World Chess Championship 2023: Why Magnus Carlsen isn’t playing
The title of world champion has been the pinnacle of chess for 137 years.
This year’s World Chess Championship, on the other hand, is a little different as a result of the withdrawal of Magnus Carlsen, the current champion and five-time winner.
Due to Carlsen’s absence, Garry Kasparov, who held the world title for 15 years, has described this year’s competition as a “kind of amputated event.”
Why isn’t Carlsen competing?
Carlsen is one of the greatest sportsmen to ever play.
The Norwegian grandmaster, who is just 32 years old, has won the world championship five times, has the highest ELO rating of all time, and is second in the amount of time he has been ranked first in the world. Only Garry Kasparov has spent more time at the top.
In addition, Carlsen made the announcement last year that he would not be defending his title against the world’s No. Second, Ian Nepomniachtchi Carlsen stated on his sponsor’s podcast in July 2022, “I feel I don’t have a lot to gain, I don’t particularly like [the championship matches], and although I’m sure a match would be interesting for historical reasons and all of that,” adding, “I don’t have any inclination to play and I will simply not play the match.” In 2021, Carlsen had stated that he would relinquish his world title unless his challenger represented “the next generation
Carlsen made the announcement, however, following Nepomniachtchi’s victory at the 2022 Candidates Tournament, the traditional qualifier to determine who will face the defending world champion.
In 1975, the great American player Bobby Fischer became the last grandmaster to give up his world title.
Kasparov made remarks about a final without Carlsen following the shocking announcement.
In an interview with the Saint Louis Chess Club last month, Kasparov stated, “I can hardly call it a World Championship match.”
The World Championship match ought to feature the strongest player on the planet, but it does not in this match.
I’m not here to discuss Magnus’s decision; it’s almost like an amputated event. Because of my personal relationship with FIDE, I will not alter my opinion of the FIDE Championship. Magnus’ absence is unfortunate, and the match between Nepo and Ding is, of course, a great show even though it is not a World Championship match.
Who will be contesting the final?
Nepomniachtchi will compete against world No. 3 World champion Ding Liren, the highest-rated Chinese player in history.
Ding qualified for the championship as a runner-up thanks to his second-place finish at the Candidates Tournament. It was made possible by a dramatic victory over American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura in the final round.
A first-time champion will be crowned in the matchup between Russia’s Nepomniachtchi and Ding, with Ding making his debut and Nepomniachtchi losing to Carlsen in his only fight in 2021.
Nepomniachtchi is a creative player who won the Candidates Tournament with a record-breaking 9.5/14 score, earning him a spot in the event.
Ding is well-known for being more methodical, dependable, and precise. Ding declared that it was the beginning of a “new era” shortly after Carlsen’s announcement and qualification for the World Chess Championship.
Ding stated to Chess.com, “There are a lot of feelings around my mind right now that I have to deal with.” However, I’m extremely amped up for playing a big showdown match to battle for the crown one year from now.
“I expected Carlsen to play, even though I knew he had doubts. But I also understand it. A lot of responsibility comes with being world champion; There are numerous issues to resolve.
When and where?
The first World Chess Championship, which took place in 1886, will consist of best-of-14 classic games.
Chess.com states that the time limit is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next move, and 15 minutes for the remainder of the game. There is a 30-second increment per move beginning on move 61.
The world champion is the player who scores 7.5 points first. On account of a tie, the two players will play fast and, if vital, barrage games.
It could last until April 30 and begin on April 9 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The title will be communicated in real time on Chess.com.