Magnus Carlsen, Nations Cup organizers at war of words

NAGPUR: While the COVID-19 outbreak has forced all sports in the world to shut down, Chess Players have found a way to continue from the comfort of their home. Without in-person tournaments, 36 of the world's best teachers compete in the Nations Cup online — novel international team Chess tournament — conducted by World Chess federation (FIDE) on the server of Chess .com.

However, the absence of the world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen took many by surprise. To clear the air, website promoters Chess .com released a statement but ended up hurting none other than Carlsen.

The statement released by the director of business development for Chess .com Nick Barton stating “Magnus was not willing to play under the same financial conditions” has hurt the world champion.

Carlsen was quick to take a step by tweeting: “Thank you for hosting a very entertaining event and leaving me now to be invited to events in the future! However, now that you have pointed me out as greedy, I will ask for at least three times what I would have asked for this time.

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The detailed statement tweeted by Chess .com reads, “As a FIDE event, all player invites for Online Nations Cup were handled solely by FIDE. Magnus was invited to participate in this historic tournament, and we would have loved to have him take part in it. Unfortunately, though an offer to play was extended by each of FIDE Director General Emil Sutovsky and President Arkady Dvorkovich, our understanding is that Magnus was not willing to play under the same financial conditions as the other participants. We have the utmost respect for Magnus’ talent, and he will continue to receive invites to Chess .com’s events on a regular basis, just as he has for many years.”

While world’s top 36 players are moving their pawns and pieces on the Chess boards of computer screen much like they used to do sitting across the table, has this Carlsen’s move checkmated the World Chess federation?