Carlsen: “I am not closer to playing another match for the title”

by ChessBase
4/19/2022 – In a new interview published by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, Magnus Carlsen again talks about why he is seriously considering not playing another match for the World Championship title. “I will make that decision later. But if there are some who expect and hope that I will say yes to playing, then I have to prepare them for a disappointment”, said the long-time world number one. | Photo: Anna Shtourman / FIDE

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Still considering it

Full article at VG.no

In a new interview published by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang, Magnus Carlsen again talks about his intentions to resign his World Championship title. Back in December, he disclosed why he is seriously considering not playing another match. For the 31-year-old, motivation to defend the world crown seems to be waning, as he explained:

I have by now played against the previous generation and three leading players of my generation. Being result-oriented has worked out for me in these matches, but it doesn’t feel sustainable long term. Passion must be the main driver. It is unlikely that I will play another match unless maybe if the next challenger represents the next generation.

Now that the lineup for the Candidates is almost complete, there are two players who might or might not be considered from the next generation for the world champion — i.e. Richard Rapport (26 years old) and Jan-Krzysztof Duda (23) — while Alireza Firouzja (18) is clearly younger than the Norwegian.

Below we translate a few of the statements made by the world champion in the aforementioned interview, in which he presented more arguments supporting his reasoning.

I must admit that there have been times after the World Championship where I have regretted a little what I said after the match — why could I not have made it simpler and say I’m done?

[...] I have not come any closer to deciding on playing another match than I was before, but there are also times when I am not a hundred percent sure. I will make that decision later. But if there are some who expect and hope that I will say yes to playing, then I have to prepare them for a disappointment.

[...] At one point I decided that I was motivated to get the World Championship title, and that worked, but I felt in many ways that a little too much of my identity was linked to the World Championship title — I never liked it.

[...] I told Peter and the team that I knew very well that I wanted this to be the last one. When I played in Dubai, I had no particular idea that I would win the match, but I wanted to avoid losing the match so that I could retire while undefeated in World Championship matches.

Talking about his plans for the remainder of the year, Carlsen said that he intends to play three to four classical chess tournaments — he will head the lineup in Stavanger for sure — while he will continue to participate in the online Meltwater Champions Chess Tour.

Despite his doubts regarding the match for the title, the long-time world number one is still a fierce competitor and still loves the game. Towards the end of the interview, he stated firmly:

I still love playing chess. I will not retire right away.

Carlsen’s passion for the game was recently showcased in a video recorded at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.


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