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World champion chess player says he won’t defend title

Magnus Carlsen
Posted at 11:20 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 14:36:14-04

Magnus Carlsen said he will not defend his chess world title in 2023, telling the game’s sanctioning body, “I am not motivated to play another match.”

Carlsen announced his decision on his new podcast “The Magnus Effect.” He has held the crown as world champion since 2013. 

He said he still will play in tournaments but has opted to skip championships. 

The International Chess Federation had discussions with Carlsen but ultimately respected his decision. The organization’s President Arkady Dvorkovich is hopeful he might return someday.

“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,” Dvorkovich said in a statement. “We had hoped that after some deserved rest, Magnus would look at this differently.”

Carlsen is participating in this week’s Grand Chess Tour 2022 in Croatia. As of Friday, he was tied for second place out of 10 participants.