Thursday 21 July 2022

Carlsen decides not to defend title

 The news that Magnus Carlsen will not defend his World Championship title is spreading quite quickly across the chess world. He had hinted that this might happen, but I for one was quite surprised that he has decided to go down this road. He isn't retiring from chess (like Fischer did), and is in fact taking part in the upcoming Olympiad. But we once again return to a situation where the World Champion isn't necessarily the worlds strongest player.

The immediate result is that it will be a Nepo v Ding world championship match, as they finished 1st and 2nd at the 2022 Candidates. Interestingly, neither player is taking part in the Olympiad, as neither players country will be there. The longer term effect is yet to be seen, but Carlsen's decision may (a) lead to a change in how the World Championship is to be decided, and (b) may have some effect on the upcoming FIDE elections.

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