Magnus Carlsen still wants to be the best but is tired of the championship
The 31-year-old Norwegian grandmaster said he was “pretty comfortable” surrendering the title he has held since 2013, toevoeging: “I simply feel that I don’t have a lot to gain. I don’t particularly like it.”
He said he was not retiring and wished “to be the best in the world” without taking part in the sport’s biggest tournament.
Carlsen remains at the top of the International Chess Federation (Fide) global leaderboard where he has been for more than a decade.
In the first episode of his new podcast, The Magnus Effect, hy het gesê: “I am not motivated to play another match. I simply feel that I don’t have a lot to gain, I don’t particularly like it.
“Although I’m sure a match would be interesting for historical reasons and all of that, I don’t have any inclination to play, and I will simply not play the match.
“The matches themselves have been at times interesting, at times a little bit of fun,” Carlsen said. “But overall, I feel like it’s my time to go from the world championship matches.”
He said he had considered the move for more than a year before making the announcement on Wednesday, which was World Chess Day.
Carlsen had been scheduled to defend his title against Ian Neponmniachtchi of Russia in 2023. The world’s second-highest ratest player, Ding Liren of China, will take his place.
Fide president Arkady Dvorkovich said Carlsen “deserves nothing but respect from Fide, and from the whole chess community, in whatever decision he makes regarding his career.
“Only a handful of people in history can understand and assess the tremendous toll that it takes playing five matches for the title.”
Hy het bygevoeg: “His decision not to defend his title is undoubtedly a disappointment for the fans, and bad news for the spectacle. It leaves a big void. But chess is now stronger than ever —in part, thanks to Magnus— and the World Championship Match, one of the longest and most respected traditions in the world of sports, will go on.”
Carlsen has recently taken more interest in poker and headed to Las Vegas earlier in July for the World Series of Poker.
He also hosted his own online-only chess championship, die Magnus Carlsen Invitational, in 2020. The eight-man tournament featured the world’s best players and had a prize fund of $250,000 (£208,000).