Magnus Carlsen On His Chess Approach

Magnus Carlsen On His Chess Approach

Apr 19, 2014, 11:11 PM |

[Blog History]

   In a recent interview given to Le Monde, a French daily evening newspaper, the new FIDE World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen gives a little insight on how he approaches the game and the traits he learned from his former coach and unquestionably one of the greatest players of all time, Garry Kasparov. As it was mentioned in the ChessBase article, one of those traits, often overlooked, was Kasparov’s “psychological understanding of his opponents.”

   Here are a few excerpts of this article any Magnus and chess fan should read.


We met you as the hope in chess in 2008, and meet you again as the world champion. What has happened in the meantime?


“2008 was my breakthrough year. I won the great Wijk-aan-Zee tournament in the Netherlands and achieved further good results but after that my results stagnated a bit. At the end of that year, I got in touch with Garry Kasparov through Frederic Friedel, the director of ChessBase [a German company specializing in chess software]….”


The goal wasn't to become world champion?


“This may surprise you, but taking the title had never been a top priority, and it was not part of any long-term plan. Actually, I wanted to become the world number one above all….”


Some have criticized you for play on the age difference between the two of you, dragging out boring positions waiting for him to collapse. Is that your view of chess?


“Since my collaboration with Kasparov, my strategy is as follows: At a time when all players prepare themselves with software, my goal is not to see if my computer is better than my opponent's. In the openings, I just need to reach a position that gives me play. The idea is to be smart rather than trying to crush the other….”


After your victory against Anand, we saw you kick off a Real Madrid game, you met the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and crush Bill Gates in a live game on television. Are you becoming a star?


“This sudden fame is a surprise to me. It's a bit strange to see how much the world title has changed public perception about me, because I do not consider becoming world champion a greater feat than what I had already accomplished.”


In 2008, you had assured me you were a normal teenager. You grew up, you are world champion in a sport of the mind. Are you a "normal" man ?


I think I am, but I will let others judge...”


   You can read the entire article here at Chessbase in its entirety. Have a good day everyone!