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Форум » Международный Шахматный Форум » Зал славы » Magnus Carlsen (Meet the New Ambassador of Chess)
Magnus Carlsen
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Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen
Model playerMeet the New Ambassador of ChessNovember 13, 2013By Beau DureComment Share
Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on linkedinShare on emailWhy you should careBecause 22-year-old Magnus Carlsen is making chess look cool.The 22-year-old Norwegian is the best chess player in the world by a wide margin (he’s held the No. 1 spot since July 2011). He also has fully embraced the role of chess ambassador — from defeating Stephen Colbert in a game of rock-paper-scissors to modeling alongside Liv Tyler for clothing company G-Star Raw.He’s not the first chess player with his photo in Sports Illustrated — erratic American genius Bobby Fischer smiled on the cover as the magazine chronicled his Cold War-tinged
world championship win in 1972 — but he might be the first to pose
shirtless, spiking a volleyball. Even Cosmopolitan has noticed — the U.K. version listed him among 2013’s sexiest men.All he needs now is the world championship, which he’s trying to take from India’s Viswanathan Anand this month.Magnus hits the beachOr does he?“I don’t think he needs to win right now to prove that he is the world’s
best,” Susan Polgar, a former women’s world champion who’s doing live
commentary on the Anand-Carlsen match, said by email. “Even if he does
not win this match, he will be the world champion in the near future.
But winning this one is very important to his chess legacy.”Most people trying to grow the game of chess outside India, where Anand has
created a nice surge of interest, admit to a rooting interest for the
young, charismatic guy with the modeling contract.In tennis, he’d be the guy who can play the consistent baseline and volley
with precision at net…In basketball, the one who can dribble, pass,
dunk and shoot from anywhere on the floor.“I think it’ll be good for chess if he becomes the world champion,” said
Jennifer Shahade, U.S. Chess Federation Web editor and author of Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport. “Being No. 1 in the world is also good. But being world champion is even better. That’ll go down in history.”“ [Carlsen]is an incredibly versatile player,” Polgar says. “In tennis, he would
be a player who can play the consistent baseline and volley with
precision at net like Pete Sampras or Roger Federer in their prime. In
basketball, he would be the guy who can dribble, pass, dunk and shoot
from anywhere on the floor (like LeBron James, Michael Jordan or Kobe
Bryant).”That style, along with Carlsen’s Justin-Bieber-meets-Norwegian-pop-stars-A-ha look, convinced G-Star Raw to bring him in for photo shoots.Magnus the model“His uncompromising approach to the game mirrors the hardcore design
philosophy of G-Star,” says the G-Star Raw site. “Famous for his
confident and unpredictable style of play, he embodies the spirit of
unconventional thinking.”But can that style propel him to a world title? The 12-game, three-week match format of the World
Chess Championship — which started November 9 and saw cagey draws in the
first three games — is on Anand’s home turf in Chennai, India. The
43-year-old has been slogging through world championship chess matches
since Carlsen was a toddler kicking around a soccer ball in Norway.Carlsen’s tournament record in recent years is far better than Anand’s. But matches are a unique type
of intellectual combat, distinct from tournaments which reward players
who have the versatility to face diverse opponents.A chess match between two well-prepared opponents can look like a battle of human databases…Source: CorbisNorwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen ® plays against India’s Viswanathan Anand (L) during the Bilbao Final Masters 2010The match format gives players the chance to prepare for months to face a
particular opponent. Given the rigorous catalog of chess games from the
past century and beyond, a chess match between two well-prepared
opponents can look like a battle of human databases, each trying to
remember what has happened when the 14th move placed the queen on this
square or that one.“Whether Anand’s match experience will count for something is a key question,” grandmaster Ian Rogers said via email from Chennai, where he is covering the championship
match for Chess Life Online. “Most expect that it could be a factor if
the match stays close.”Little wonder some people question whether the match format is an accurate test of a world champion. Slate’s Matt Gaffney thinks Carlsen shouldn’t bother with such anachronisms and should
instead push the chess world toward a tennis approach, with Grand Slam
tournaments and a greater focus on the top-rated player rather than
someone who simply solves the puzzle of beating a well-prepared Anand.Carlsen seems ambivalent: “I think that the world championship is not that
different from other tournaments, apart from the fact that people spend
more time preparing for it,” he told Russia’s Chess TV. “Still I believe that to some extent the achievement of winning more or
less every tournament is a greater one than being world champion.”Source: CorbisContemplating during the last round of the Norway Chess 2013 tournament.Magnus is a dynamic young man eager to promote the sport, to raise its profile
along with his own, and who can inspire a new generation of chess kids
(and chess sponsors!) around the world. – Gary KasparovThe World Chess Championship also has a sordid past riddled with Cold War paranoia, parapsychologists allegedly hypnotizing challengers, Bobby Fischer’s breakdown, competing claims to the title (some dubious), a match abruptly halted after a momentum swing, and something called “Toiletgate.” Carlsen and another top player once withdrew from consideration for a previous world championship, claiming the qualifying process was unfair. And Gaffney’s tennis comparison is apt. Carlsen is as dominant now as Roger
Federer was in his peak years. Though analyzing across generations is
inexact, it’s hard to overlook the news that Carlsen’s rating — computed using the coldly mathematical Elo formula — is the highest in history. Higher than Kasparov’s, who made humanity’s
last stand against machines in well-publicized mid-’90s matches against
IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. Higher than Bobby Fischer’s, who wrested
the world championship from the Soviet chess machine.Kasparov is far from bitter. He told Business Insider that he’s rooting for Carlsen for the good of the game:“A win for Carlsen will also be a win for the chess world,” Kasparov wrote. “Magnus is a dynamic young man eager to promote the sport, to raise its
profile along with his own, and who can inspire a new generation of
chess kids (and chess sponsors!) around the world.”He also doesn’t carry the dark eccentricities of a Fischer or a Viktor Korchnoi.“Well, you know, I’m only 21 years old,” Carlsen told actor Rainn Wilson in an offbeat interview posted early this year. “So give me some time to develop the crazy.”Chess is actually a young players’ game. Only six of the world’s top 50 were born before 1970, none before 1965.But it might take someone like Carlsen to give the game more publicity and puncture whatever’s left of the game’s stuffy image.“He has the mainstream appeal,” Polgar says. “He can also help change the stigma that chess champions are old nerdy guys.” Cover Image: Fashion Photographer Per Zennstrom
 
Форум » Международный Шахматный Форум » Зал славы » Magnus Carlsen (Meet the New Ambassador of Chess)
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