Like many great players, Magnus Carlsen has few explicit secrets. In part, because his manner at the chessboard, his play and the games themselves are transparent. There is not much to hide.
In interviews he is ready to talk about his overall approach to the game, perhaps because he feels doing so is likely to intimidate at least as much as help his opponents.
Carlsen’s faith in his powers drives the discourse.
“I’m definitely the best in the world,” he told Shortlist magazine in a May interview. “My approach is based on that confidence. You should be cocky.”
Before he became the world classical champion, Carlsen’s play was raised to a new level by training for most of a year (2009-2010) with the former champion Garry Kasparov.
“The way he understands the dynamics of chess is incredible,” says Carlsen.
Carlsen likes to compare himself to the tennis player Rafael Nadal, “We’re relentless, gradually overpowering our opponent and never giving up.”
Drawing a game with Levon Aronian of Armenia in the recent World Rapid tournament, he commented:
“A very good, interesting game and I had to use all my powers to stay alive.”
Carlsen described another game with Alexander Grischuk as having been “completely in ruins” in the early stages. After “somehow surviving,” Carlsen managed a win.
The win against Grischuk earned Carlsen the World Rapid title.
Below is a win by Viktor Bologan against Elizabeth Paehtz from the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters tournament in Caleta, England.