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Magnus Carlsen: “I am authentic and it is important.”

Magnus Carlsen:

In the story of Jordan’s turbulent past season with the Bulls and the dynasty he helped build, the audience is filled with conflicting emotions. While his talent is surprising, the strength of his personality fascinates, some methods used to achieve perfection in the hardwood, the scepter of the team members, even punching one in the face, can be incredible, posing an internal monologue of questions during what is a sensationally good sports movie.

But few look at what they say is the most desirable document in the world can refer to Jordan, except perhaps to Carlsen, who is a master of his chosen craft, a talent of the generation that is tirelessly great at his sport.

“There are people who say in Norway that ‘you don’t have to be a damn hole to win;’ “Every time they say that from now on they say ‘go look at Jordan’ and I’ll use that as an excuse for any questionable behavior,” Carlsen says with a wry smile as he speaks from his home in Oslo.

«I am certainly someone who is very much in this school. There are no excuses. You always have to be the best, nothing else is acceptable.”

Carlsen has been a world chess champion since 2013. At the age of two, she solved 50-piece puzzles. At five o’clock she built wonderful works of Lego blocks. At age 13, she defeated former world champion Anatoly Karpov, tied with Russian great Garry Kasparov and became a chess grandmaster.

Six years later he was the youngest chess player in history, ranking first in the world. His growth has been astonishing, and over the last decade he has become one of the best there is: four world titles and the highest-rated player in history.

So is cruelty cruelty that must win, which may be an all-time important characteristic? “I think you need it,” Carlsen responds after a moment of reflection.

Like Jordan, disgust at defeat fuels Carlsen’s ruthless drive. The frequency of failures does not soften the blow. Last month Magnus Carlsen Invitational, an online tournament with a record prize pool of $250,000, lost to 16-year-old rising star Alireza Firouzja. “She bothered me a lot,” Carlsen admits.

On his way to defeat Ding Lirena, he turned blue as his frustration ended. He says that he is “more human than most.”

«When I made a mistake in a game, many curses came out of my mouth; I think it’s a good thing,” says Carlsen, believing that player freedom of expression makes fast-paced online chess, games that typically finish in less than an hour, more appealing to many than the classic format.

“This is true. People have immediate reactions that you can’t really have on board,” she says. “There has to be a place to be myself and I’m a very competitive person, and when I mess up in such a way that I shouldn’t, it bites me and there’s nothing wrong with expressing it.” It’s just part of who I am.

«You can like it or not. It is authentic and that is the most important thing.

“People said it was good and bad for me.” My emotions are usually outside my body. You don’t usually connect with a chess player, but that’s just how I am.”

In 2010, Kasparov, the world chess champion from 1985 to 2000, who once coached Carlsen, told Time magazine: “Before he does, Carlsen will significantly change our old game.”

Even at the age of 20, Carlsen’s influence on the game was considerable, leading to modeling assignments with the G Star, the deal with Porsche, and his own app. They all contributed to his multimillion-dollar fortune.

For half his life, the Norwegian was used to traveling the world for about 200 days a year, so these last months in Oslo are the longest he has spent at home since his childhood.

And while Carlsen’s daily life during the global pandemic has not changed significantly – “I play chess for a living,” he says with all his eyebrows – which gave him the opportunity to take a break, and the consequence of this may be a shock of an old game

The pandemic gave Carlsen the opportunity to realize his vision of making chess more interesting to the masses at a time when the sport was stagnant and most of the world is struggling with devastation and unpredictability.

Earlier this month he launched The Carlsen Tour, a $1 million online tournament series he will compete in, providing chess fans with hours of entertainment through August. The first event was the Carlsen Invitational, the final apparently watched by an online audience of over 115,000, and second, the Lindores Abbey Challenge, which is taking place now.

Carlsen says his goal is to “provide chess players with a livelihood” and at the same time give chess fans “something they are looking forward to.”

He would be surprised, he says, if he played chess overboard this year. “I suspect that next year it will be back to normal, but who knows, I don’t trust that,” says Carlsen.

It may not be a surprise that he calls his title a 16-day online tournament, in which eight of the best players found themselves a “success”, but he did not only praise this format. Earlier this month, a British newspaper Guardian, He wrote that the tournament “turned out to be a revelation,” increasing errors and intensifying the pressure. It is also important that the Norwegian describes his victory over Hikaru Nakamara, the instant world best player, in the final as his most satisfying victory for some time.

“It was really difficult,” he explains. “The last two games were very close and I felt like I was challenged in a way that wasn’t very common in rapid-fire chess.”

“We can take two things, both time control and the match format, which is a one-on-one fight, both worked quite well.

«For the first few days I got used to it, but then I was completely focused and there were no worries, and also, most of the time, I had a miniature of my opponent in the corner of the screen, so I could see my opponent and see his facial expression to make it become more real

“You can see some of their thoughts, and people appreciate it as they watch.”

Ending two days before the start of the online Nations Cup, a competition organized by the governing body of FIDE, in which Carlsen did not participate, the timing of the invitation raised eyebrows. Carlsen said in interviews last month that there were no problems between him and FIDE.

After his victory over Fabio Caruana in 2018, Carlsen told media gathered in London that if he lost, he would probably never play in the world championship again. If he bowed, the impact on the chess world would be similar to Jordan’s sudden retirement from basketball when he was in glory almost three decades ago.

But now there is no hesitation for Carlsen to prematurely abandon any format of the sport. As long as his computerized brain allows him to flatten his opponents, he will set standards.

“I really like this game,” he says. « You like to win every time, I hate losing every time it happens. I can not wait.

“There are times when I think, ‘I’ve done it before, why do I do it again,’ but they are few and far between, and this doesn’t happen at all.

«I feel that my highest level is still the best in the world. The fact that I am vulnerable on my bad days shows how good others have become.

“I’m motivated and I love playing this game.” As long as I feel like I’m still at the top of my game and still winning, I don’t see any reason to quit.”

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