Today is International Chess Day (20th July – the foundation day of world chess organisation FIDE) and Magnus Carlsen chose this day to make this announcement!
He is giving up on the World Chess Champion title and will not defend it in 2023!
This means Nepo — the winner of the Challenger tournament (who was supposed to be a Challenger to Magnus) will now play Ding Liren — the runner-up of that tournament and we’ll have a new World Champion in 2023!
Magnus is not going to retire any time soon (he is just 30), but he is sending a clear message that he’s bored with winning the WC matches hands down!
It’s really a path-breaking decision and I don’t think anybody has done this before in any sports (i.e. willingly giving up on world title). Bobby Fischer didn’t defend his title but that was for totally different reasons.
Let’s hope Magnus continues to play top class Chess for many more years in other formats and tournaments.