Poker chips

Chess Champ cashes checks for poker chips

Posted: July 20, 2022, 4:18 a.m.

Last update on: August 4, 2022, 8:18 a.m.

Magnus Carlsen is refusing to take part in the World Chess Championship next year and will voluntarily relinquish the title he has held since winning it in 2013 aged 22.

Magnus Carlsen
Reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen reflects on his chips at the World Series of Poker last week. He recently declared that he will not participate in the next World Chess Championship. (Image: Screenshot via PokerGo)

His rating of 2882 is the highest ever in chess. Earlier this year, ranked him second best player, behind only legend Garry Kasparov and one place ahead of Bobby Fischer.

What this five-time world chess champion would rather do is play poker…and not so well. During last week’s World Series of Poker at Bally’s and Paris, Carlsen found himself out of the money, not even surviving Day 1C.

“I have no desire to play,” Carslen said on his new podcast, Magnus Effect. “The games themselves were sometimes interesting, sometimes a bit fun. But overall I feel like it’s time for me to quit the World Championship games.

Bad track record for sports-switches

Remember when Michael Jordan left the Chicago Bulls to join the Chicago White Sox in 1994? He returned to basketball and his senses within a year. Will Carlsen?

“I’m not ruling out a return in the future,” he said on the podcast. “But I wouldn’t particularly rely on that either.”

Carlsen, 31, the defending champion and the game’s biggest star, was set to defend his title against Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi next year. Instead, Nepomniachtchi will now face China’s Ding Liren, with the winner claiming Carlsen’s vacant title.

Carlsen said he would continue to play competitive chess, but not world championships.

“I really like playing tournaments,” he said on his podcast. “Obviously I enjoy them a lot more than the World Championship, and frankly I don’t see myself stopping as a chess player anytime soon.”

About Carlsen

Carlsen was a true chess champion from an early age. His father, an amateur chess player, taught Carlsen how to play the game when he was 5 years old.

Originally from Norway, he won the Norwegian chess championship at the age of 15. At 18, he exceeded the rating of 2800. Then in 2010, at 19, he reached No. 1 in the FIDE world ranking, the youngest

Carsen is currently the reigning five-time world chess champion. He is a three-time world champion in rapid chess and a five-time world champion in blitz chess. It has also held the number one spot in the FIDE World Chess Rankings since 2011.