x
Chess - Play & Learn

Chess.com

FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store

VIEW

Does Magnus Carlsen's Play Inspire You?

  • #1

    Speaking for myself I can say that it just doesn't.

     

    I find nothing inspiring in the play of Magnus.  Yes, he is a great player...one who deserves to be world champion by virtue of not only being the strongest player currently, but by having gone through the grind of winning the title.

     

    Yet I do not look at Carlsen's games and feel a thrill when I play through them.  I don't see brilliant ideas being waged over the board.  I don't see a champion who will take chess to the next level.

     

    What I do see is someone who has certainly drawn some popularity to the game, which is good, but not someone who will advance the game itself.

     

    To me Magnus is a grinder.  Perhaps the best of all time, but a grinder nonetheless.  He reminds me of Karpov in his prime.  While his technique is effective at scoring points, it's not effective at stirring the imagination.

     

    To put it another way...players like Fischer and Kasparov did stir the imagination.  Legions of players grew up playing 1.e4 claiming it was "best by test" because they heard Fischer say it.  We wanted to be like Fischer, and so we chose to assimilate his openings into our own games in an effort to reach for something we could never quite grasp.

     

    When Kasparov came along and took the world by storm over his five matches with Karpov suddenly there were new devotees of the Najdorf Sicilian and King's Indian defenses.

     

    Flash forward to today...Carlsen opens the match against Anand by playing Barcza's Opening.  Do you see legions of young fans starting to play that themselves?  I don't.  Are there now GM's world wide discussing the newly discovered intricacies of theory with it?  Nope.

     

    Magnus doesn't have "it" when it comes to inspiration.  He may hold the title for years to come, but while he does the chess world may very well remain cold and lifeless just like it did from 75-85 under Karpov.

  • #2

    well, as anand said in one of the later interviews "his play is dry as dust, and usually he wants to go for the boring endgame because he has been so succesful at it". He might be playing uninspirational but if it works for him and he keeps winning games why would he change his playstyle?  I don't really know if his play inspire me but the endgame seems reasonable to learn if you are a beginner XD

  • #3

    Try his earlier games.

  • #4

    I am not claiming that he is tasked with inspiring people.  I am simply pointing out that his play does not inspire me and I am curious as to whether or not it does so for others.

     

    There are a number of players whose games I always look forward to playing through.  In addition to Fischer/Kasparov as mentioned above, I also enjoy the games of Alekhine, Tal, Botvinnik, Spassky, Morozevich, Capablanca, and Lasker.

     

    I find their games very rich and beautiful.  I find Carlsen's effective but not beautiful.

     

    It's just a matter of personal taste.

  • #5
  • #6
    Scottrf wrote:

    Try his earlier games.

    Yes, his games prior to hitting about 2700 are much different and quite a bit more enjoyable to look at.

     

    Ironically I have said the same thing about Karpov.  His games from prior to 1975 are a far cry from his games during the middle years.  His recent games too.

  • #7
  • #8

    I agree with Scottrf. If you look at most technical players earlier games, you'll find a lot of tactical and creative masterpieces (it's true for Kramnik and even for Karpov).

    Their play evolves when they reach the higher echelons, probably because you can't beat 2700s players the same way you beat regular GMs.

  • #9

    Interesting thread. FYI I don't believe that you ever implied that it is a wrong doing by Carlsen to play like he does. People can read what they want into things.

     

    Personally I do find his play inspiring, I find that by playing such a variety of low theory openings and not being a slave to theory and/or trends and his ability to win games without tactical flurries are by themselves very inspiring qualities. I believe this charm comes from his attitude and quailty of play instead of a few inspirational moves like the other examples you gave.

     

    You just have to look in a different place to find the inspiration. Personally, I view this type as greater but I understand that you don't.

  • #10

    Magnus doesn't have a style, at some point he just start playing the best moves and his opponent can't hold this preassure. 

    Anyway, I don't think Karpov's games were boring because I like his style, his patience etc..But Magnus plays like a computer, apparently he doesn't win you, but you can't beat him, and then you lose.

  • #11

    The problem is hardly anyone can match his positional prowess and when they do it will be a boring draw

  • #12

    In certain types of positions, his play is more accurate than a computer: He has such an awesome positional understanding, that he can find long-term plans and execute them with frightening accuracy. Clearly the best player out there currently, and his playing style, although owing some to great players of the past (Capa, Smyslov, Karpov...) is genuinely unique.

    One has to understand chess in quite some depth to estimate the quality of his play, and it's quite apparent that most people just do not cut that cake.

  • #13
    pfren wrote:

    In certain types of positions, his play is more accurate than a computer: He has such an awesome positional understanding, that he can find long-term plans and execute them with frightening accuracy. Clearly the best player out there currently, and his playing style, although owing some to great players of the past (Capa, Smyslov, Karpov...) is genuinely unique.

    One has to understand chess in quite some depth to estimate the quality of his play, and it's quite apparent that most people just do not cut that cake.

    What's unappreciated in chess is level of accuracy as you mentioned.

    It's SOOOOO HARD to determine what moves is better than another when everything looks good or fine. Magnus is amazing when it comes to choosing between them.

  • #14

    I agree with IM pfren here, maybe it takes a 2300+ rating at least to understand some of his moves. When we don't see any brilliancy in his play then it might be because we are blind to subtle things, not because there are none. Yes, he's maybe not so entertaining in attacks like Tal, but personally I like positional games and especially endames myself very much (even while not being good at it) and I like his play better than of someone who can memorize gigabytes of opening lines.

  • #15

    yes

  • #16

    nah.  Watched a few of his games and they are really boring. 

  • #17

    He have a lot of impressive games, i like this game a lot

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1693032

    You say kasparov inspired players to play sicilian najdorf, i think carlsen contributed at inspired players to play anti-sicilian systems .. specially the lines with Bb5 (rossolimo, canal attack) .. I forget to mention the ponziani opening! he revives this opening clearly

  • #18
    pfren wrote:

    In certain types of positions, his play is more accurate than a computer

    Could you please provide some examples of this?

  • #19
    Synaphai wrote:
    pfren wrote:

    In certain types of positions, his play is more accurate than a computer

    Could you please provide some examples of this?

    Sure. Lots of examples, just one out of the lot:

    14.d5! was scorned by computers due to the tactical sequence that followed. Deeper analysis proved that the computers were wrong, and the position with "best play" is equal (should I say "unclear"?), yet 14.d5! is the only positionally consistent move, and Carlsen barely considered playing something else. In the horrible tactical mess that followed both sides committed mistakes, yet when the iron was hot white played like a machine, without any fear. Notice the moves 23.Bc3! and 24.g5!, which are just awesome.

    Whoever finds such games "boring" could well give up on chess.

  • #20

    Sorry, I'm not giving up chess just because I don't find magnus' games entertaining. 

or Join

Online Now