Magnus Carlsen makes it clear: He doesn’t like classical chess

Magnus Carlsen is arguably the greatest classical chess player of all time. But that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of it.

Carlsen has gone on record more clearly than ever before regarding his feelings on classical chess. And while chess fans aren’t surprised to hear that he’s now less enthused about classical chess than he once was, the strength of his declarations is still a shock.

Magnus Carlsen hates on classical at FIDE World Cup

Magnus Carlsen’s comments on classical chess came while he is actively involved in a classical chess competition, the 2023 FIDE World Cup. This event brings together some of the greatest chess players on the planet. It’s also one of the very few major chess championships that Carlsen hasn’t yet won, arguably the biggest.

Magnus Carlsen chess

Carlsen declared that he now finds classical chess to be “stressful and boring,” speaking more unequivocally than ever before. He admitted than he finds himself asking “what I am doing here” while playing classical chess, even in a prestigious competitive setting such as that of the FIDE World Cup.

Carlsen did say that it was still his goal to progress through and win the competition. But he’s not going to be happy about playing in it, in the meantime.

Will Magnus Carlsen win the FIDE World Cup?

Despite his comments disparaging classical chess, Magnus Carlsen remains among the favorites to win the FIDE World Cup. His strong play has kept himself alive in the competition along with some of the world’s strongest chess players.

His winning prospects grew larger after the surprise elimination of the world’s second-ranked classical chess player, Hikaru Nakamura, who was bested by teenage phenom Praggnanandhaa. Nakamura has clearly been Carlsen’s greatest rival and threat in recent years, and having him removed from the competition will give the Norwegian even better odds of winning it all. Even if he’s not having much fun along the way.

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Written by Jared Wynne

Jared Wynne has been covering gaming and esports for the past two decades. He's a former competitor in Counter-Strike, and still counts it among his favorite games along with RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect. He studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, has been published at such outlets as The Daily Dot and The Esports Observer, and is the former Editor-in-Chief at You can find him on Twitter / X at @JaredWynne.

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