Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun interview with Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is the number one ranked chess player, currently. Here's a fun interview with him, reprinted from the German magazine Der Spiegel.

He talks about the first moment when he remembered he wanted to become good at chess:

SPIEGEL: There was no crucial experience?

Carlsen: I saw Ellen, my sister, playing. I think I wanted to beat her at it.


Carlsen: After the game she didn’t touch a board again for four years.

He talks about the impact of computers as training and education tools:

Carlsen: I was eleven or twelve. I used the computer to prepare for tournaments, and I played on the Internet. Nowadays, children start using a computer at an even earlier age; they are already learning the rules on screen. In that sense I am already old-fashioned. Technological progress leads to younger and younger top players, everywhere in the world.

And, of course, he's probably the only person on the planet who can say this about Garry Kasparov:

Carlsen: No. In terms of our playing skills we are not that far apart. There are many things I am better at than he is. And vice versa. Kasparov can calculate more alternatives, whereas my intuition is better. I immediately know how to rate a situation and what plan is necessary. I am clearly superior to him in that respect.

Meanwhile, as of today, Carlsen is 1 point behind Ivanchuk at the Amber tournament, which is one of the more unusual chess tournaments, a combination of rapid chess and blindfold chess.

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