Kasparov Tweets Reaction to Carlsen's Decision

Otis Adams

Felix Mettimieir/Unsplash

7-time world champion Garry Kasparov recently tweeted about 5-time world champion Magnus Carlsen’s decision to refuse the championship match coming up next year. Magnus Carlsen will no longer be the world champion of chess.

One thing the two legendary grandmasters have in common is that each retired as number 1 in the world, though Carlsen’s retirement comes with an asterisk. He will keep playing competitive chess and, though he recently told Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez in an interview for the Saint Louis Chess Club that he is not as motivated as he used to be, Carlsen has voiced the unlikely goal of crossing the 2900 FIDE rating mark. 

Crossing the 2900 mark has never been done before and it would be astonishing if Carlsen were able to do so now. Rating increase for number 1 in the world relies heavily upon the ratings of the others in the top 10 as points in the Elo system are awarded based on the ratings of opponents. If, for instance, several players were near a 2880 rating, it would be very likely that Carlsen could manage the 20-point difference. However, he would currently need to achieve a gap of nearly 100 rating points above number 2 in the world. This would require a staggering win percentage that has not been seen at the top level of chess since world champion Bobby Fischer.

Kasparov’s recent tweets offered compassion and support for Carlsen and a strong critique for FIDE.

“As you might guess, as someone who fought for decades to reform and improve FIDE and the chess world, and who retired still #1 at age 41 in 2005, I have some thoughts… My first thought was that I wished my mother were still alive to see someone else do what I did, or similar! Walking away from what everyone expects, or demands, you do takes courage. My sympathies are with Magnus… Of course, Magnus will still be playing–he’s playing right now in Zagreb. But he’s doing what he decided is best for his goals, not just personally to live his creative life, but to promote chess without fighting with FIDE guys about how he spends his time… The biggest news at the 2022 SuperUnited Rapid & Blitz Croatia was made off the board, with world champion Magnus Carlsen confirming he would not defend his title next year. (He’s not retiring, just not playing the WCh match… I’m not a shrink or mind-reader, just sympathetic to even a world champion needing change, and wanting to see change in the chess world. And it needs it. FIDE has been a direct & indirect vehicle for Russian intelligence for decades and looks to continue as long as it’s useful… I’m still working to develop & promote chess globally via sponsorship, education, and technology, and I’m sure Magnus will too. Does anyone believe that’s what FIDE does? As I finally accepted in 2014 after I ran for FIDE president, its structure puts it beyond redemption… Magnus has been a great champion and will continue to be one. Perhaps there was no way to reconcile his need for creative expression and the classical match format I myself favor. So be it. On to new challenges and more great chess instead of politics! Staying on top is harder than getting to the top because you are competing against the feeling you have achieved your life’s goal already. Staying motivated after climbing the chess Olympus is like climbing Mount Everest a second time, or a sixth. Humans need purpose.” 

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. Otis Adams is the author of three books and has won two dozen awards for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on Medium.com and can be contacted at pithbooks@gmail.com.

Columbia, MO

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