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Sunday, December 25, 2011

I don't know if I have a specific chess talent: Magnus Carlsen

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is a nice interview with World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen. It has already found its way all over the Internet and rightfully so considering these are interesting views from one of the most talented grandmasters of the generation. Carlsen spoke to Chess Pro after the Tal Memorial in Moscow.

On his chess development
Do you think you have a specific chess talent?

I don’ know. Everyone has a lot of different talents. Probably I’ve got something like that, but I can’t be 100% sure. Do you know yourself what it is? I can only judge in terms of what others say about me. When I was about 12-13 many people said I had a great chess talent, that I’d turn into a great player. At that point I basically wasn’t bothered if I’d become a strong player or not – I simply played and enjoyed it…

In actual fact it’s very difficult to determine who’s more talented and who’s less so. Or who’ll become a genuinely great chess player, and who’ll remain no-one.

I still recall the scene with Alexander Nikitin, Kasparov’s coach, who at one of the first “Aeroflots” stood next to your table and witnessed you crush Dolmatov in 20 moves. He then went around the hall with the scoresheet of that game and breathlessly informed everyone: “This is the game of a genius”…

Yes, I remember that, I was 13 then (laughs). I want to thank Nikitin for the good promotion he did for me then. He’s an authority figure, and I even heard about it when I returned home. Yes, he also predicted a great future for me.

And were you really not embarrassed or disturbed by all the talk of genius?

I’ll say it again: I never considered myself a chess genius, and I never focussed on other people’s evaluations. I also react to them calmly now… Many people say I’m too sober. But back then I’d already wondered what the point was in all this excessive delight – you simply need to do what works well.

You can read the full interview in here.

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