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Friday, January 24, 2014

My Moves Speak for Themselves: World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in The New York Times

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

Hello everyone,

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has asserted his moves speak for themselves in a special interview given to The New York Times. (Photo: Magnus Carlsen Øivind Haug for The New York Times)

The World Champion also said, "The most important thing to study is opening theory, but I also study the latest trends to try to stay ahead, discovering new schemes and doing tactical exercises. I try to get into a chess mood."

In reply to another question about how he is known for standing up and walking away from the board during games and whether it was to psych out his opponent, Magnus Carlsen said, "No. I just feel that if there is not too much to think about, it’s better to walk around a little bit, maybe get some drinks, some food to get some energy and also to get the blood flowing a little. To a major extent, my moves speak for themselves."

"The moves are intimidating enough, so I don’t need any extra tricks to make my opponents fear me."

Q: You’re now 23, and you do some modeling for the clothing brand G-Star Raw. I couldn’t help wondering, is there a big dating scene on the chess circuit? 
Magnus Carlsen: Well, definitely during the Chess Olympiads there is, because then there’s an open section and a women’s section, and people get together. During the tournaments I play, it’s a bit different because it’s a smaller group, and the players are very serious.

Q: When you’re socializing at parties or bars outside the chess world, do you casually drop the chess thing into conversation with women? Or is it a subject you avoid?
Magnus Carlsen: Whenever I’m out, whether it’s in Norway or somewhere else, I don’t want to talk about chess too much. But I think, in general, being very good at something helps. Can we talk about something else?

Q: O.K. Have you ever competed in a chess game drunk? 
Magnus Carlsen: Just in offhand games with friends. You feel a little bit more confident and creative, but my experience is not that I play better. I know people who have actually played serious games when they have been drinking. None of them have recommended it to others.

Q: You’ve traveled all over the world to compete. Have you seen any unique chess-related rituals in different countries? 
Magnus Carlsen: Not really, but in 2004, I played a tournament in Dubai, and every day in the middle of the game there was a prayer break. Everyone would stop playing.

Q: You can keep 10 games of chess going at once without even looking, and still win. Has that incredible working memory served you well in other parts of your life? 
Magnus Carlsen: No, I forget all kinds of stuff. I mean, I’m pretty good at remembering names, but I can never remember faces. I regularly lose my credit cards, my mobile phone, keys and so on.

Read the interview at The New York Times website.

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  • At January 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM , Anonymous Sebastian Wolff, Washington said...

    yes, that's a cool statement. all world champions have shown that in their own way. I like this guy's talent.


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