Friday, September 10, 2010

The Chess Man of the Moment

Chess-playing Londoners may think that to get the latest on Magnus Carlsen they should head over to Chess & Bridge in Baker Street and check out the specialist magazines: but they may be better off visiting jean and fashion seller G Star Raw in Covent Garden. That's because the shop's free newspaper features a short but entertaining interview with the nineteen year old number one.

There are a few funny quotes from Magnus: I'm not very good at smiling - when I smile I make some strange gesture instead, he says. And how did he celebrate becoming World Number One? I put it as the desktop background on my computer. Magnus Carlsen, Number 1 on the FIDE (World Chess Federation) rankings. Ah, wild, reckless youth!

And there's some chess content to. My whole approach to the game is practical and intuitive - I don't obsess over the perfect move, says Magnus. The other thing is not to think like a computer. A computer will discard something that looks dangerous or wrong, and that's usually the right thing to do, but sometimes, if you think, that is what you should be doing.

And why am I telling you this today? Isn't Magnus's modelling for G-Star Raw old news? But today's the day when Magnus takes on the world, in the G-Star Raw World Chess Challenge - and as I write you can still join the World Team.

I have to say, I'm not sure the World stands much of a chance in this one, though. Magnus has white; the time limit is basically a minute a move each, although the World Team is restricted to voting on three moves suggested by three GMs. Do those GMs have access to a computer? I don't know, but if not surely Magnus is hot favourite. But the time limit adds a randomising factor at least.

But why complain? Because chess should be an art? A science, not a scrap? Because chess is a sport - and sport should be always take place on a level playing field? No. Chess is, after all, only a game, concludes Magnus.


Jonathan B said...

Why is he coming out of a bush in that second photo. Has he been dogging?


Anonymous said...

surely not ... just got caught up in a tree of analysis and was wondering where the next branch was coming from. (it's behind you ... )


Martin Smith said...

He has started appearing on the London Underground....