Carlsen Officially Quits the Championship Cycle
Magnus Carlsen, the reigning World Chess Champion and the highest-rated player in history, has officially quit the FIDE World Chess Championship cycle. According to the chess governing body, FIDE, Carlsen confirmed in writing that he will not defend his title.
The announcement, made earlier today, does not come as a surprise: Carlsen announced his intention to part ways with the official Championship circuit earlier this year. However, it’s a major milestone for both chess politics and commercial prospects of the Championship match.
Based on the tournament rules, Ding Liren of China will replace Carlsen as one of the participants in the 2023 Match and will play against Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. It’s a first time in history when a Chinese player has a shot at becoming a world champion. This will likely create a strong political support for Ding and the Match in China and might make it a little easier for the organizers to market the event to the Chinese sponsors and media alike.