While there’s still a month for Christmas and New Years Eve worldwide, Norway is already up in the celebrations, courtesy the 22 year-old Norwegian prodigy who has not only dethroned the consistent World Champion Viswanathan Anand, but also become the first Westerner after American legend Boby Fischer to swank the title since 1975.
Rise to No. 1
Magnus Carlsen, that’s the name of the 22 year-old current Chess World champion who won 3 games and drew 7 games in FIDE World Championship 2013 held in Chennai, to receive the highest rating of all time with a brilliant 6.5 – 3.5 triumph. It isn’t that easy to win against the hot favorite and world champion who has consistently been holding the position for 6 long years yet Carslen could swipe this historic win consisting 130 moves right below Anand’s nose in spite of Anand’s domination at the start of the game.
Following the ex-World Champion and India’s first grand master from a very early stage of his career, I have personally known the grandmaster’s ability to last long games without making many mistakes. Yet, the young star could manage a draw in the last game which lasted almost 5 hours and dethroned India’s hot favorite in emphatic style. This is something incredible as it inspires all the budding talent across various countries and sports with a positive encouragement to beat the best of the best.
Anand is the same to Chess as what is Federer to Tennis and so defeating Anand is as difficult in Chess as defeating Federer in Tennis. This makes it obvious that the young Norwegian talent who became grandmaster at the age of 13 and could even wage a draw against the former World champion and also the greatest Chess player the world has ever witnessed in the form of Gary Kasparov, is on the early steps for a magnificent career ahead. No wonder Gary has already christened Magnus as Harry Potter for showcasing his super talent just like the JK Rowling protagonist on the chess board with his tenacity and skill to smash expectations. Going by the record, Magnus has even broken Gary’s best of 2, 851 points which the legend achieved in the year 1999.
Born in 1990, Magnus Carlsen was introduced to Chess by his father. The interest sparkled as a toddler due to the usual sibling rivalry with one of his elder sisters which led him to compete his first tournament at the age of 8. At the age of 13 in the year 2004, he became a grandmaster and even defeated the Russian world champion Anatoly Karpov which earned him a sponsor called “Microsoft.” After his win, he was also given a sobriquet of “Mozart of Chess” by none other than Lubomir Kavalek who wrote about him in the Washington Post.
The teenager then or the Justin Bieber of chess as entitled by Reuters, he then became World No. 1 in 2010 at the age of 19 years. He was the first ever player to achieve this title at such a young age, making him the youngest person to become World No. 1 at the age of 19 years and 32 days. Magnus has been winning the Chess Oscars consistently from the year 2009 and which have been awarded to the best player of the year as per worldwide poll of various chess writers, critics and journalists. Recently, he has also made into the list of 100 most influential people of Time Magazine.
His USP lies in the fact that unlike other top players he doesn’t have a fix opening which can make even make the experienced players a bit difficult to plan against him. No wonder, his skill, mastery and end game expertise has even been compared to the greats in the form of Vasily Smyslow, Anatoly Karpov and even Jose Raul Capablanca aka Human Chess Machine.
Being an avid chess player right from the age of eight and having played State Level Chess and various chess tournaments, I know how it feels to beat an experienced player even if the person dethroned is one of my favorite players of all time. Carslen’s success story is truly motivational story not only in Chess but also for all the sports and sportsperson, the world around!
By Deepti Verma