Kasparov and Carlsen team up

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Kasparov & CarlsenA dream team has come true: one of the best players that ever lived is working with the biggest talent in chess at the moment. Garry Kasparov has started coaching Magnus Carlsen. This was made public today in the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang.

"In complete secrecy chess star Magnus Carlsen, 18, has engaged the history's greatest chess player, Garry Kasparov, as a personal trainer. The goal is to make the Norwegian, who currently ranks as the fourth-best chess player in the world, the world's best during the course of the coming year. In addition, Magnus Carlsen of Lommedalen will be built up to become the strongest brand in international chess."

This is how Verdens Gang's article of today starts - it was translated by Henrik Carlsen for Chessbase. We also learn that the collaboration has been under way for six months already, and that it's initially intended to last throughout the coming year, with a possibility of extension.

Not surprisingly, Magnus is looking forward to working with Kasparov:
"He has an extreme capacity for work, extreme determination to win and extreme perfectionism," said Carlsen. "Now I hope to be get more of these properties for myself. The goal is to become number one in the world."
18-year-old Magnus Carlsen is currently the world's number four player, rated 2772. In a rapid tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland in March 2004, Carlsen achieved one draw against Kasparov while losing the second. Only a month later Carlsen became a grandmaster at the age of 13 years, 4 months, and 27 days.

Despite his rapid rise to the absolute world top, until recently Carlsen wasn't sure if he wanted to become a professional chess player. The news of today suggests that he has made that decision, and that his ambition is stronger than ever.

Garry Kasparov (46), widely regarded as one of the the greatest chess players of all time, retired from chess on March 10th, 2005, after the last round of Linares. Since then he's been foremost a political activist and one of the key figures behind The Other Russia, a coalition which opposes Putin's and Medvedev's government.

But Kasparov is still very active as a chess writer and has been closely watching the top events ever since. In two weeks from now, he will play his first relatively serious chess games since his retirement, against his former rival Anatoly Karpov. It will be an exhibition match taking place September 21-24 in Valencia, Spain and consists of four rapid and eight blitz games. A second match has also been announced, to be held December 11-13 in Paris, France. By becoming Magnus Carlsen's coach, Kasparov stengthens his ties with the chess world even further.
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