FIDE World Chess Championship 2023: Everything we know so far

The 2023 FIDE World Chess Championship is about to be the most exciting yet. GM Magnus Carlsen could claim his sixth title, joining the ranks of other legendary players with the most world championship titles – Emanuel Lasker, GM Anatoly Karpov and GM Garry Kasparov.

On top of that, the world might see the epic battle between the world’s best chess player and the world’s best chess streamer, GM Hikaru Nakamura. Another possibility that chess fans might witness would be the thrilling clash of generations between Carlsen and GM prodigy Alireza Firouzja.

While we don’t know all the details of the upcoming World Championship game, we do know one thing: there’s a lot to look forward to. Here’s what we know about WCC 2023 so far:


The 2023 World Chess Championship match will pit current World Champion Magnus Carlsen against the winner of the 2022 Candidates Tournament, at least on paper.

After successfully defending his title for the fifth time, Carlsen said he would only play another World Championship match if his opponent was young GM wonderkid Alireza Firouzja. While many believe Carlsen’s statement was nothing more than an empty comment from a weary champion, months later a well-rested Carlsen reiterated his unwillingness to play in another league game. of the world.

Assuming Carlsen plays, one of the eight contenders will challenge him for the title in 2023. Seven players have already claimed their place in the 2022 contenders. GM Ian Nepomniachtchi has qualified for his participation in the 2021 World Chess Championship FIDE invited GM Teimour Radjabov after the Azerbaijani qualified for previous contestants but declined to play due to COVID.

GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda secured his spot after winning the FIDE World Cup 2021. General Managers Firouzja and Fabiano Caruana qualified after finishing first and second in the FIDE Grand Swiss 2021. GMs Nakamura and Richard Rapport qualified. qualified to be the FIDE Grand Prix 2021 champion and runner-up.

Nakamura is one of eight players qualified for the 2022 Candidates. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The final spot belonged to GM Sergey Karjakin for his performance in the 2021 World Cup. However, FIDE’s Ethics and Disciplinary Committee banned Karjakin for six months after the player publicly supported the invasion of his native country, Ukraine. Although the grandmaster claimed he saw no point in trying to reverse the decision, Russian news agency Tass reported on April 6 that the Russian chess leader had filed an appeal against Karjakin’s suspension. .

If Karjakin’s suspension is upheld, the remaining spot will go to the highest rated player in May 2022, currently GM Ding Liren. Ding, who hadn’t played the minimum 30 regular matches between June 2021 and May 2022 to qualify before FIDE announced Karjakin’s suspension, soon began playing in Chinese tournaments. The super grandmaster finally played his 30th ranked match on April 22 and is now eligible to play in the Candidates.

What happens if Carlsen doesn’t play

If Carlsen respects his promise not to participate in the next WCC, he loses his title of world champion. FIDE hasn’t released updated rules for the upcoming World Championship match, so it’s unclear who would take the throne.

The only time in history a similar scenario occurred was in 1975, when GM Bobby Fischer refused to play in a world title match. FIDE stripped Fischer of his title and gave it to his potential challenger, GM Anatoly Karpov.

However, as GM Jon Ludvig Hammer pointed out, FIDE’s rules for the 2021 WCC were different from what they were in 1975. While FIDE is keeping the rules unchanged for this year, the new world champion will not will not be the winner of the 2022 Candidates, but the winner of a match between the Candidates champion and the tournament runner-up.


Below you can see some statistics about the World Chess Championship 2023.

Carlsen’s score against the pitch:

Carlsen has an impressive score in classic matches against the Candidates Field. With 52 wins, 117 draws and 18 losses (as of April 13), the domination of the world champion is undeniable:

Versus Won Prints Losses
Radjabov 12 23 6
Duda 3 5 1
firuzja 4 2 0
Report 3 1 1
Nakamura 13 25 1
ding 1 8 0
Nepomniashchi 5 15 4
Caruana 11 38 5
Total 52 117 18

Carlsen’s first shots in World Championship matches:

like white
1.e4 20
1.d4 6
1.c4 4
1.Nf3 2

As Black against 1.e4
1…e5 15
1…c5 7
1…c6 1
As Black against 1.d4
1…Nf6 6
1…d5 1
As Black against 1.c4
1…e6 1


FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said at WCC 2021 that the next World Championship match would be in early 2023. FIDE has yet to release the official schedule.


FIDE has not released the full rules for WCC 2023. However, they have confirmed that the match will be similar to the previous one where Carlsen and the Nepomniachtchi played 14 classic matches with the first player to reach 7.5 points winning. If the match was still tied after the end of the classic 14 games, a quick tie-break/blitz would have decided the champion.


The last World Championship match between Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi had many memorable moments. As Carlsen asserted his dominance on the board with an impressive score of 7.5 to 3.5, another remarkable feat occurred off the board.

Led by the IM “sofa boys” Danny Rensch and GMs Robert Hess and Caruana, the WCC 2021 broadcast broke viewership records.’s coverage amassed over 25 million views during the championship, the highest of any chess event in history.

The 2021 World Chess Championship broadcast on featured Hess, Caruana and Rensch.
Caruana, Hess and Rensch during the broadcast of the 2021 World Chess Championship.

In 2023,’s coverage of the World Chess Championship will be even bigger and better. We will post more details about this here in the future.


Official World Chess Championship matches have a long tradition, with the first taking place in 1886. Wilhelm Steinitz defeated Johannes Zuckertort to become the first official world champion. After him, Lasker, Jose Raul Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine and GM Max Euwe defeated the reigning world champions to claim the title. Alekhine eventually reclaimed his title of Euwe and later died while still occupying the throne.

After Alekhine’s death, GM Mikhail Botvinnik became the next world champion. Botvinnik lost and regained his title twice, first against GM Vasily Smyslov and then against GM Mikhail Tal. Botvinnik lost his title once again – this time for good – in a match against GM Tigran Petrosian.

World champions Smyslov, Botvinnik, Euwe and Tal
World champions Smyslov, Botvinnik, Euwe and Tal in 1961. Photo: Dutch National Archives, CC.

GM Boris Spassky beat Petrosian to become the world champion. In 1972, general manager Bobby Fischer defeated Spassky in the “Match of the Century”, ending Soviet hegemony, if only for a brief moment.

Fischer refused to play a match against Karpov to defend his title after FIDE refused to meet his demands. Karpov was then declared world champion and retained his title for 10 years before losing it to GM Garry Kasparov.

After defeating Karpov in three subsequent matches, Kasparov made demands for his next World Championship match, which FIDE refused. Kasparov then moved away from FIDE and founded another international chess organization, the Professional Chess Association (PCA). From 1993 to 2006, the World Championship title was shared, with the PCA and FIDE both hosting World Championship matches.

Kasparov and Karpov in 1985.
Kasparov and Karpov in 1985. Photo: Owen Williams, CC.

FIDE Champions include Karpov, General Managers Alexander Khalifman, Viswanathan Anand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Veselin Topalov. However, these titles have been disputed for multiple reasons.

During the same period, Kasparov successfully defended his title against GMs Nigel Short and Anand but lost it to GM Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik is therefore considered the 14th world champion.

Kramnik defended his title against GM Peter Leko and then won a “reunification match” against Topalov. After this event, FIDE again regained exclusive control of the World Championship matches. The Russian retained his title until Anand took his place in 2007.

Anand won the next three league matches but lost his title to Carlsen. Since then, the Norwegian has retained his crown by beating Anand in 2014, Karjakin in 2016, Caruana in 2018 and Nepomniachtchi in 2021.

Carlsen in 2021.
Carlsen during the closing ceremony of the 2021 World Chess Championship. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Check out this article to learn more about all the world champions.

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