Magnus Carlsen says he won’t feature in next year’s world title clash with Ian Nepomniachtchi
Norwegian great Magnus Carlsen will not feature in the 2023 World Championship match with Russian rival Ian Nepomniachtchi, it has been confirmed. Defending champion Carlsen had been asked to confirm his participation by chess authority FIDE before the July 20 deadline, in a dispute over the format of the event.
Competing under neutral status, Nepomniachtchi had earned the right to meet Carlsen by winning the FIDE Candidates Tournament earlier this month.
The 32-year-old Russian was Carlsen’s opponent when the world title last came into play in 2021, but the Norwegian has comfortably beaten his rival for a fifth consecutive world championship.
It had been reported in recent weeks that Carlsen was unlikely to defend his title again due to dissatisfaction with the format of the competition and months of intense preparation.
Carlsen, 31, would have liked the classic match format to be accelerated.
“Ultimately the conclusion holds, one that I’m quite comfortable with, one that I’ve been thinking about a lot for a long time now, I’d say over a year, probably a year and a half almost, because long before the Last match “, Carlsen said in comments detailing his decision and shared by Chess24.com.
“And I’ve spoken to people on my team, I’ve spoken to FIDE, I’ve also spoken to Ian. And the conclusion is, yeah, it’s very simple, that I’m not motivated to play another [World Championship] match.
“I just feel like I don’t have much to gain, I don’t particularly like it, and although I’m sure a match would be interesting for historical reasons and all that, I don’t have any desire to play and I just won’t play the game.
Carlsen made it clear that he was not retiring from chess but simply forgoing another World Championship showdown.
Chess king Carlsen ‘unsure’ of pro-Putin rival ban
With Carlsen declining his title defense, Nepomniachtchi will now meet China’s Ding Liren, who finished second in the Candidates Tournament in Madrid.
FIDE had asked Carlsen to confirm his position by July 20 – which is International Chess Day.
Carlsen is widely regarded as one of the greatest chess players of all time. He was crowned world champion for the first time in 2013 and defended his title four times thereafter.
You can share this story on social media: