3 Reasons Why Magnus Carlsen Will Become World Champion

  • GM SultanOfKings
  • on 11/5/13, 11:09 AM.

Editor's Note: This is the first of two special world championship preview pieces - also read the piece by GM Parimarjan Negi of India. Published as "News" to keep our regularly featured article content on the homepage, here GM Jon Ludvig Hammer (a second of Magnus Carlsen for the match) tells us why he believes Magnus Carlsen will soon be World Chess Champion.

Tension is mounting as the start of the World Championship comes closer. For me it's going to be extra special, as I'm one of the people trying to help Magnus Carlsen become World Champion. I have great faith in my guy, and there's three main reasons why I think he'll take the title.

#1: He's an Extremely Good Chess Player

Magnus Carlsen has a commanding lead on the World Chess Federation's ranking. That is no coincidence. There's hardly anyone who has a better feel for the game - where to put the pieces, when to fight for the initiative, when to defend, how to set as many problems as possible for the opponent. In his last couple of tournaments, he has never been worse than number two! That's a sign of quality if I ever saw one, and a testament to his abilities.

Magnus Carlsen looks over Jon Ludvig Hammer - friends since childhood

#2: Confidence and Motivation

Not only is he a great chess player - he knows it too. He is going into this convinced he is the better player. "I firmly believe I'll win this match if I perform at my top level," he said to the Norwegian paper VG. His whole year has been about wanting to challenge and beat Anand. The qualifying Candidates Tournament in London was a very tough challenge, but in the end, he made it through. Anand will be equally tough, but Carlsen wants the title more than anything. A determined Carlsen is a force to be reckoned with.

#3: Physical Fitness

Magnus is in great shape! Soccer, tennis, beach volleyball and yoga - he's taking his stamina very seriously. This will be very important in a closely contested match. He'll try to wear down the current champ, and after one or two tough weeks of long games, I'm not sure Anand will manage to keep his head cool. And Magnus has a habit of exploiting the smallest mistakes to grind out long endgame wins - it could prove decisive.

I'll finish off by showing two of their most recent games.


I'm sure playing in Chennai, Anand's home turf, will be a challenge. But with lots of long games, where his stamina and ability to put pressure shines through, I think we'll have a Norwegian Chess World Champion by December. Who would have thought that 15 years ago?

All grown up, Magnus Carlsen and Jon Ludvig Hammer

Happy World Championship Match everyone! May the best man win.

Yours, Jon Ludvig Hammer

26099 reads 94 comments
26 votes


  • 23 months ago


    He just won :)

  • 3 years ago


    Funny how they will meet again - hopefully with an even stronger and more confident Anand! Lets hope for fun games, maybe not the Budapest or Latvian gambits, but anything other than draw on move 30 will be great.

  • 3 years ago


    Cool i an from sl

  • 3 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    @Conseiller and others -

    Guys, did you even read the first "Editor's Note" to this piece AND Negi's follow up article?

    This was not bias "religious trumpeting" Tongue Out - instead, it was awesome content and opinions from leadning Grandmasters and fellow countrymen of the players giving great stuff to our site Wink

  • 3 years ago


    I'm rooting for the underdog.Innocent

  • 3 years ago


    for me, anand will simply win. experience always counts.

  • 3 years ago


    Whilst not doubting Hammer's actual chess abilities, his three reasons for why Carlsen will prevail are really rather fatuous. Get these young geeks away from the board and the logic of pronouncements can leave a lot to be desired. Regarding the first reason - that Carlsen is 'an extremely good chess player' - so would the current world champion have to be! Not much to learn there. Re the statements: 'There's hardly anyone who has a better feel for the game - where to put the pieces, when to fight for the initiative, when to defend, how to set as many problems as possible for the opponent', well he's not actually saying Carlsen is the best but ONE of the best around today - Anand is another, as one would expect.  On the second reason - Carlsen's confidence and motivation - much the same could just as easily be said about Anand re defending the title. Regarding the third reason of physical fitness, this is a better point, but Anand has, over the years, already proved himself in defence of his title in different formats, thus negating much of the thrust of Hammer's point.

    Whilst I expect Carlsen to take the contest right up to Anand and even win overall, I really didn't learn much at all from Hammer's very lightweight 'analysis', which in the light of his GM status and being a second to Carlsen, was quite empty and disappointing.

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    Three reasons that I feel Anand will win:

    1. Anand's recent lacklusture results in tournaments could be due to "been there, done that" psyche which, even when you know you are suffering from, is difficult to get rid off. This causes reduced creative juices to flow. Defending your title is a different ball game. Anand will not be mentally lethargic in this match and will be equal to the task.

    2. I suspect Carlsen's temprament under sustained pressure. I am not a keen follower of his games but few years back i saw him crumble under pressure. In World Championship if he does not perform up to his own expectaions in first few games (lets say first 3 games are drawn), he might overreach and crumble.

    3. I am biased in favour of Anand. And why not! Jai Ho Anand!! 

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks for a great posting! I hope that this will be a close race, with a lot of tension building up for a great final game. So when Magnus' lead gets too big, please sultan, tell him to lose a few games - for the sake of entertainment.

  • 3 years ago


    My guts tell me that this championship will be the end of yet another era.

  • 3 years ago


    carlsen will eventually win, raw talent is superior to experience or rather it doesnt require experience!

  • 3 years ago


    Anand crushed Kramnik in their WC match. He can't be taken lightly in this one.

  • 3 years ago


    Anand cannot be written off. 16/17 years ago Anands play was as exciting as Carlsen. He was the king of the clock and has tons of experience. Magnus might win, then again Anand might pull off a suprise. It is possible and hence I cannot understand people like Jon Ludvig Hammer making over confident statements. I guess he does that only to show loyalty to Carlsen as he is part of his camp and currently a major chunk of his livelihood comes from Carlsens purse.

  • 3 years ago



  • 3 years ago


    Anand is an old dog. He has already been in many World Championships unlike Magnus. I guess the latter will be under immense pressure. But he is World number 1. So anything is possible. I will put my money on Anand though. Not because he is an Indian but more familiar to World Championships.

  • 3 years ago


    This will be a close match.  I think Anand is too mature a player to be easily intimidated, even by a smug young powerhouse like Carlsen.  Carlsen's close call in the Candidates will surely give witness to his mortality.  That said, Magnus is a tremendous talent, so it'll be stupendous match, but my money's on experience this time.  Anand will win, by a slim margin.   

  • 3 years ago


    With all due respect to my fellow Nordics, why is chess.com allowing publishing such biased articles ? J-L Hammer is in Carlsen's team and by no means objective in this article. Rather childish I would say.

    I also happen to believe that Carlsen wins, but this kind of almost religious trumpeting is just sad.

  • 3 years ago


    I am from Pakistan... I can bet Anand will be far ahead of carlson..

  • 3 years ago

    IM DanielRensch

    Wait until you see GM Negi's piece on why Anand will defend? Makes a great case... Undecided

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