Carlsen withdraws from European Team Chamionship

10/15/2009 – It came as a shock to some: after discussing the matter with his trainer Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen has decided to skip a planned participation in the ETCC, which takes place from Oct. 21-31 in Novi Sad, Serbia. Instead he will concentrate on rest and preparation before the Tal Memorial (Moscow, 5-14 Nov.), where he faces Anand, Aronian, Kramnik and Ivanchuk. Press reports.

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The news portal TV2 Nyhetene reports that Magnus himself would not speak to the media on Wednesday, but his father confirmed to TV2 Nyhetene that his son would withdraw. "The schedule was too tight," said Henrik Carlsen. "In consultation with his coach he has chosen rest and preparation before the Tal Memorial in Moscow in November. He played very energy intensive chess in the Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament in China. That was a change from earlier."

Henrik Carlsen makes no secret of the fact that it was a difficult decision to drop the European Team Championships. "Yes, it would be good for him socially, but too hectic," he said. His son had made the decision fairly recently – after his return from China.

Magnus' teammate GM Leif Erlend Johannessen said is was a shame that Carlsen will not be on the team. "He would have been a great inspiration for the whole team, and I understood that he originally agreed to participate as much because of the social element of playing on a team with good mates. At the same time, I accept the decision, which I understand has been taken in consultation with his coach. It was was not good for us, but I understand the decision. China was a huge effort. Kasparov probably decided that the wisest thing to do was to spend time before Tal Memorial to rest. In Moscow Magnus will meet the world's elite."

Just eight days before the European Team Championships in Serbia, the organisers received the message that the Norwegian chess star Magnus Carlsen has withdrawn. This was confirmed to Nettavisen by the Norwegian Chess Federation. The 18-year-old has just returned from a super performance in China, where he beat, among others, world's number one Veselin Topalov.

Nobody knows what will become of the decimated Norwegian team, which consists of GM Jon Ludvig Hammer, GM Leif Erlend Johannessen, IM Frode Elsness, FM Joachim Thomassen and coach GM Peter Heine Nielsen (DEN). They were one of the top ten favourites at the European Team Championship, but now they lack their main man. They are not allowed to put in a substitute, and probably have to play as round one with three players, as Johannessen will arrive late in Serbia. "This is a awkward position. It's unclear if we are able to participate properly," said project manager Hans Krogh Harestad at the Norwegian Chess Federation to Nettavisen. Incidentally, Magnus Carlsen has offered to pay the expenses the Federation may have incurred due to his late withdrawal.


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