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Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen

  • Born:
    Nov 30, 1990 (Age 26) Tønsberg, Norway
  • FIDE Title:
    Grandmaster
  • FIDE ID:
    1503014
  • Federation:
    Norway
  • Peak Rating:
    2882 (May 2014)
  • Rating:
    2822 (August 2017)
  • Rank:
    1 (August 2017)

Carlsen is the reigning World Champion and arguably the strongest player who ever lived. In 2013, at the age of 22, he defeated Viswanathan Anand to become the second youngest undisputed World Champion in history (Garry Kasparov beat him by a few months), though he’d already been the man to beat for the previous three years. He followed that up by claiming both the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in June 2014 before defending the big title against Anand in November 2014.

Child’s play

A child prodigy who memorised the names and populations of Norway’s 430 municipalities as a five-year-old, he claimed the grandmaster title at 13 and was christened “the Mozart of Chess” by the Washington Post. His progress never stopped, and on the 1st January 2010, aged 19, he became the youngest player in history to rank as world no. 1. Although he disappointed many chess fans later that year by announcing his withdrawal from the World Championship series he went to open up a huge ratings gap over his rivals and eventually surpassed Garry Kasparov’s record 2851 rating.

Coaching from a legend

Kasparov presents the London Chess Classic 2011 trophy to Carlsen | photo: Ray Morris-Hill

Kasparov actually coached Carlsen for a year in 2009/10, but stylistically they could hardly be more different. Claiming to work little outside of tournaments, Carlsen often chooses what seem to be harmless opening moves, but then time and again outplays his opponents from equal or worse positions. Many already consider him the greatest endgame player of all time, and his technical skill and Nordic cool conceal a ferocious will to win.

TV appearances

Away from the board Carlsen could easily be mistaken for an absolutely average guy, but despite a slightly withdrawn character he’s perhaps the one chess player since Kasparov to achieve global recognition – tournament winnings and a modelling contract for the fashion label G-Star have made him a multi-millionaire, while he’s also made American TV appearances on 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report.

First among equals 

Carlsen’s tournament successes in the years running up to his World Championship match cemented his position as the de facto leader. After winning the Biel Tournament in 2007 he consistently came out on top in the very best events, including Wijk aan Zee (2008, 2010 and 2013), Nanjing (2009, 2010), the Bilbao Masters (2011, 2012), the London Chess Classic (2009, 2010 and 2012) and the Tal Memorial (2011, 2012). He also won the World Blitz Championship in 2009 and each chess Oscar from that year onwards. The World Championship was all that remained. 

Ascent to the throne

Despite showing more vulnerability than we’ve grown accustomed to Carlsen squeezed to victory in the London Candidates to qualify for a showdown in Chennai, India against Viswanathan Anand. His start was hesitant, but after wins in Games 5 and 6 he eased to a 6.5:3.5 victory

Speed king

Carlsen with his Rapid and Blitz World Championship trophies and medals | photo: Anastasiya Karlovich, dubai2014wrb.com

The classical World Championship title simply wasn't enough for Magnus. In June 2014 he asserted his dominance in speed chess by losing only twice in 5 days and 36 games to finish in clear first place in both the Rapid and Blitz World Championships. That made him the first player ever to hold the three titles simultaneously - when Carlsen was asked what he can do next he replied simply, "I can do it again!"

Carlsen defends his title

Magnus Carlsen lifts the trophy as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Viswanathan Anand and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov look on | photo: Anastasia Karlovich, FIDE

Carlsen had to defend his World Championship title against the same opponent, Anand, in November 2014. The match in Sochi, Russia recalled how Mikhail Tal and Vasily Smyslov faced rematches only a year after beating Mikhail Botvinnik. In the end it did prove much tougher, with the encounter looking all set to go to the final game before Anand overpressed and lost in Game 11, but the champion nevertheless retained his crown: Carlsen 6.5-4.5 Anand.

Carlsen tweeted his goal of matching Garry Kasparov:

Carlsen finally had the traditional two-year break to the next match, and he carried on as before - winning the majority of events in which he played and maintaining his place at the top of the rating list. Then in November 2016 he finally faced a player other than Vishy Anand in a World Championship match.

3rd time World Champion after toughest challenge yet

Few chess fans or pundits gave Sergey Karjakin much chance of winning the match in New York, but the Russian once again demonstrated the strong nerves and tenacity that had seen him win the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Candidates Tournament to qualify for the match.

After seven draws, including some very near misses for Magnus, it was Sergey who landed a devastating blow in Game 8. Magnus was behind in a World Championship match for the first time and had just four games to rescue the situation. He later admitted he'd been in a dark place, storming out of the post-game press conference before it began:

The next game saw Sergey almost land a knockout blow, but when he missed a forced draw in Game 10 Magnus seized his chance to level the scores. The match went to tiebreaks on Carlsen's 26th birthday, and he dominated the four rapid games to win 3:1. He finished with perhaps the most beautiful move ever to end a World Championship contest:


50.Qh6+!! Forcing mate next move.

So Carlsen had won his third World Championship match and defended his title for a second time

Magnus retains his title in New York | photo: Anastasia Karlovich, FIDE

His reign will have stretched to five years before he next defends his title in 2018.


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Comments 87

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  • Aug 11, 2017 | 4:04 PM
    suryanshu382

    ok




  • May 8, 2017 | 4:18 PM
    saisiddharth

    Bishop to f6



  • May 2, 2017 | 6:50 AM
    FrugalOne

    Very nice style of play



  • Apr 18, 2017 | 4:04 PM
    SofiaPhirtskhalava

    Magnus good plaier!.
    ‌helo Magnus!




  • Apr 14, 2017 | 9:56 PM
    Tejendra5

    Wow go go go magnus . I solute you.#from Nepal




  • Mar 30, 2017 | 4:48 PM
    Mehemmed.Ehmedhn

    SIZIN QARSINIZA CIXACAQ SAHMATCI TANIMIRAM AMMA VUGAR HASIMOV SIZI UDAR




  • Feb 6, 2017 | 8:58 PM
    kyokosakura10

    hes good



  • Dec 20, 2016 | 11:48 PM
    finta

     BRAWO MAGNUS, YOU R  THE  REALL  CHAMP



  • Dec 20, 2016 | 9:34 PM
    slavmavrodiev

    My favourite player by far 



  • Dec 20, 2016 | 4:32 PM
    Igor125

    wow




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