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magnus carlsen signing


Magnus signs contract with WC organiser, FIDE

Magnus Carlsen and his team members in Offerspill are in Skopje, Macedonia, playing the Europen Championship for Chess Clubs. Between the chess games Magnus Carlsen signed the contract with FIDE, committing to play in the FIDE World Championship in Dubai against Ian Nepomnachtchi who qualified to be the champion contender earlier this year in the candidates tournament. We also got time to ask Magnus some questions around the upcoming FIDE World Championship before the next matches in Skopje.


Why has it taken this long before you finally got in place an agreement with the FIDE World Championship organizer?
We have had a good dialogue with FIDE over the last few months, but as usual there are issues that had to be solved before finalising the contract.


What has been the most important elements for you in the negotiations with FIDE?
For me it has been important to be allowed to show my sponsor´s logo´s during the match, and to get closure on issues pertaining to previous matches that the current FIDE leadership, with which we enjoy a good relationship, inherited from the previous administration.


The outside world seems to take it for granted that you will defend the FIDE World Champion title year after year. Do you feel the same?
Playing a FIDE World Championship match is a very intense experience requiring months of dedicated focus before and during the match. Both in 2016 and 2018 I had strong doubts and decided to play just about two months before the match. This time I had less doubts, but signing the FIDE World Championship match contract committing to play, is a major step. Now I really look forward to the match against Ian Nepomnachtchi.


How are you going to spend the weeks leading up to the opening chess game on 26th of November?
From September 25th to October 4th i will play the Champions Chess Tour online final from Oslo, and the subsequent seven weeks are mainly dedicated to detailed match preparations.


What can you say about your support staff, and especially the secondary you bring along to the FIDE World Championship match?
During the actual games I’m on my own, but it is of utmost importance to have a team with good chemistry in Dubai combining the necessary competence and experience as well as bringing some friends and family. The choice of secondary in particular is essential. As usual the details will not be revealed before or during the match.


How can we and your supporters/fans be absolutely sure that you are still just as sharp, motivated and hungry for another FIDE World Champion triumph?
I wouldn’t play unless I was fully motivated.