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Carlsen on Reddit: “I always kept a very positive mindset”

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 3/20/14, 4:39 AM.

Just like Hikaru Nakamura last month, on Wednesday Magnus Carlsen did an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, the social news and entertainment website where registered users submit content in the form of links or text posts. Again the result was a interesting “interview” with the world number one and World Champion, who wasn't too shy to present his sense of humor! Below is a selection of questions and answers; you can read the full Reddit AMA here.

Update: Carlsen also made a video, together with his manager Espen Agdestein, in which they comment on the first six rounds of the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament. It was posted a day after the Reddit interview:

cbarr81
Do you ever log onto sites like Chess.com, as an anonymous player, and just crush people for fun?
permalink

Magnus Carlsen
Once in a while I've used some of my friends accounts and won a couple of games... or a lot... (...) You'll be amazed at the people i've lost to while playing online...

Sonata2
Hi Magnus! Even though you were International Master and Grandmaster early on, did you ever feel like you have plateaued with your game, that you did not think you could get better, or did you always know that you could be the best player ever? And if you did think you could not get better, how did you get better?

Magnus Carlsen
Times when I was struggling, I always kept a very positive mindset. I thought that things would turnaround in the next game, or the next tournament. Eventually it did.
As for plateaued, I still feel that I have plenty to learn. It's just about translating more knowledge into better play and better results.

kalebreath
What is your favorite chess game of all time?

Magnus Carlsen
Anand - Kamsky Candidates Match 1994

Reffen
do you ever struggle playing yourself age 23 in the Play Magnus app? I personally pride myself in beating you at 8 years old.

Magnus Carlsen
I always struggle playing against Magnus 23. When playing younger "Magnuses" I'm occasionally successful.

Alijas
How many beers would you need to drink for a Master to be able to beat you?

Magnus Carlsen
There is no answer to this question... even extremely intoxicated my chess strength and knowledge is still in my bones.

blackberry_throw
I noticed on your Twitter account that you are closely following the 2014 Candidates tournament. Are there any games or positions that have struck you as particularly interesting or beautiful?

Magnus Carlsen
I was impressed by Anand's win against Aronian in the first round. It's not often that you beat the number 2 player in the world purely by technique.

perrii
Hi! What do you think of Nakamura joking with calling you Sauron on Twitter?

Magnus Carlsen
I've never actually watched Lord of the Rings... if I had, and Nakamura had been a better chess player, I might have been more insulted.

pranjie
What do you think made you the strongest man in the world?

Magnus Carlsen
Raisins.

Magnus Carlsen
My coach Peter Heine told me that he saw me play as a ten year-old, and gained the impression of someone who knew a lot of theory but couldn't play that well on his own. So, it has been a long process and gradually I have learned more and more about the game.

[Username hidden for explicit language]
I've always wondered; now that you are the best in the world. How can coaches help you get better? Or don't they at all? Is it just up to yourself now to improve?
Ignorer brukernavnet mitt, hehe!

Magnus Carlsen
Most of all it is up to myself to improve because even the best coaches don't fully understand what's going on in my mind - haha

kalebreath
What's your favorite chess book? Favorite non-chess book?

Magnus Carlsen
Chess book: Kramnik: My Life & Games made a strong impression on my as a child
Non-chess book: close race between several Donald Duck comics (seriously).

BetelgeuseSC
How has your life changed since winning the World Championship? Has it become more difficult to stay motivated?

Magnus Carlsen
My approach to tournaments has not changed that much, even before the World Championship I was the best player in the world, so in that sense it's the same and I am the one to beat. I have the confidence that I can always do well.

sigtot
What is your favorite meal, and what do you eat before a match?

Magnus Carlsen
I don't have a favorite meal, but before the match I would usually eat an omelette or a some yogurt with fruit.

TheZenDom
Hello Magnus,
What are your thoughts on the ongoing Candidates 2014? Does Vishy winning make it easier for you or do you have another favourite in the tournament? I ask because judging from your tweets, you don't really hold Anand in the highest regard :)
What is your response to the general idea that you are too much of a grinder? A great many number of people have said that you specialize in squeezing out dry positions rather than playing attacking chess. Many GMs have called your style of chess as its death in some aspects.

Magnus Carlsen
No, it didn't have anything to do with Anand, I'm very impressed by his level of preparation and general play both tactically and technically so far in the Candidates.
I think it's an important trait of a good player to be able to have the same level of focus and creativity in simple positions as well as more complicated ones and thus create chances at any point in the game. I don't think making few mistakes and playing very accurately for a long time should be a negative.

12003 reads 43 comments
16 votes

Comments


  • 7 months ago

    dknightvision1970

    Way too soon to start talking about Magnus being the greatest of all time.

  • 7 months ago

    JBades6310

    lol chassrazor how is that bs? it's a fact, not an opinion...

  • 7 months ago

    FakeName6

    Magnus Carlsen

    There is no answer to this question... even extremely intoxicated my chess strength and knowledge is still in my bones.

    Magnus Carlsen

    Raisins

    LOL! HE IS SO FUNNY!

  • 7 months ago

    Andre_Harding

    chassrazor:

    Nakamura IS ranked #1 in blitz, rapid, and was the last Chess960 World Champion.

  • 7 months ago

    General-Mayhem

    If Nakamura is a bad player what does that make us?? Surprised

  • 7 months ago

    chassrazor

    My reaction

  • 7 months ago

    Dariusthegreat102390

    a genius...

  • 7 months ago

    beyondthecircuit

    I've got to imagine Carlsen's dig at Nakamura is tongue-in-cheek, just as Nakamura calling Carlsen "Sauron" is funny as hell. 

    I think I'd like to see Kramnik win the Candidates, in truth. Hold the match in Kiev. Winner takes Crimea.

  • 7 months ago

    JBades6310

    when did nakamura takes shots at magnus? I think he only has the utmost respect for him. if anything, they're just joking around with each other...

  • 7 months ago

    trygve76

    Well Nakamura to me talks a lot, but fails to show up when it really matters. Taking digs at Carlsen does him no favours and just makes him look silly. He has never beaten him. I would've dismissed him too if I were Magnus. Nakamura should concentrate on his game and save the cocky comments for when he has shown that he can compete.

  • 7 months ago

    cLiPPi

    I wonder how Hikaru got the impression that Magnus called him bad. He did not. The word bad never occurred in that context.

  • 7 months ago

    ZEUS-B

    Topalov will challange Carlsen to next world champ.

  • 7 months ago

    TheRocketKing

    I love this kind of "fight" between hikaru and carlsen, we need some kind of drama!

  • 7 months ago

    PhilipN

    Nakamura fan here--on the topic of the Nakamura dig:  In all fairness to Carlsen, Nakamura did say that he considered himself the biggest threat to him, so that may have been part of why he said that.

  • 7 months ago

    grimshanky

    Some people are taking this a bit too seriously.  He's just got a sharp Norwegian sense of humor.

  • 7 months ago

    eastyz

    Magnus right now is like Mohammed Ali when he was on top.  He was the best and knew and told everybody do although Magnus is a bit more subdued about it.  He was entitled to it although a lasting memory is Ali getting smashed around the ring by lesser boxers.  One day it could all turn around.

  • 7 months ago

    johgn

    Since English is not his first language, so I can excuse how boring this AMA was, but that dig on Nakamura was lacking class.  

  • 7 months ago

    Lame_Sport

    pranjie
    What do you think made you the strongest man in the world?

    Magnus Carlsen
    Raisins.

    LOL

  • 7 months ago

    Vingore

    Carlsen is the greatest player of all time!  His play is far from boring, it is superb.  His endgame is science fiction!  Playing against him must be a complete nightmare for his competitors, as they know that if they fall a nanometer behind at any point, the game is effectively over.  He is truly the Mozart of chess!

  • 7 months ago

    b2b2

    What he doesn't say is just as informative as what he does say. 

    For example, Carlsen commented on the play of all but 2 players. He did not comment on the play of Mamedyarov and Andreikin. 

    He praised Svidler, Anand, and Topalov.  He expected more from Aronian and Kramnik.  He even said something about Karjakin. 

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