In chess Magnus Carlsen is always in charge

In chess, Magnus Carlsen is always in charge

Magnus Carlsen from Norway again won the World Chess Championship in the variants Rapid (rapid) and Blitz (blitz). As a former world champion in the classic style of play, he now holds all existing world championship titles again with these last two victories.

No player before Carlsen had ever managed to achieve what is known in the jargon as a Triple Crown. The 32-year-old Norwegian, who has been world champion (in the classic method) without interruption since 2013, had already done it for the first time in 2014 and again in 2019.

In the classic version of the chess game, each player is entitled to more than 60 minutes of thinking time, which can increase during the game. In quick games, the time allowed for a player can range from 10 to 60 minutes, while in quick games less than 10 minutes is usually allowed to complete a game.

In Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the World Blitz and Blitz Championships were held last week, the first allowed 15 minutes plus 10 extra seconds per move and the second allowed 3 minutes per game plus two extra seconds.

The rapid chess tournament featured 13 games, each awarding 1 point for a win and half a point for a draw. Carlsen scored 10 out of a maximum of 13 available points: just half a point more than 18-year-old German Vincent Keymer and Italian-American Fabiano Caruana, who finished second and third.

There were 21 matches per player in the blitz tournament. Carlsen won it by scoring 16 points out of 21 available, one more than Japanese-American Hikaru Nakamura, runner-up. Carlsen had also risked losing the first game (and thus likely the tournament) by retiring after appearing late in the room with just 30 seconds available. But then he recovered by playing very quickly with his opponent and from there he started winning.

However, his third Triple Crown will not last long. In fact, Carlsen has already announced that he will not be playing to defend the classic world title he has held for eight consecutive years. He should have done it against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi next April, but last July he said he didn’t feel motivated enough to consider participating without giving the reason.

However, after the titles he had won in Kazakhstan, he seemed rather lively. In a video posted online, he started counting to fifteen on his fingers, like the world titles he’s won so far in his career, and wrote, “I’ll need more hands soon.”

In recent months, he has been the main topic of conversation because of his altercation with 19-year-old Hans Niemann, who has been publicly accused (and not only by Carlsen) of being an unfair player and resorting to tricks during games: in one of them he had beaten Carlsen to everyone’s astonishment last fall.

The story between the two isn’t over yet, but at the World Championships in Almaty, Niemann took 98th place in the rapid chess tournament and around 50th place in the rapid chess tournament, only making a few mistakes and surprising even the opponents.

– Also read: How to cheat in chess