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The month of February has seen Magnus Carlsen, the 16th world chess champion presenting mixed performances.

After capturing the title of World Champion from Viswanathan Anand in 2013, taking part in Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 was his first serious event.  The event that started on 30th  January, Thursday with a  blitz tournament on the first day continued with  five rounds of classical chess till  3rd  February, Monday and finally  a rapid tournament was organized on the last day, 4th  February. Carlsen played in the Zurich Chess Challenge, winning the preliminary blitz event (+2−1=2) and the classical event (+3−0=2). Although he did not perform up to the mark in the rapid event (+1−2=2), which counted towards the overall standings, yet he kept hold of enough to lead and win the tournament. The other players in the event were Aronian, Nakamura, Caruana, Gelfand and Anand.

 

Zurich Chess Challenge had been a sundry event for the Norwegian player, yet he finally won the challenge befitting his status as a World Champion. He played some fine chess and sometimes he narrowly survived the tricky attacks by his ambitious rival.  Magnus Carlsen managed it all by cracking in the final rounds with scores 1/4.  Though Carlsen lost against Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana in the closing Rapid Tournament and he afforded an easy draw in the last round against Viswanathan Anand who managed to take the 5th place.  After his win, the world champion was found saying, "I was outplayed by Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana", he also admitted "I've felt here and in other tournaments that when I play poorly in the last couple of rounds it leaves a bad after-taste."

 

Despite the forewarning above, Carlsen played some great games in Zurich, and his win from Boris Gelfand again displayed his unique playing style. His offbeat yet astute opening choices and an early queen trade led Carlsen to the victory 15 g4! with 18 f3! with the thought of  exf3 19 Nxf3 Rad8 20 Ne5 Bxe5 21 Bxe5 when White's bishop pair dominate the board. Carlsen had found ways to wrap up the point by 26 Nc2! when if Nxc2 27 Bd5+ Rfe6 28 Rc1 Nb4 29 Bxe6+ wins, while at the end White will meet Bxe7 by 38 Rg2+ and Black's h6 rook falls.

 

Carlsen is a focused chess player and devotes all his time and energy to emerge and perform better.  He showcased his exceptional playing method during the decisive match between him and former world champion Viswanathan Anand.   Magnus Carlsen grabbed the World Chess Champion title after defeating Anand of India by 6,5-3,5 in the match that was held from 7th November 2013 in Chennai, India. The game was quite interesting and it highlighted various qualities and extraordinary approaches of Carlsen. The last 10th game between the two Anand and Carlsen finished in a draw, with which Carlsen accumulated the necessary 6.5 points to claim the title. The 10th game started with the Sicilian defence. Anand attempted a shrewd line with black, possibly Naidorf, but Carlsen enthused upon the play with an early trade of the light-squared bishops.  After his fabulous win, Magnus Carlsen was provided the award from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalithaa. The Chief Minister also presented symbolic cheques for Rs.9.90 Crores to Magnus Carlsen.

 

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen is a Norwegian chess grandmaster he was born on 30 November 1990. This reigning World Chess Champion and the No. 1 ranked player in the world emerged in the chess field as a promising chess player.  This chess prodigy became a grandmaster at the age of 13 years in 2004. He became the second youngest grandmaster in history. Born in Tønsberg, Vestfold, he learnt chess from his father at the age of eight after which he soon he played his first tournament, as a junior (Miniputt) Norwegian championship. He received coaching by 7-times Norwegian Champion Simen Agdestein and by Curt Hansen. He won the title of International Master in 2003 at the age of 12 years.  In 2004, he became the second-youngest grandmaster in chess history at the time, behind only Sergey Karjakin, at the age of 13 years.

 

He has a wonderful career to envy by many, on 1st January 2010, at the age of 19 years. He is the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world No. 1. Carlsen reached an Elo rating of 2861 on the January 2013 FIDE rating list, at that time this rating was the highest in history.

 

Magnus Carlsen has always been presenting vicious yet strategic attacking styles thus continuously maneuvering his opponents.  This magnificent style of performance has given Carlson to develop into a more universal player. His playing style is a little different from other top players; he plays a variety of openings, thus this technique makes it harder for opponents to prepare against him. His positional mastery and endgame prowess are worth mentioning and that is the reason why his playing patterns have drawn comparisons to those of former world champions José Raúl Capablanca, Vasily Smyslov, and Anatoly Karpov.

 

Most Played openings

 

  • With the White pieces: 

 

 Sicilian (156):             B90 B40 B30 B43 B46

 Ruy Lopez (103):       C78 C65 C84 C67 C88

 Slav (52) :                   D15 D17 D12 D10 D11

 Nimzo Indian (47):     E32 E20 E21 E36 E54

 French Defense (36): C11 C00 C02 C10 C03

 Semi-Slav (33):           D43 D45 D47 D44

 

  • With the Black pieces: 

 

 Sicilian (159):             B33 B30 B22 B90 B76

 Ruy Lopez (106):       C67 C95 C65 C69 C78

 Queen's Indian (71):              E15 E12 E17 E13 E18

 Nimzo Indian (38):    E34 E21 E32 E55 E37

 Grunfeld (35):            D85 D86 D80 D82 D70

 Ruy Lopez, Closed (35):  C95 C91 C88 C96 C90

 

Landmarks of Magnus Carlsen:

 

He earned the title of FM in (2002); IM in (2003); GM in (2004) and vice-World U12 World Champion (2002); Norwegian Champion in (2006) and World Champion (2013).

Apart from all these, Carlsen won the Chess Oscars for 2009, 2010, and 2011, and received Norway’s annual Peer Gynt Prize for awarded in 2011 for being "a person or institution that has achieved distinction in society". After his World Championship win, Carlsen was awarded Norway's "Name of the Year" award for 2013.  Carlsen has also modeled for G-Star Raw, starting with its Autumn/Winter 2010 advertising campaign.

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