CNN: An interview with Magnus conducted by fans

by Albert Silver
12/30/2015 – You might be inclined to dismiss this as YAIWMC (Yet Another Interview with Magnus Carlsen), but this one particular one mediated (not conducted) by CNN came with a twist. All the questions came from fans through social networks, asking everything: from Carlsen's eating habits to his ultimate opponent. Some of the answers might surprise you!

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It was a logical step, and it is certainly not unique, but it is also a format that is rarely used overall due to the difficulties in broadcasting the intent, gathering the questions, filtering them (no trolls allowed), and so forth. In a nutshell, it is a lot more work and time-consuming than a simple 15-minute sit-down.

Overall, it was an interview that took weeks to organize and conduct, but the result was fun,
and also brought a few unexpected answers

The result was exactly what one would expect, with questions coming from all angles with questions from chess fans, to those just curious about the life of a young chess phenom. Here are some choice excerpts:

Magnus Carlsen: "Probably Bobby Fischer at his best. Because the precision and energy that he played with is just unmatched in the history of chess. So Bobby Fischer from 1970 to 1972."

MC: "Most of the time the variations that are most relevant are four or five moves ahead, because for the next four or five moves you can calculate every reasonable possibility. But if it goes much further the possibilities are too diverse and it's just too time-consuming. And also the probability of mistakes are very high. But if the position is simple, then I can calculate as many moves as I want."

MC: "It's hard to pinpoint one. There are several players who I find it difficult to play against. Probably the most difficult is [World No. 6] Levon Aronian. "I have a pretty good score against him, but he's probably outplayed me more times than anyone else at the top."

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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