We are living in the 'Carlsen's era'
My two cents on the recent developments in the Chess world, importantly on the world champion Magnus Carlsen's new record blitz rating.
The Champions Showdown in St.Louis in the past three days has been an all American show with Hikaru, Caruana and So completing fine victories against their desired opponents. It would be not to be too early to call that American Chess will grow exponentially after this emphatic performance, with youths being both inspired as well as imbued with the hope of a next world champion from their soil. (ICYMI, Caruana and So were recently world no.2 and 3 and both will participate in the Candidates Tournament on the basis of rating points). Keeping in mind the growing fervour for chess in the chess capital of the United States and other cities, the St. Louis Champions Showdown was not simply a showcase of American prowess to the world but it has also helped to strengthen the aspirations and fear of many that the time we are living in is the Carlsen's era. We have seen various world champions in th past, starting from Lasker then Capablanca, Tal, Botvinnik and many more. But there have been only a few who have been able to grab media's and fans' attention alike. It would be not wrong to place Carlsen in this envious sphere: with greats like Kasparov, Fischer and Karpov already occupying it. (With all due respect to the five time world champion and one of my personal favourites: Anand. I believe he will be remembered as the top 10 players of all time but placing him in the above said bracket will be highly contentious). The way Carlsen not just defeated Ding Liren but decimated, who is also seen as a future prospect to challenge him for the title, talks heavily of his ever increasing prowess. What's more interesting is the fact that Carlsen achieved this feat with a day to spare. For people who are unaware, Ding is China's biggest hope in Chess, alongside her female counterpart Hou Yifan, and walked in this match as the third highest blitz rated player. Even after the win Carlsen somehow didn't seem satiated and that shows his hunger and passion to not only prove himself as the best in the world but to challenge himself everyday to reach new heights. Carlsen was disappointed that due to his early win in the match he would not be able to reach the feat of 3000 rating points in blitz which is insane. ( A rough analogy with cricket would be a batsman trying to reach 1000 rating points). There has been criticism of Carlsen's dip in form in the recent past but with this win that voices will bury for a long time. Carlsen has proved that even the sky is not a limit for him now and his desire to soar high is easily visible on his face. To conclude, I would quote the great Vishy Anand who after his world title loss to the same player in 2013 spoke in an interview," There is no doubt this is going to be Carlsen's era, it is upto everybody else to prove it otherwise." And I believe its a long time from now before we discover that 'somebody'.