Remember Bobby Fischer? He was a chess master and won 11 titles from his accomplishments; it seems Magnus Carlsen may just be the next Fischer. Carlsen, a mere 22-years-old, from Norway, was considered the underdog as he faced off against eight time champion Viswanathan Anand, 43, from India. In Game 10, a 6.5 point win edged Carlsen to the win, upsetting the former champion’s record. The world sat stunned as the labeled Justin Bieber of chess, dominated to the finish.
Who Is Magnus Carlsen?
In early 2003, Carlsen started drawing looks to his prowess. At 12-years-old, the future grandmaster earned his first GM norm in 2004 and at the tender age of 13, received his official grandmaster title. He would become the second youngest chess player in history to become so. Carlsen always had a mind for complicated strategies, his family referred to his toddler years as an example. When he was around 2-years-old, Carlsen focused and completed puzzles and Lego sets, intended for older children.
An avid reader of Bent Larsen, Carlsen focused on playing alone – looking for various combinations to conquer the board. His father would support him by engaging him into movements and strengthening his son’s undeniable talent. As Carlsen grew into his own, he not only dominated the chess tournaments he participated in, but started developing a greater interest in the sport from girls who took an interest in the prodigy, fondly referred to as the Justin Bieber of chess.
Can Carlsen Ignite a Passion for Young Adults?
For years, chess tournaments and world championships have seen a line of experienced and weathered winners. Norway is hoping since Carlsen’s win is considered epic, other young adults will take interest into the sport. Carlsen agreed and stated people he knows who never considered interest in chess, were glued to the tournament over the past few weeks. This interest
leads to a greater feeling of country pride and adoring fans back home.
Fischer’s 1972 match against Boris Spassky brought an increase of interest in the sport, once the match was completed and Fischer eventually retired; interest in chess began to wane, especially as electronic entertainment began to rise. Carlsen brings a refreshed look to the sport. Recently, he was named in a list of the world’s sexiest men by Cosmopolitan magazine, British edition. Carlsen had previously moonlighted as a model, famously modeling with American actress, Liv Tyler for a popular clothing brand. This level of trendy exposure can do amazing things for the world of chess and for Carlsen.
Carlsen Looks to the Future
After Fischer’ reign, Norway’s Garry Kasparov won the title in 1985, ironically Kasparov is also Carlsen’s trainer. Kasparov took to Twitter to share his impression of the young prodigy, stating he expects Carlsen to “shatter” every expectation as he proceeds with his career. The match against Anand took place in India, and was broadcast to Norway. Between the two countries, millions of viewers were glued for weeks as the tournament was underway.
Former champion Anand was humble and respectful to the young champion stating Carlsen “provoked” his mistakes, leading to his win. Anand has brought wonderful exposure for India in the world of chess and his championships are nothing short of amazing.
As far the future, Carlsen knows he has to keep practicing and stay focused. The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg took a moment to contact Carlsen via Skype, advising, “You’ve brought an incredible amount of young people to chess in the last few weeks. But that also means you’ll have an incredible amount of competitors from now on, because everyone wants to play chess.” Magnus Carlsen, the Justin Bieber of chess, has brought with him a new era into the world of chess. Trendy, popular and wickedly good – does Carlsen’s win get your competitive juices flowing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Times of India