OREANDA-NEWS. International Chess Federation (FIDE) president Arkady Dvorkovich said he would not draw far-reaching conclusions from world champion Magnus Carlsen's statement about his possible refusal to defend the chess crown.

"Carlsen is free to make any statements. If he said what he said, he must have had good personal reasons for it. In any case, he's not quitting chess. On the contrary, Carlsen has given assurances that he will strive for new records - a rating of 2900, and victories in big tournaments. So he's not going anywhere,"- Dvorkovich told Kommersant.

Dvorkovich stressed that "no one is in slavery to FIDE". "In any case, I wouldn't draw any far-reaching conclusions from one interview, especially at the end of such a difficult test as the world championship match,"- the FIDE head added.

Carlsen, who has held the world title since 2013, said last week that he was unlikely to take part in the next match for the world crown unless his opponent was Alireza Firuzja.

Firoozdja, representing France, climbed to second place in the International Chess Federation (FIDE) rankings at the end of November. Firuzdja, aged 18 years and five months, became the youngest grandmaster in history to break the 2,800-point ranking. The previous record holder, Carlsen, did so just before his 19th birthday.

Carlsen beat Russia's Jan Nepomnyashchiy in an early title match in Dubai on December 10. The Norwegian won four out of 11 games. The rest were drawn matches.