“I will not play. I told my team, FIDE and Jan that I have no motivation to go to another championship match, ”this is how the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen announced his resignation.
Despite the fact that the Norwegian had long warned about his desire, the decision caused heated discussion. Moreover, as often happens, people are divided into two camps: some are simply sad because of the act of their idol, while others consider Carlsen’s actions a real shame for the chess world.

“Legend and King”

Magnus Carlsen became the second reigning world chess champion in history to refuse to fight for a new title. Only unlike the story with Bobby Fischer, which ended in scandal in 1975, this time everything went peacefully. FIDE respected the decision of the Norwegian:

“Magnus Carlsen deserves nothing but respect from FIDE and the entire chess community, whatever decision he makes in his career. Only a few people in history can understand and appreciate the huge losses that have to be taken while playing five matches for the title. His decision not to defend his title is no doubt a disappointment to the fans and a bad spectacle. This leaves a big void. But chess is now stronger than ever, thanks in part to Magnus, and the world championship match, one of the oldest and most respected traditions in the world of sport, will continue,” said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich.

A similar opinion was supported by Carlsen’s fans. On social networks of the Norwegian, under the latest publications, fans ask Magnus to stay and play. And many even write about the end of an era with the departure of the Norwegian.

“Magnus, you conquered the chess world. It was an honor to watch you play and win world titles. I wish you all the best, buddy.”

“End of an era. I will always remember. As I watched chess every day during Christmas, I rooted for Carlsen. Kudos for your decision. Looking forward to what’s next!”

“I am very sad, but I respect this decision. Thanks for inspiring me. You made me fall in love with chess and start playing it. I was always excited and happy when I followed in your footsteps. You taught me not to give up. I will never regret following your games.”

“Championship matches will be boring without Magnus.”

“I cry when I see these photos from the championship matches.”

“For us, you will remain king.”

Photo: fide.com

Even the skier Petter Northug could not even stay away. “Legend,” the skier wrote in the comments, placing two goat emojis.

There were also more unusual opinions from subscribers. For example, one of the fans was surprised at the sadness on the part of Carlsen’s fans.

“I don’t understand why people are sad. Magnus understands how FIDE massively exploits the chess world. This demonstrates the idealism of Magnus, and I fully support him. It’s time for FIDE to change.”

“Madness and Disgrace”

The latter opinion was partly supported by the publications of the Norwegian media. At the same time, they are unhappy that Carlsen did not fight for the crown. Sometimes harsh criticism concerned not only FIDE, but also Magnus himself.
“This is madness. It is a great shame for chess that obviously the best chess player in the world no longer wants to play for the title. This will reduce the value of the world title. This is a bad sign. Magnus can tell the media all he wants that he’s motivated, but that’s the first step to giving up. He achieved everything that was in his power. Now chess players will do everything in their power to win the world championship. But the rest of the world will say, “Yes, you are the world champion, but you didn’t beat Carlsen.” The title won’t have that much value,” Norwegian champion Jon Ludwig Hammer explained to TV2.

The same position is taken by the chess player Atle Gronn. In an interview with NRK, he also called Carlsen’s decision a disgrace to the chess world.

“It is a shame for chess that Magnus is relinquishing the title, but I understand that now is the time to leave. There is something beautiful about this. He sits for ten years, wins five world championship titles and remains undefeated. Then there is logic in the fact that he is invincible in his generation. This is another important point – he has nothing more to prove to his generation.”

Chess player and NRK commentator Thorstein Bae is sure that due to Magnus’ decision in chess, a rather interesting situation will arise with the two leaders.

“Now it will be a slightly different situation, even if Carlsen is the best in the rankings, now there will be a new world champion. This position carries a lot of weight. Magnus will not be the undisputed No. 1 he has been for many years, but will have some competition for attention with the new No. 1.”

“Pretty embarrassing and sad”

In Russia, Carlsen’s actions also caused a heated discussion, especially considering that the Norwegian had to fight for the crown with Ian Nepomniachtchi. Nepomniachtchi himself admitted that he was sad about the decision of his colleague.

“Personally, for me it was quite insulting and sad enough … Maybe he felt like a hostage to this whole situation.”

Nepomniachtchi’s coach Vladimir Potkin was also upset by Magnus’ decision. The mentor of the Russian grandmaster was surprised at the removal of the Norwegian.

“I would like to say that this is shocking news. Magnus Carlsen is certainly a legendary chess player, world champion. His match with Jan would have been a real gem. It is worth saying here that Magnus has been making such statements since the end of the match in Dubai. Perhaps his inner feelings, the search for motivation that he found for each match, became the main reason for the refusal.

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Banned by FIDE, Sergey Karjakin was also upset by Magnus’ decision. And he suggested that his actions would lead to big problems in chess.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen

Photo: fide.com

“I think it’s bad. I say as a chess lover that it’s always nice to see a world champion defending his title. As a chess professional, I say that it is completely incomprehensible what will happen to the chess world in general after this. Magnus sort of remains a professional athlete and at the same time refuses to defend his title. There have been no such precedents in history. I don’t understand who will sponsor the World Cup without the World Champion. This is bad from all points of view. We were all always waiting for someone to beat Magnus Carlsen. And then it turns out that he himself left and no one defeated him. This news upset me from all points of view.

What will happen next is hard to say. What is clear is that Magnus will not defend the title, which means that a new world chess champion will appear soon.

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