Magnus Carlsen will Consider a Girlfriend after World Championship and Hopefully She Won't Talk Chess! ~ World Chess Championship 2013 Viswanathan Anand vs Magnus Carlsen at Chennai Hyatt Regency

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Magnus Carlsen will Consider a Girlfriend after World Championship and Hopefully She Won't Talk Chess!

Posted by World Chess Championship 2013 News Blog Saturday, October 19, 2013
World Chess Championship 2013 interviews: Nigel Farndale meets the 22-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen who next month aims to become world chess champion. Here are the best quotes from Nigel Farndale's full interview in The Guardian

On feeling sorry for opponents 
"Not really," he says in a low, measured voice, traceried with Norwegian. "But I find it more difficult to play opponents who I feel, for whatever reason, aren't approaching the games with a sufficient level of seriousness. For instance, once at a big tournament I saw a player I was due to play the next day have a couple of drinks. Knowing that just ruined my concentration, because I thought how can I play seriously against someone who has drinks the day before?"

On being described as a genius
"No, I am not. I'm just really, really good at what I do. I'm fortunate to do something I love, but I'm not a genius." 

On himself
"I guess I'm pretty laid back." 
"But I am also determined when it comes to chess. I don't like conflicts, apart from on the board. In general I am very different to how I am on the board."

On being stubborn
"Yes definitely, especially with my sisters, because they are also stubborn." An example of this stubbornness was his decision to forgo a university education. 'My parents wanted me to go, but at some point I lost interest in formal education and they were OK with it. I wasn't paying much attention so I wasn't great at school. Yes, in my later years at school I was bored, not necessarily because it was too easy, but because it didn't interest me."

On blindfold chess
"When you think about chess all the time you are playing blindfolded anyway, sort of. But I can understand why other people find it freaky. One of the beauties of chess is that you don't need a board either to play or analyse."

On computers
"I use them to analyse my openings, but in tournaments my assumption is that I am the best player there. That is why I seek positions where computer analysis can't play that much of a role, or where I can analyse it better than a computer." 
"I never had any fun playing computers. It doesn't bring me satisfaction to beat them and losing to them is always painful."

On Kasparov losing to Deep Blue 
"Yeah, but I think every loss damages Kasparov. He's one of those people," says Carlsen. "He didn't think he was going to lose to Deep Blue, but towards the end of the match he was nervous and second guessing himself all the time, and I think basically he beat himself."

On fatigue and getting headaches? 
"No, not really, but I do get tired. I can't sit there for seven hours straight. I need to freshen my mind by going for a walk.""The pacing is to let my mind wander before getting back to the game with a fresh perspective."

Does he ever feel like he's being driven mad?
"A little, maybe. But if I study a position for an hour then I am usually going in loops and I'm probably not going to come up with something useful. I usually know what I am going to do after 10 seconds; the rest is double checking." He calls this process verifying his intuition. "Often I cannot explain a certain move, only know that it feels right, and it seems that my intuition is right more often than not."

On being lazy
"Yes, I am quite lazy, I like to sleep in until noon. Most of my friends have jobs." He does "a bit of yoga", although he adds: "So far I haven't thought of any brilliant chess moves while lying down."

Does he dream about chess in his sleep? 
A long sigh. "Occasionally, but these dreams are usually connected with something negative. I am losing to players I never normally lose to and I am arriving late and being defaulted; that happens so many times in my dreams – I don't know why."

On a relationship
"I haven't had too much time to develop any serious relationships, recently anyway. I'm hoping after the world championships I will be able to change that."
On the type of a girlfriend for Magnus Carlsen
"Yeah. Probably. But it's also nice to…" He trails off. "I really don't like it when I go out and some girls start talking to me about how they played chess with their grandfather as a kid, I can't stand that. It's boring. I want to talk about whatever else."

On emotional landscape: does he cry? 
"I was really upset yesterday when I tried to install my new TV and there was no sound. But that was more frustration. Cry? I don't really. I get angry, but mostly about chess."

On "the crazy" and Fischer
"It was probably only the chess keeping him sane. He would have gone insane much quicker without it. His story is very different to mine. He had a difficult upbringing. Difficult relationship to his family. I have lived a much more sheltered, normal life. As normal as it could be, considering how much I travelled."

On food
"I generally try to eat healthily, avoid quick carbs that make your blood sugar go up and down, which is bad for concentration." He eats one and a half hours before a game, and tries to sleep until as close to the start of the game as possible, "because my mind works best four or five hours after I wake up".