Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champion who no longer wants to be

Although the earthquake was expected, it still shakes the world of chess. The Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, world number one in the points ranking of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and world champion since 2013, confirmed on Wednesday July 20 in a podcast what he had hinted in December 2021, namely that he would not challenge his title. He will not play the match, scheduled for the end of 2023, which was to oppose him to the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, whom he had already largely beaten in 2021.

At 31, Magnus Carlsen confirmed that after having played and won five world championships he no longer felt the desire necessary for a competition of this kind, a long duel of a month. “I spoke to people on my team, I spoke to FIDE, I spoke to Ian as well. The conclusion is very simple: I am not motivated to play another match.he explained during this podcast, before adding: “I don’t have much to win, I don’t particularly like it and although I’m sure a game would be interesting for historical reasons, I have no desire to play and I just won’t play. not the game. » The Norwegian also confided that he had been considering this decision for a year and a half, well before the 2021 meeting against Nepomniachtchi.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Magnus Carlsen easily retains his World Chess Championship title

In a statement published Wednesday, July 20 on the FIDE website, the president of the federation, the Russian Arkadi Dvorkovitch, took note of this choice: “Magnus Carlsen, he writes, deserves nothing but the respect of FIDE and the entire chess community, no matter what decision he makes regarding his career. Only a handful of people in history can understand and appreciate the heavy price it takes to play five games for the title. Many other great champions in other sports have had a similar experience: as the years go by, it is more difficult to find the motivation to train and compete at the highest level, while the reward of victory is never as intense as on the first day. »

The mythical bar of 2,900 points

Arkadi Dvorkovitch also confirmed to the site that the 2023 world championship would oppose Ian Nepomniachtchi, winner of the Candidates Tournament in early July and 7e in the FIDE points ranking, the Chinese Ding Liren (2e world player) who finished second in this tournament. Obviously, this match may lack some appeal in the absence of Carlsen, the best player at the start of the 21st century.e century, which has dominated the discipline since rising to world No. , after the death of Alexander Alekhine two years earlier, and his compatriot Anatoli Karpov in 1975 when the whimsical American Bobby Fischer refused to give up his title.

You have 24.17% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Comment