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CHESS

‘You’d be amazed at who beats me online’: Carlsen

Norwegian chess phenomenon Magnus Carlsen has admitted to sneaking anonymously onto online chess forums and demolishing unsuspecting amateurs, in an answer to a question posed to him on Reddit, the user-generated news website.

'You'd be amazed at who beats me online': Carlsen
Magnus Karlsen (left) playing India's Anand Viswanathan at the world championships last year. Photo: Scanpix
"You'll be amazed at the people I've lost to while playing online," Carlsen joked, after admitting that, "once in a while I've used some of my friends accounts and won a couple of games… or a lot." 
 
Magnus Carlsen's AMA (Ask Me Anything) slot on Reddit shot to the top story of the website, after it was voted up by more than 4,500 chess fans. 
 
Carlsen threw something of an olive branch to Viswanathan Anand, the Indian player he ousted as World Champion last November, citing the Indian's 1994 game with Russia's Gata Kamsky as his favourite chess game of all time. 
 
He downplayed the importance of his victory in November. 
 
"Even before the World Championship I was the best player in the world, so in that sense it's the same and I am the one to beat. I have the confidence that I can always do well." 
 
He said it was impossible to know when a new young talent would rise up who could beat him. 
 
"I think it is very early to say who will be a future threat, it's really hard to see those traits before players are fully developed," he said. 
 
He said that to be the best in the world, you needed to start playing chess at a very young age, and develop a great passion for it. 
 
However, he said a late starter could nonetheless become a grandmaster. 
 
He said that as a child one single chess book, Kramnik: My Life and Games, had "made a big impression", helping him become immersed in chess theory before the age of nine. 
 
The Norwegian said that he still felt he had a lot to learn in chess, and did not feel he had plateaued. 
 
"I don't think I've conquered chess yet. I still have very much to learn and there is much room for improvement, so I think I'll stick to that for a while," he wrote, although he conceded there wasn't really anyone who could teach him.  
 
"Most of all, it is up to myself to improve because even the best coaches don't fully understand what's going on in my mind – haha," he wrote. 
 
He admitted that he finds it difficult to bear the computer recreation of him aged 23 which has been developed as part of the Magnus chess app. 
 
"I always struggle playing against Magnus 23. When playing younger "Magnuses", I'm occasionally successful," he wrote. 
 
In other answers, he credited raisins as the source of his superhuman strength, admitted that apart from chess, "I basically suck at everything else", and named Donald Duck comics as his favourite books outside of chess. 

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CHESS

Norway chess champ defeated for first time in two years

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has suffered his first defeat in more than two years and a record 125 games, while playing a tournament in his native Norway.

Norway chess champ defeated for first time in two years
Magnus Carlsen at the Energy Denmark Champions in Copenhagen in May 2019. Photo: Claus Bech / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP
The world number one resigned after when he was a bishop down in the endgame against Polish grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who is ranked a relatively humble number 15 in the world.
   
But on Saturday evening, 22-year-old Duda managed to do what no one — including the world's top 10 players — had managed to do since July 2018.   
 
It was Duda's only win of the tournament in Stavanger so far and, as he told Chess 24 afterwards, “I didn't expect to win this game.”
   
But he was, he said “extremely happy, obviously”.
   
Carlsen, who is often tough on himself in post-game analysis, offered no excuses. “Extremely disappointing”, he said: “Completely unforgivable”.
   
Carlsen's undefeated run stretches all the way back to July 31, 2018, when Azerbaijani grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defeated him. During that time, Carlsen scored 44 wins and 81 draws against his opponents.
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