Carlsen's Final Game as World Chess Champ Did Not Go Well

He 'mouse-slipped,' handing victory to rival
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2023 10:46 AM CDT
Blunder Ends Carlsen's Last Game as Chess Champ
Magnus Carlsen of Norway competes during the FIDE World Championship at Dubai Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

Magnus Carlsen's last game as world chess champion is not one that he is likely to remember fondly. Carlsen, who has held the title since 2013 but chose not to take part in the biennial World Chess Championship this year, was knocked out of the online Chessable Masters tournament Thursday through what's known as a "mouse slip," the Guardian reports. Carlsen was playing longtime American rival Hikaru Nakamura in the Armageddon format with seconds to spare when he dropped his queen in the wrong spot, handing victory to Nakamura. Video shows Carlsen react with anger and frustration as Nakamura celebrates.

After two draws, Carlsen and Nakamura had been playing a round of Armageddon chess, in which a draw is a win for black—but the person playing white, which was Carlsen in this game, gets more time on the clock. He had appeared poised to win before the blunder. The Wall Street Journal reports that commentators were shocked, with British grandmaster David Howell shouting, "Magnus has mouse-slipped!" He shouted the same thing last year when Carlsen made a similar error in the Oslo Esports Cup.

Carlsen will be on vacation when the World Chess Championship begins in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Sunday, but the 32-year-old Norwegian has numerous events lined up in the coming months, the Guardian reports. If he had decided to compete in the world championship, he would have been defending his title against the world No. 2, 32-year-old Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, who will be competing under a neutral flag. Instead, Nepomniachtchi will play a 14-game title match against the world No. 3, 30-year-old Chinese player Ding Liren. (More Magnus Carlsen stories.)

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