Magnus Carlsen is the supreme monarch of the chess world.
His recent victories in both the World Rapid Championship and the World Blitz Championship in Dubai confirm his towering, practical strength.
Before Dubai, he already held the World Classical title, which he had won in November against Viswanathan Anand.
The 23-year-old’s first place in the blitz tournament, which fielded 50 of the world’s top grandmasters, left Anand, a participant himself, shaking his head. Carlsen’s 17-4 result in 21 rounds was “an incredible score,” he murmured.
It was especially significant because the grandmaster assemblage may have been one of the strongest, if not the strongest, ever to play in a tournament of that type in chess history.
At one point, Carlsen used a serendipitous respite between games to go bowling.
“You cannot constantly be focused, otherwise you lose your mind,” he later explained.
On the chessboard, on the other hand, there is no rest when playing Carlsen.
“Every tournament should be an event,” he said in a recent New in Chess magazine interview.
He might have added, as was implied: “so should be every game and every move.”
“The plan is just to play well, win all my games,” he explains. “As long as the position is there. I will try and do my best.”
Below is a win by Anish Giri against Rustam Kasimdzhanov from the HMC Calder Elite tournament in Rosmalen, Netherlands.