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Breaking news: Magnus Carlsen will not defend his World Championship in 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 20/07/2022

The five-time world champion has finally ended the speculation on Intenational Chess Day. The world no.1 mentioned in the new podcast, 'The Magnus Effect' with his best buddy, Magnus Barstad, that he will not defend his world championship in 2023. This does not mean that he is leaving chess or will never a play a world championship ever again. It just means, as of now, he will not defend his current world championship title. However, his aspiration for 2900 and becoming stronger, better than ever remains. What is your thought on this whole scenario? Do you think the world champion chose a perfect day to break this news? Photo: The Magnus Effect/Unibet

The Magnus Effect

The Magnus Effect is the name of the podcast featuring Magnus Carlsen and his best buddy, Magnus Barstad. On 20th July, International Chess Day, the debut episode of the podcast dropped where Magnus Carlsen answered a lot of questions which everyone had in mind.

Magnus Carlsen decided not to defend his world title | Photo: The Magnus Effect/Unibet

"...The gist of it was that, I was there to tell them that I would not defend my title in the next World Championship Match. We had a small discussion, they had some suggestions. Some of them I liked, some of them I did not but ultimately the conclusion stands, one that I am pretty comfortable with, one that I thought a lot about for a long time now, I would say more than a year. Probably a year and a half almost, since long before the last match. I have spoken to people in my team, I have to spoken to FIDE, I spoke to Ian as well. The conclusion is very simple that 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 am sure a match would be interesting for historical reasons and all of that. I don't have any inclinations to play..." - Magnus Carlsen on the first episode of 'The Magnus Effect'.

The gist of Magnus Carlsen's deicison | Video: Unibet

The Magnus Effect - Episode 1 | Video: Unibet

How the chess universe reacted

Garry Kasparov, 13th World Champion

Magnus Carlsen's coach GM Peter Heine Nielsen

Magnus' longtime second, GM Laurent Fressinet

Newly crowned World Senior Team Champion and 1993 World Championship Finalist, Nigel Short

World #10 Anish Giri has made several tweets, here is one of them

Celebrated author, GM Simon Williams also known as GingerGM

IM Levy Rozman aka Gothamchess

Statement by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich

"Magnus 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.


Many other great champions, in other sports, have experienced something similar: with the passing of the years, it is more difficult to find the motivation to train and compete at the highest level, while the reward for the victory never feels as intense as the first day.


We had hoped that after some deserved rest, Magnus would look at this differently. Sports legends like him always strive for goals and records. He is still young and could possibly have added more classical titles to his already outstanding career, as he will surely try in the Rapid and Blitz modalities, which he favours.


Since he first expressed his doubts publicly, FIDE has been open to dialogue and to consider specific proposals to change the format of the World Championship. Some of these ideas were discussed in May with Carlsen and other top players, and in Madrid, we had a meeting where all the concerns were discussed openly and in detail. Alas, it did not change his mind.


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.


- FIDE PresidentArkady Dvorkovich

Laussane, 2022-07-20"


Source: The Magnus Effect Episode 1, FIDE President's statement on Magnus Carlsen's announcement