World's best chess player loses tournament after 'horror mouseslip'

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World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen exited an online tournament on Thursday after accidentally moving his queen to the wrong square, allowing rival Hikaru Nakamura to take it with his king and ultimately win the match. called the move a "horror mouseslip" for Carlsen, who left the event in third place with $15,000.

After beating Carlsen in that armageddon match (a special ruleset for tiebreakers), Nakamura went on to win the Chessable Masters tournament and its $30,000 top prize on Friday, putting him ahead of Carlsen in the rankings for this year's multi-event Champions Chess Tour. 

The result of Carlsen's fatal misclick can be seen in the screenshot above. At the top right of the board, Nakamura's king (black) can be seen capturing Carlsen's defenseless queen, which the Norwegian grandmaster had intended to move to b6 to take one of Nakamura's pawns. Instead, he stuck the piece on f6.

Apparently, this kind of thing happens enough that "mouseslip" is common parlance. The commentators instantly knew what had happened after Carlsen reacted and then the move appeared on the stream.

"Magnus mouseslipped!" exclaimed caster Tania Sachdev. "Blundering into that queen! And Hikaru Nakamura takes this match!"

The tournament wasn't the biggest in the scheme of things, but it was notable for being Carlsen's last as the reigning World Champion, a title he's held since 2013 but has chosen not to defend.

"I simply feel that I don't have a lot to gain [from the World Chess Championship]," Carlsen said on his podcast last year. "I don't particularly like it, and although I'm sure a match would be interesting for historical reasons and all of that, I don't have any inclinations to play and I will simply not play the match."

Above: The error occurs at around 3:30:00. Carlsen reacts before the slip is displayed.

Carlsen was all over the news last year after he and others, including itself, accused grandmaster Hans Niemann of cheating, which Niemann responded to with a lawsuit

With Carlsen vacating his throne, the next World Chess Champion will either be Ian Nepomniachtchi or Ding Liren, who are now competing for the title in Astana, Kazakhstan.

As this week's loss indicates, Carlsen isn't retired from chess just because he's through being World Champ. The Champions Chess Tour he's participating in includes several more events this year and will culminate in a series of playoffs and finals with a $500,000 total purse, for instance.

This may, however, be the only time we at PC Gamer are ever able to give the world's best chess player advice on playing chess, so Magnus, if you need help picking a gaming mouse with a firmer clicking mechanism, hit us up.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.