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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Magnus Carlsen already thinking about Defending his World Chess Champion Title Next Year!

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2013

Hello everyone,

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen was crowned the World Chess Champion in Chennai on Monday. Here are top quotes by Magnus Carlsen from an interesting interview given to LiveMint:

On the nervousness carried forward from close victory at London Chess Candidates
Magnus Carlsen: I stopped thinking about it. Obviously the candidates’ tournament was a close call. It was very tiring and very exciting as well. But when I reached the final, I put everything behind and focused on what was happening in the final and not on how I got to it.

Official photo: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen receiving the World Chess Champion trophy in Chennai on November 25

Preparing for World Chess Championship Match:

Magnus Carlsen: My main objective was to get playable positions—not to come under any great pressure from the beginning. I think I managed to equalize games from the opening, especially with black pieces, and outplay Anand, or at least pressure him in the rest of the games.

Was beating five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand easier than expected:

Magnus Carlsen: The match was difficult in the beginning because, for instance, in the first game, Vishy came up with a novelty in a really obscure line of play. When I analysed the game later, I was very impressed with the things that he had considered and how fast he was thinking. I was thinking to myself, if he was going to play this way, how am I going to ever catch him off-guard. But fortunately, it turned out that he, too, was a bit nervous.

Besides your preparation, what helped win:

Magnus Carlsen: It helped me to stay relaxed during the match and treat it like any other tournament. I did what I usually do. To stay relaxed, I like to take part in other sports, watch movies in between games, and not think about the result all the time.

Does becoming the world chess champion make you anxious:

Magnus Carlsen: Not really. I’ve been the No. 1 (by rating) for some time, but it has always been a bit of burden on me that I did not have the world title. Now that I have it, I can relax a little bit and do what I do best.

Do you plan to go back to university?

Magnus Carlsen: For now, I am happy playing chess.

You have named some players as potential challengers to your world title, but not Anand. What are your thoughts about his future as a chess player?

Magnus Carlsen: First of all, he’ll have to figure out if he wants to play in the candidates’ tournament. His results lately have not been too good. He’ll need some time to readjust. If he is able to play at his highest level, I think he can come back, but right now I don’t think he is the favourite to become the challenger.

So do you think Anand’s era of chess is over?

Magnus Carlsen: I think it all depends on his motivation. He’ll have to figure a lot of things out. If he manages to keep his motivation after this match, he’ll be a force to reckon with.

Why have you refused to name your seconds even after winning the world title?

Magnus Carlsen: I am already thinking about defending the title and that is the reason why I don’t want to talk about my seconds too much, because they would be part of my team going forward.
Chess appears to have got a huge fillip in Norway.

What we’ve seen in Norway is (that) an amazing number of people who did not play chess previously are now following chess—playing the game in schools and at work, and discussing it all the time.

Who do you owe this title to?

Magnus Carlsen: I think I owe it to everyone: my seconds (players who assisted), my team, my family, and especially my father. My team has attended to every need and every request however unreasonable it might have been.

Is there anything at all that you have learnt from this match or Anand?

Magnus Carlsen: To be honest, I think I’ve learnt a great deal from him in the past, both by playing against him and training with him. Previously, he could outplay me in certain positions, and he could do that in ways that no else could. But I think I showed him in a way that although he has taught me many things in the past, now it’s probably my turn to teach him.

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