Magnus Isn't "King" Just Yet
As many of you know, the FIDE World Chess Championship Candidates Tournament will be held in London on March 13th-31st, will be a DRR event and I am itching to talk about it!
Since the ending of the London Chess Classic about a month ago, most of us know the story with Magnus Carlsen. He broke 2851 by besting it with an additional 10 points, eliminating the supposed “unbreakable rating” which stood for 13-years. He’s a 3-time Chess Oscar winner and soon he’ll be heading into something the entire chess world will be watching: the 2013 Candidates Tournament. After sitting out the last cycle (which Boris Gelfand won), Magnus could now be on his way toward more than just landing the FIDE World Chess Championship. In the process he could end up in the company of prestigious players such as Kasparov, Fischer and Morphy, considered the best chess players ever. Personally, I think (and am confident others would agree), if Magnus Carlsen wins the World Championship, he will join their ranks. The 22-year-old Norwegian GM has practically done it all in chess. Soon he’ll face the biggest tournament he’s ever participated in. Can the 2nd youngest GM in history handle the pressure?
We can’t help but wonder, had Magnus competed in the last cycle, whether he could have won the tournament and been Champion already. I can’t speak for the chess world, but I am looking forward to the Magnus/Anand World Championship match with an almost hysterical eagerness. This is not TATA Steel, the LCC or the now defunct Amber tournament—this is the Candidates! Most likely, this will put more pressure on Magnus than he’s ever experienced. The tournament will be filled with heavyweights: Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler, Vassily Ivanchuk and Levon Aronian, to name a few.
Now, let’s turn the focus on Anand. He hasn’t been very active on the competitive chess scene since winning his title match in 2010 against Topalov, though, before October and November when the World Championship Match will be held, Anand will be competing in 7 events. In my opinion, even when he did play, his performance wasn’t spectacular. He hasn’t been a dominating Champion and his results haven’t been remarkable. If he wants to hang on to his title, he needs to bring his “A” game to the board, especially if it’s Magnus, or even Levon Aronian sitting opposite him. Though, in a recent Chessbase article, Anand said a comeback in 2013 is possible, either player is capable of taking the title from him. If he plays that event the way he’s played the ones in the recent past, I foresee his “chess blood” spilled over the board, and a new Champion will be crowned. If it’s Magnus, he’ll then be among the greatest players in history. To many, he’s already been classified as that, but according to this journalist, he would need to win the championship to make it “official,” and also need to continue his dominating run even after he’s won the title. Granted—I may be in the minority with that opinion, but maybe not.
I’d love to hear what you think. How do you think it will go down? Who stands a chance to win the title? What will it take to beat Anand and where will the winner stand in chess history? Whatever your opinions, please keep it friendly and clean in the comments. Thanks!