Magnus Carlsen won’t defend title at 2023 World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen won’t defend title at 2023 World Chess Championship

File image of Magnus Carlsen© AFP

Chess world number one Magnus Carlsen announced on Wednesday that he will not defend his world championship title in 2023, but insisted he is not retiring from chess. “I’m not motivated to play another match,” Carlson said in the first episode of his podcast “The Magnus Effect. I feel like I don’t have much to gain. I don’t particularly like it.” ” Carlson has repeatedly indicated that, tired of a title he had held for nearly 10 years, he could abdicate his throne without a fight. The 31-year-old crushed Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi 7.5-3.5 in his fifth straight winning title match last December.

“While I am sure the match will be interesting for historical reasons and amidst all this, I have no inclination to play and I will not play the match,” Carlsen said in a podcast released on Wednesday.

A sixth successful title match could bring Carlsen to the level with German Emanuel Lasker and Soviet Mikhail Botvinnik, the champions from 1894 to 1921.

Botvinic held the title between 1948 and 1963, although he lost and regained the title twice during that time, and his two successful defenses came in drawn matches.


“Overall I think it’s my time to leave the World Championship matches. I don’t rule out a return in the future, but I wouldn’t particularly count on it,” Carlsen said.

But Carlsen also insisted that he is not retiring from the game. “Just no ambiguity here, I’m not retiring from chess, I’m still going to be an active player.”

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