Will Magnus Carlsen still be the best chess player in 2026?

To resolve YES, on January 1, 2026, either

  • Magnus Carlsen is again the World Chess Champion, or

  • he's still not competing, but I believe that he would be favored to beat the current champion in a standard classical chess championship match, with adequate preparation. (This is what I currently believe about the state of the world now.) Feel free to post arguments then! (Or now.)

General policy for my markets: In the rare event of a conflict between my resolution criteria and the agreed-upon common-sense spirit of the market, I may resolve it according to the market's spirit or N/A, probably after discussion.

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predicts NO

For context Gary Kasparov lost his world championship title at 37. Magnus Carleson will be 35 on Jan 1, 2026. I think that Chess is even more competitive now than when Kasparov was world champion, due mainly to larger player base. On the other hand, Carlsen is by far the best funded player in the world, so he has access to resources like a team and analysis from the best computers in the world.

Why not just base this on him continuing to hold the highest ELO by a significant margin?

predicts YES

@TrevorAndersen I'm not sure, but doesn't ELO stay the same if you don't play for awhile?

@Conflux Sure, but in that case just specify a certain number of rated games in 2025.

predicts YES

@TrevorAndersen You could make that market if you want - I wanted this one with subjective criteria just on whether he seems like the best player