Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021


Four-Time Defending World Champion MAGNUS CARLSEN faces Challenger IAN NEPOMNIACHTCHI to Determine 2021 World Champion

NBCSN to Provide 30-Minute Highlight Programs of All Games from Nov. 28 – Dec. 16

Chess Popularity Surging in U.S.

STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 23, 2021 – Four-time defending World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) faces Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) in the FIDE Chess World Championship Match 2021 from Dubai, UAE, Nov. 26-Dec. 15. NBC Sports will provide 30-minute highlight programs of all games in the best-of-14 format from Nov. 28-Dec. 16 on NBCSN, and the NBC Sports app.

The 30-minute shows will bring the highlights of each game not only to the hardcore chess fans, but to the much wider and highly-engaged community of sports lovers throughout the U.S. Each highlight show will be replayed the day after it premieres, totaling one hour of chess content every night.

The programs will convey the emotions and stories of the games as well as expert opinions, including commentary by Maurice Ashley, who will focus on making chess accessible for all levels of viewers. Well known as a commentator for high-profile chess events, Ashley made history in 1999 when he became the first African-American ever to be awarded the title of chess Grandmaster.

The World Chess Championship is one of the oldest traditions in the world of sports, dating to the 19th century. This is the first World Championship Match in three years as last year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic. There has been a massive surge in the popularity of chess in recent years, partially connected to the stunning success of the popular drama ‘The Queen’s Gambit.’ The game attracts a wide and diverse audience represented by traditional chess fans, but also a new generation of chess enthusiasts who, not only play, but also watch chess videos and streams as a way to learn, improve, or simply enjoy the games of the Grandmasters.

The agreement between NBC Sports and FIDE was originally announced in July. For more information on the FIDE Chess World Championship Match 2021, click here.

About the competitors:

Magnus Carlsen has been the world’s top-ranked chess player for the past 11 years. After becoming World Champion in 2013 at the age of 22, he has defended his title three consecutive times (2014, 2016, 2018) and is now looking for his fifth victory.

Ian Nepomniachtchi is the fifth-ranked player in the world and the best current player from Russia. A distinctive, well-rounded player, he won the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg, Russia, with a round to spare. With a 4-1 score against Carlsen in their classical games, he is seen as someone who has a realistic chance of winning the championship.

Following are the times of the NBC Sports’ 30-minute highlight programs of the FIDE Chess World Championship Match 2021:

Game Date Time (ET)
1 Nov. 28 Midnight
2 Nov. 29 1:30 am
3 Nov. 29 10:30 pm
4 Dec. 1 10:30 pm
5 Dec. 4 Midnight
6 Dec. 5 1:30 am
7 Dec. 6 1:00 am
8 Dec. 6 10:30 pm
9* Dec. 8 10:30 pm
10* Dec. 11 Midnight
11* Dec. 12 12:30 am
12* Dec. 13 2:00 am
13* Dec. 13 10:30 pm
14* Dec. 15 10:30 pm
Tiebreak* Dec. 16 10:30 pm

*if necessary