Current champion Magnus Carlsen has decided not to defend his title against 2022 Candidates Championship winner Ian Nepomniacki. Therefore, Nepomniachtchi will face second contender Ding Liren for the World Chess Championship.
History of World Chess Championship
Official World Chess Championship competitions have a long tradition, with the first taking place in 1886. Wilhelm Steinitz becomes the first official World Chess Champion by defeating Johannes Zukertort. After him, Lasker, Jose Raúl Capablanca, Alexandre Alekhine and general manager Max Uve beat the reigning world champions to win the title. Alekhine eventually regained his title of Euwe and later died while still holding the throne.
After Alekhine’s death, GM Mikhail Botvinnik became the next world champion. Botvinnik has lost and regained his title twice, first against GM Vasily Smyslov and then against GM Mikhail Tal. Botvinnik again lost the title – this time for good – to GM Tigran Petrosian.
GM Boris Spassky then beat Petrosian to become the world champion. In 1972, general manager Bobby Fischer defeated Spassky in the “fight of the century”, ending Soviet supremacy, if only for a moment.
After FIDE refused to meet Fisher’s demands, he refused to fight Karpov to defend his title. Karpov was later declared world champion and held the title for 10 years before losing it to GM Garry Kasparov.
After defeating Karpov in the next three matches, Kasparov requested to participate in the next World Championship match, but FIDE refused. Kasparov then left FIDE to form another chess organization, the Professional Chess Association (PCA). From 1993 to 2006, the world title was shared equally, with the PCA and FIDE organizing the world championship.
Carlsen refuses to defend his title
The current world champion is Magnus Carlsen, who won it in 2013. To retain his title, Carlsen had to regularly defend it against challengers in world chess tournaments, which the Candidates Tournament decided.
Carlsen successfully defended the World Championship in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021. In December 2021, shortly after the 2021 title (against Ian Nepomniachtchi), Carlsen said he had no motivation and would not find not the title do not defend. The challenger is Alireza Firouzja. Firouzja will move up to world No. 2 in 2021 at the age of 18. Carlsen once more openly said in April 2022 that he was unlikely to participate in the following World Championships, but this time he did not mention any probable rivals.
The Candidates Tournament 2022 ends at the beginning of July 2022 with the victory of Nepomniachtchi. FIDE and Carlsen are already discussing the World Championship and its format. On July 20, Carlson announced that he would not defend his title. Therefore, the 2023 World Championship competition will be between the 2022 World Championship champion and runner-up, Ding Liren, and Carlsen will lose the World Championship title at the end of the match.
After Carlsen officially confirmed the decision in writing, FIDE invited Ding Junhui and Nepomniacki to participate in the 2023 World Championships. Rarely the current champion does not participate. From 1993 to 2005, there were two simultaneous World Championships. Outside of this period, Bobby Fisher was the last defending champion to decline to participate in in 1975.
Format of the World Chess Championship 2023
The competition will occur in Astana, Kazakhstan, from April 7 to May 1, 2023. It will be a 14-hand game, with players alternating white and black pieces. A series of quick plays will be used as the tiebreaker if the game is tied. The time control is 120 minutes for the first 40 stages, 60 minutes for the next 20 stages and 15 minutes for the rest, with 30 seconds added for each stage from stage 61. The previous World Championship in 2021 followed the same format.
The prize money is 2 million euros, 60% to the winner and 40% to the loser.
2022 Candidates Tournament
The challengers are Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi, respectively, winner and runner-up of the 2022 Candidates Tournament, which begins on June 16 and ends on July 5, 2022. Nepomniachtchi had previously faced world champion Carlsen at the World Championship of chess 2021.
Player of World Chess Championship 2023
With current World Champion Carlsen relinquishing the title, the 2023 World Chess Championship will be played between 2022 Candidates Championship winner and runner-up Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren.
Nepomniachtchi (32) is currently his country’s highest-rated player and is heading for his second consecutive world championship. After winning the 2020-21 Candidates with one round to go, he lost 7.5-3.5 to Carlsen in the title fight. A former challenger to join the ranks of the 2022 Candidates, Nepo won the tournament again – this time with a record nine points.
A score of 5/14, the highest in the current tournament format.
Ding Junhui (29) is the highest-rated Chinese player in history and is currently the second player in the world behind Carlsen. Ding qualified as a 2022 candidate by ranking and had to play 26 ranking matches in just four weeks to earn the right to compete. After a shaky start to the tournament, Ding Junhui made great strides in the rankings. He took a dramatic win over Hikaru Nakamura on the last lap to finish second. As the finalist candidate in 2022, Ding Junhui won the right to compete with Nepomniachtchi for the title of world champion.
Why isn’t Carlson playing?
It all started when Carlsen, shortly after winning the 2021 World Championship match against Nepomniachtchi, said he would only play another World Championship competition if his opponent was young GM wunderkind Alireza Firouzja. While many viewed Carlsen’s statement as little more than empty promises from a weary champion, a few months later, a well-rested Carlsen reiterated his lack of desire for another world title fight.
During the 2022 bid, Carlsen travelled to Madrid, where, according to El País, he met with FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovic to discuss a new format for the upcoming World Championship. The following day, FIDE Director General Emil Sutovski said that although there was no formal deadline for Carlsen’s final position, they expected him to respond by July 20, which is International Chess Day.
Although Sutowski later said that FIDE never expected the world champion to answer until Chess Day, Carlsen himself took the opportunity to reveal his final answer. Contrary to what was most expected, Carlsen has decided not to participate in the 2023 World Championships. According to FIDE rules, the Norwegian’s decision means he will relinquish his title and pass it to whoever wins the match between champion and runner-up in the 2022 Candidates.
FIDE Champions include:
FIDE Champions include Karpov, General Manager Alexander Khalifman, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov. However, these names have been controversial for various reasons.