became a strategic partner of the Russian Chess Federation in 2010; since then, young Russian chess players have won more than 100 medals at international children’s competitions, and Russian grandmasters have won world championships in blitz and rapid chess (twice), twice been the runner-up at the World Chess Championship, won the World Cup three times and won two online Olympiads.
In the cities where PhosAgro operates – Cherepovets, Kirovsk, Apatity, Volkhov, Balakovo – the Company supports education centres as part of the DROZD programme (Educated and Healthy Children of Russia), where various sports are cultivated, including chess, which gets special attention through chess classes at sponsored schools and preschools.
The Company also sponsored matches for the world chess crown in 2014 (Sochi), 2016 (New York) and 2018 (London). Mr. Guryev was awarded the FIDE gold medal in March 2021 for his contribution to the development of chess in Russia and internationally.