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Magnus Carlsen refused to play the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi for the world chess title – what next?


“I will not play”. Magnus Carlsen refused to defend the title in a match with the Russian

Alexander Fedyakov

The Norwegian chose to give up the world title. What a twist!

Super sensation in the world of chess. Magnus Carlsen voluntarily relinquished the world chess title he had held since 2013. The Norwegian explained that he had no motivation to play another championship match. Carlsen has already informed FIDE, his team and the winner of the Candidates Tournament, Jan Nepomniachtchi, about his decision.

But the Russian grandmaster will not be declared the world champion.

What did Carlsen decide?

In the video podcast “The Magnus Effect”, the Norwegian somehow even casually spoke about the most important decision. Carlsen was supposed to defend his title in early 2023 against Nepomniachtchi, but chose not to play the Russian and the crown.

“I will not play. I told my team, FIDE and Jan that I have no motivation to go to another championship match, ”said Carlsen.

He ruled out the possibility that he could change his mind and fight again for the title of world champion in classical chess.

At the same time, the Norwegian is not going to end his career. He will play in super tournaments both in person and online.

Magnus Carlsen

Photo: fide.com

Did FIDE try to save the match?

Carlsen explained that the leadership of the International Chess Federation really tried to convince him to enter the match with Nepomniachtchi.

“They offered different formats. Some more interesting, some less, but I did not set any conditions, I just announced my decision. It is not spontaneous, I thought about it for about a year and a half, ”said the champion.

Yes, champion, until someone else wins that title.

What will happen to the world title

The championship title should now be declared vacant. There will definitely not be an automatic award of the crown to the contender Ian Nepomniachtchi.

The rules of the championship cycle clearly state that if the champion refuses to play a match, then another chess player will be the opponent of the winner of the Candidates Tournament.

Ding Liren

Photo: fide.com

With whom and when will Nepomniachtchi play the championship match?

Nepomniachtchi’s opponent will be Chinese Ding Liren, who finished second in Madrid.

At the Candidates Tournament, Yang beat the Chinese grandmaster in the first round, and technically brought the game to a draw in the second round.

The tournament situation was in favor of the Russian, there was no point in taking risks.

The match will take place in early 2023.

Which Russian chess player last held the title of world champion?

Ian Nepomniachtchi has every chance to return the chess crown to Russia. This has not happened since 2007, when Vladimir Kramnik lost the title in a match-tournament in Mexico City.

Chinese chess players have never become world champions. Moreover, they did not play in the championship matches either.


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