chess24 Jun 22, 2019 | 12:23 PMby chess24 staff

Magnus Carlsen back for more Banter Blitz

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen will accept challenges from Premium members this Sunday 23rd June at 16:00 CEST as he once more streams his thoughts live while playing blitz on chess24. This is already the 4th session by Magnus, and you can catch up with all the previous games below. If you haven’t seen them yet, you’re in for a treat, as at times it’s simply staggering how quickly and accurately the world no. 1 grasps the essence of any position.


First the practical details. Magnus will be playing from 16:00 CEST on Sunday 23rd June, and to have a chance to play him you need to:

  1. Go Premium, if you’re not already
  2. Go to the show: Banter Blitz with Magnus Carlsen
  3. Hover over his username MagzyBogues under the video
  4. Click “Challenge me!” – if the button isn’t clickable it means Magnus isn’t yet online
  5. Choose a 3 or 5-minute game (Magnus may express preferences during the show)
  6. Click “Challenge” and then sit back and enjoy – if you’re lucky enough to be picked you’ll be taken to the game automatically

The show is free for everyone to watch, and will be streamed on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. If you want to see the moves instantly whenever a game starts you can also follow MagzyBogues here. In case you’re still not sure how Banter Blitz works you can check out the previous three sessions:

We’ve compiled all those games into one “tournament” with three “rounds”, so you can easily play through all the games with computer analysis (just click on a result below). As you can see, Magnus scored a stunning 37.5/38, and the sheer quality of his play gave an early indication of the amazing form we’d later see in Shamkir Chess and the GRENKE Chess Classic:

For convenience we also published the games individually on YouTube, and while essentially every single game has something instructive and entertaining to offer, here are 7 highlights:

1. A trash-talk masterpiece vs. IM Lawrence Trent

When you’re the world’s best player you can get away with a lot of trash-talk, and from “the lack of cojones is astounding” at the start to “just resign!” at the end, this was an absolute classic.

2. The Immortal Zugzwang Game

"Absolute zugzwang" noted Magnus - just try to make a move for Black!

Ok, “immortal” may be going a bit far, but this game had it all. Carlsen’s opponent did well to stop a perfectly judged kingside attack ending in mate, but that came at the cost of a pawn. The game looked as though it would end prosaically, but suddenly it finished with an exquisite zugzwang.

3. “That was really lazy and dumb”

A fun game that ended up being tougher than Magnus expected, but as a YouTube user comments about the above quote:

Magnus reacts to a small inaccuracy the way I react to missing mate in 1!

Daniel T. also sums up all the videos:

By watching Magnus play blitz, I have gained a small appreciation for how truly knowledgeable he is about chess, and makes me better understand why he is so dominant. His analysis is accurate, simple, and instantaneous. He's a monster at positional chess and just as good at tactics. I don't know if there's a point to my comment, but I guess I want to say that I am inspired when I watch him and that is why I subscribed to this channel. Thanks for these videos!

4. The greatest endgame player of all time?

Exchanging queens on move 4 may not be the way to go against Magnus! As he comments:

Why does he exchange queens? Doesn’t he know that I’m supposed to be the greatest endgame player of all time? That was supposed to be… I don’t know, I guess it’s funny because it’s true, right? I’m not that high on myself – I am, but I usually don’t admit it publicly!

5. Brutal precision

Just one or two inaccuracies by an IM opponent and Magnus grinds out the easiest of wins. As YouTube user Pinchfire puts it:

Usually the worst thing about geniuses in general is that a huge part of them lack the ability to successfully convey their thought process (information) to others with words. In the case with Magnus however it's absolutely amazing. Calm, humorous, arrogant and yet objective comments during all his games. It's just perfect. I doubt the chess community has ever had such a close and intimate relationship to a current World Champion. And to be honest his case is the exception, not the rule, as I pointed out in the beginning... So yeah... Enjoy while it lasts.

6. That was close!

Magnus didn’t always have it so easy. In this game against a Spanish IM he survives some tough moments to pull off a win by the finest of possible margins.

7. Can’t win ‘em all!

The one that got away! Magnus Carlsen’s perfect streak finally came to an end when impressive acceleration by his opponent, and a rogue webcam, saw the World Champion’s clock run out in a winning position.

As those last two games showed, competing with Magnus isn’t absolutely impossible, but even if you lose you’ll only be following in the footsteps of all the world’s very best players! Once again, to challenge Magnus you need to be a chess24 Premium member, and then just tune in to the show:


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