‘My motivation has dropped:’ chess legend Vladimir Kramnik announces retirement at 43
The 43-year-old former champion publicly announced his retirement at Tata Steel Chess Tournament in the Netherlands. In what turned out to be his career-ending competition, Kramnik finished last, in 14th place.
“I already decided to finish my professional chess career a couple of months ago and now, after having played my last tournament, I would like to announce it publicly,” Kramnik said.
“The life of a professional chess player was a great journey and I am very thankful to chess for all it has given me. It has sometimes been difficult, sometimes more successful than I could ever imagine, but in any case, it has been a priceless human experience for me. I have always tried my best to give it all from my side, being fully involved in it while working and playing chess,” he added.Also on rt.com ‘We don’t need to strip off to gain attention for chess’ – Russian grand master Karjakin
The chess legend, who was undefeated from 2000 until 2008, revealed that having won all the major chess tournaments, he became less motivated for victories and decided to concentrate on other activities beyond professional sport.
“But I have also expressed in interviews before that I would like to try doing something else one day, and since my chess player motivation has dropped significantly in recent months, it feels like the right moment for it,” Kramnik said.
The grandmaster mentioned, however, that he might participate in rapid or blitz chess tournaments and take part in events connected with chess to “popularize the great game.”
Kramnik, who is Russia’s last world chess champion, shot to fame in 2000, when he defeated his compatriot and outstanding chess master Garry Kasparov to claim the world title, which he retained for seven years.
The player’s improbable long-lasting winning streak was dubbed “the Kramnik era” as he successfully defended his title each year until 2008, when he was dethroned by India’s Viswanathan Anand.
In 2013, Kramnik was close to entering the world chess championship but lost the tough selection battle to Norwegian talent Magnus Carlsen.
Following the announcement, tributes from the chess community have poured in for the legendary grandmaster.
Vlady,a friend,rival and confidant. One of the most influential chess players of our times.His rivalry was a constant inspiration.I will miss his dry humour at tournaments. For me you will always be the Big Vlad from 89. All the best Vlady in your new avatar.#VladimirKramnik— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) January 29, 2019
It's a sad day for chess. Another giant leaves the game earlier than we all would hope for.Vladimir Kramnik leaves an incredible legacy behind him. Almost every opening line played in last 25 years has his major input.Thanks maestro https://t.co/1xgAAJ0rcRhttps://t.co/1xgAAJ0rcR— Levon Aronian (@LevAronian) January 29, 2019
One of the true legends of the game and one of the most friendly players on the tour. Enjoy your retirement, Big Vlad! pic.twitter.com/ajTNQOTTl2— Lennart Ootes (@LennartOotes) January 29, 2019
#Kramnik The first player to break Kasparov - his career could be remembered for that alone. But there is also a wonderful legacy of games, and a gent on and off the board.— Daniel King (@DanielKingChess) January 29, 2019
Kramnik has always been one of my favorite players. He always pops up in my head whenever I start thinking about the greatest of all time. #Chess— Jesse Kraai (@JesseKraai) January 29, 2019