File image of Magnus Carlsen© AFP
World chess number one Magnus Carlsen on Wednesday announced that he will not defend his world champion title in 2023, but stressed that he will not give up chess. “I’m not motivated to play another match… I simply feel that I don’t have much to gain. I don’t particularly like it,” Carlsen said on the first episode of the “Effects” podcast. Magnus”. Carlsen has repeatedly hinted that, fed up with the title he has held for nearly 10 years, he could give up his throne without a struggle. The 31-year-old crushed Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi 7.5-3.5 in his fifth consecutive title match last December.
“While I’m sure a match will be interesting for historical reasons and all that, I’m not inclined to play and I simply won’t play the match,” Carlsen told the BBC. podcast released on Wednesday.
A successful sixth title match will bring Carlsen level with Emanuel Lasker of Germany, champion from 1894 to 1921, and Mikhail Botvinnik of the Soviet Union.
Botvinnik held the title between 1948 and 1963, although during that time he lost and regained the title twice and his two successful defenses were draws.
“Overall, I feel it’s 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 stressed that he will not give up the sport. “Just so there’s no ambiguity here, I don’t have to retire from chess, I’ll still be an active player.”
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