Carlsen in London - but without his second


The world's top-rated player will be without a second at the London Classic. The British Embassy in Moscow has refused a visa to the Norwegian's second, Yan Nepomnyashy, without giving any reason. 


Whilst getting a Schengen or Americal visa is now virtually a formality for Russian citizens, the situation with foggy London is more complicated. If your name is not Abramovich, getting a visa can take a month or more. And in certain cases, sucha s nepomnyashy, the visa can be refused altogether! The employees in the visa section of the embassy can seize on the tiniest triviality. 

This news came as an unpleasant surprise for Carlsen. As his manager Espen Agdestein said, his charge is very upset about the situation: "Although Yan can speak to us via Skype, in this tournament, Magnus will be giving odds..."

The important thing is not so much the London Chess Classic itself, although the Norwegian now stands on the threshold of breaking the all-time world rating record, as the fact that not being able to put together an analytical team could be his Achilles Heel at the Candidates in London next March. He intended to take Nepomnyashy to that event. 

Given what has happened, Yan needs in the very near future to make a new visa application, so as to avoid needing to storm the embassy next March...


(Text by Evgeny Atarov)