Magnus Carlsen says he’s not in the ‘mood’ to defend his world title next year

The Norwegian grandmaster successfully defended his title against the Russian last year but says he is not in the “mood” to play in the next championships in 2023.

“I feel like I don’t have much to win, I don’t particularly like [the championship matches]and while I’m sure the match would be interesting for historical reasons and all, I have no desire to play and I just won’t play the match,” he said on his sponsor’s podcast.

“Ultimately, the conclusion is there, which I quite agree with, which I have thought about a lot for a long time, I would say more than a year … well before the last match.”

Carlsen, who has been the best player in the world for over 10 years, says he has spoken to the game’s governing body, FIDE, and Nepomniachtchi.

“The conclusion is simple: I have no motivation to play another match,” he added.

Ian Nepomniachtchi (left) and Magnus Carlsen compete during last year's championship.

FIDE’s disappointment

Following Carlsen’s public comments, FIDE published statement acknowledged his wishes and said he understood that the decision was final.

FIDE stated that it was ready to work with the best players to change the format of the championship after realizing the “huge losses to be played in five title matches”.

It is noteworthy that last year Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi played an almost eight-hour game – the longest in the history of the tournament.

“Some of these ideas were discussed in May with Carlsen and other top players, and in Madrid we had a meeting where all concerns were openly discussed in detail. Alas, he did not change his mind,” said FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich. in statement.

“His decision not to defend his title is undoubtedly a disappointment for the fans and bad news for the show. It leaves a big void.

“But chess is now stronger than ever – thanks in part to Magnus – and the world championship match, one of the sport’s oldest and most respected traditions, will continue.”

Although FIDE has not yet confirmed the schedule for next year’s championship, Nepomniachtchi is now expected to play China’s Ding Liren instead of Carlsen.