Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 28th 2013 Contents A69
Thursday, November 28, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
A new chess world order has dawned with
the recent change in champions, according to
some leading newspapers.
But the transition itself tells the story;
Viswanathan Anand, 43, who held the title for
six placid years, gives way to Magnus Carlsen,
23-year-old Norwegian superstar who has out-
classed him both in the sport s open arena and
in their 12-game showdown at Chennai. Much
to its credit, the Indian media has also unhesi-
tatingly proclaimed the landmark event. The
Mail Today, in a front page spread last Saturday,
"signalled the change of guard at the top of
the chess world".
The English language daily based its view on
Carlsen s brand of "fighting, aggressive chess"
and wondered if Anand would try to earn the
right to challenge Carlsen for the title late next
The Times of India noted that with Anand s
"comprehensive defeat" an era had ended in chess.
The paper said it was "poetic justice" that Carlsen
heralded the new era "in a country where the
game of 64 squares had its origins." The Times
observed that it took Anand 20 years to travel
between the GM title (1988) and the undisputed
world title (2008) while Carlsen made the same journey
in less than eleven years.
The Indian Express said with Carlsen s triumph the
world of chess is on the threshold of a generational
change. "It was not just Carlsen s dominance...but
what he represents that has fans excited," the paper
The duel at Chennai was widely reported across the
Indian media which aired the matches live on television,
building an unprecedented hype in a country where
cricket is the number one sport.
The Express attributed some of the excitement to
the youthful personality of Carlsen which, it said, sets
him apart from past champions. "Young and marketable,
Carlsen is the antithesis of the traditional image of the
reclusive and recondite chess genius," the paper observed.
After comparisons with Tiger Woods, Mozart and
the boy wizard Harry Potter, the Norwegian prodigy
should now be justified in feeling he has become his
own man, says the Guardian of London. Expanding
on the young champion s colourful personality, the
English daily points to Carlsen s part-time career as a
model who already earns £840,000 a year and was
named by Time magazine as one of its 100 most influ-
ential people in the world for 2013.
"But with his 6.5-3.5 series victory on Friday over
chess s reigning champion, Carlsen has earned a place
at the very pinnacle of the game, and comparisons to
the greatest players of all time," the Guardian said.
The Norwegian genius was five when he started
playing chess, taught by his father Henrik, a capable
club player. Both his parents were engineers, and his
talent quickly attracted the attention of top coaches,
including grandmaster Simen Agdestein who coached
him at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport.
When Carlsen was 12, his family took a year off to
escort him to chess tournaments around the world. By
13, the boy was already a grandmaster. He became
world number one at 19 and last year the highest rated
player of all time.
Why is the young Norwegian so brilliant? "It s his
vision," says John Saunders, associate editor of Chess
magazine. "To be a fantastic chess player you have to
have a fantastic vision, a really good memory, you have
got to have an ego, to believe in yourself." The chess
community in T&T was also keenly absorbed in the
drama at Chennai. As DR observed, Carlsen s journey
to the world title was the major topic of discussion at
sessions of the DeVerteuil Memorial Open and other
tournaments in progress. The consensus among our
players reflected a disappointment in the relatively
mediocre play of the champion and the consequent
ease of the challenger s victory. DR expects, however,
that not only the 12 title games but also Carlsen s long
journey to the world chess crown will be closely studied
by our younger players hopefully to benefit from his
style, strategy and tactics.
King Magnus ushers in new era
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