The world champion is crowned, again!

by ChessBase
12/13/2021 – On Sunday, December 12, Magnus Carlsen of Norway lifted the trophy for the World Championship aloft for the fifth time in a row. The closing ceremony was broadcast live on a range of media and culminated with the champion, a gold medal around his neck, trophy raised, in a long, breezy shower of gold confetti. | Photo: Niki Riga

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A fifth title for Magnus Carlsen

By Jonathan Tisdall

Magnus CarlsenOn Sunday, December 12, Magnus Carlsen of Norway lifted the trophy for the World Championship aloft for the fifth time in a row. The closing ceremony was broadcast live on a range of media and culminated with the champion, a gold medal around his neck, trophy raised, in a long, breezy shower of gold confetti.

It wouldn’t be an event ceremony without a series of dignitary speeches to round off and reflect on the occasion. Master of Ceremonies Maurice Ashley called upon Omar Shehadeh, the Chief International Participants Officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, the host and partner that was ready to help stage the championship in such uncertain, pandemic times.

Shehadeh joked that he was disappointed not to be making the first move in game 12 as planned before congratulating both players and hoping that they would take time to sightsee in the host country. He also referenced the immensity of the exciting project, with planning for the match taking place over two long and hectic years.

Dedicated sponsor

The CEO of PhosAgro, FIDE’s long-term sponsor and partner, was the next speaker. Andrey Guryev had apologized to the champion in the pre-match press conference — for being unable to hide his hopes for a return of the chess crown to Russia.

Having sponsored four consecutive title matches, Guryev has seen many Carlsen victories but found some comfort in two challengers he could root for during this time. Renewing his pledge to “continue to develop a new generation of players”, he congratulated ‘Iron Magnus’ on his victory. “For now, the Norwegian king of chess remains unbeatable,” he said.

Presidential thanks

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich gave the final speech before the coronation. He also devoted time to thank all those involved in the immense effort required to complete an unusually lengthy and problematic title cycle, as well as the media and commentators gathered in Dubai who helped focus so much attention on the event. The sponsors and players were also honoured, with an emphasis on the valuable experience gained by the challenger, and Carlsen’s consistency, persistence and love for the game singled out.

Concluding the preliminary formalities, Dvorkovich called Carlsen ‘a huge ambassador of chess throughout the world’. “Thank you for your contribution and for the entire team that helped achieve that.”

Arkady Dvorkovich, Magnus Carlsen

Arkady Dvorkovich and Magnus Carlsen | Photo: Eric Rosen

Prizes and parting words

Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi was called up to receive the always underappreciated, bittersweet silver medal before the layering of awards on the champion and the climactic explosion of gold.

The winner’s speech came after Magnus was draped with the laurel wreath and managed to grip a microphone amidst all the prizes hanging from him. After thanking FIDE and the Expo in Dubai for a ‘very pleasant experience’ before moving on to more personal matters. He thanked his family and team:

Even at a moment when my motivation may have been lacking a little bit for this particular championship, theirs never wavered.

Usually, at the end of these championships, there are things you are happy with and things you are less happy with, but this time I can say I’m fully satisfied with my performance - and that’s a great feeling!

Magnus Carlsen

Selfie time! | Photo: Eric Rosen

Trophy details: The FIDE World Championship Cup Dubai 2021, weighing over 5 kilograms, is made of 925 sterling silver with 999 gold plating, dolerite, and obsidian, and is set with 39 pearls and a diamond. The cup was designed by FIDE and created by masters of the CHAMOVSKIKH Jewelry House with the support of the Sverdlovsk Region Chess Federation, represented by its president Andrey Simanovsky, owner of SIMA-LAND.

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genem genem 12/20/2021 11:15
@Fry2 : Because...

(a) a soccer team changes much more in 1 year than does a single player, so there is too much likelihood that a team which had to defend its title against the next year's candiates' tournament winner would be different/weaker (than it was the previous year) to make for a dramatic new match.

(b) In American NFL football for example, what would the title-holding team do all season if the NFL used the chess title defense approach - answer is nothing, and that would be absurd, so entities like the NFL have no option to use the chess title approach.

(c) The NFL is never going to have its Super Bowl climax be diluted by playing the best 2-out-of-3 football games spread over three weeks.
Meanwhile, the digital sport of chess needs lots of games for a single match due to its very high draw rate. Analog (physical) sports like NFL football rarely suffer draws.

(d) The chess approach adds *Prestige* over titles that are won every year by whichever person or team survived the other 30 teams.

(e) Chess (FIDE) used to have a sort of playoffs approach, like American MLB baseball and the NFL and the NBA all have, but those Candidates' matches had to be discontinued when players rightfully demanded more money and no sponser is willing to put up that much money for chess.
Fry2 Fry2 12/15/2021 09:05
What is the reason the chess world champion is "crowned", i.e. will keep his title until a "challenger", who has won against the other "candidates", "dethrones" him?

Why is the chess world championship not done just like the candidates match, or a soccer championship? All participants start as equals, of course qualified by ELO rating or other measures, and the winner gets the trophy. Is there a deeper reason for that?
sivakumar R sivakumar R 12/15/2021 05:58
No amount of hard work can beat a genius.... perhaps only Firouzja can challenge Magnus....
SermadShah SermadShah 12/14/2021 02:09
@fixpont I think physical fitness and mental fitness compliments each other. I still respect your POV.
gingerbreadman gingerbreadman 12/14/2021 12:50
I'm the same age as Magnus, and I've been a fan since he started hitting the top level - what it feels he's subconsciously needed for the past few years is a true rival capable of playing as well as him over a sustained period. Kasparov and Karpov had each other for years, and Fischer could have done the same with the young Karpov if he'd been more stable. At this point Carlsen's over-the-board strength is unquestionably up there with Kasparov and Fischer, but his career resume feels a little more like Botvinnik's, albeit without the need for rematches - not his fault, of course, because you can only beat what's in front of you. Karjakin and Caruana played very, very good chess in their lone challenges, but as a Magnus fan I hope that Firouzja can get to that level and stay there for years, because IMO that's when the best chess gets played and the best narratives get made.
Theochessman Theochessman 12/14/2021 12:03
What's Arkady Dvorkovich's rating?
Denix Denix 12/14/2021 10:44
fixpont fixpont 12/14/2021 10:43
@SermadShah: physical fitness and enotional/mental stability are 2 different things and im not sure this final has anything to do with the former insted of the latter
SermadShah SermadShah 12/14/2021 03:28
Sergey Karjakin match against MC was the best. Nepo seems to have stamina for 6~7 games only, perhaps he would not have qualified if the candidates was not divided in two parts.
Fitness is the key.
Archnimzo Archnimzo 12/14/2021 03:25
You are the best, Champ!
chessstudent007 chessstudent007 12/14/2021 03:12
Very well deserving champion. Champion that wants to elevate himself every time he moves a piece. With unified computational resources available to every super GM, this human genius keeps outperforming everyone including himself. Now for Christmas, I would like to see one of his own games annotated by himself. Will you Magnus? Congratulations to you one more time.
Nadir67 Nadir67 12/13/2021 08:49