"Die Zeit" interviews Magnus Carlsen

2/20/2016 – "Die Zeit" is one of the most prestigious German weeklies. The first edition was published on 21st February 1946 in Hamburg, and to celebrate the jubilee, the "Zeit" hosts a number of cultural events, among them a 70 board simul with the World Champion. "Zeit"-journalist Ulrich Stock spoke with Carlsen about the Candidates, chess and islam, and how he motivates himself.

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"Chess is a tool to make the world a smarter place"

There are times when Magnus Carlsen wonders what exactly he is doing. But then he returns to the board and continues his pursuit of chess perfection. Now, he is coming to Hamburg.
 

Magnus Carlsen © Arne Horvei/Play Magnus

ZEIT ONLINE: Magnus Carlsen, you will be defending your title as World Chess Champion in the United States in November, but we still don't know where. Will it be New York, Chicago, Los Angeles?

Magnus Carlsen: I really don’t know. I’m told that that there are just a few more details before the location is revealed. Hopefully we will get the answer soon!

ZEIT ONLINE: Chess players are celebrated for planning several moves ahead during matches. Why is it so difficult to plan world chess events more than a few months in advance?

Carlsen: Well, that is a good question, but I think we are going in the right direction. The country for the World Championship has been known since the closing ceremony in Sochi in 2014, and that is a first, as far as I know.

ZEIT ONLINE: Your success has stirred up tremendous enthusiasm for chess in Norway. Why don't you organize the World Championship in Oslo?

Carlsen: I’ll concentrate on my preparations and let others concentrate on deciding the location. Actually it’s Agon, the commercial partner of Fide, that finds the venue. Their aim is to find a venue that is good for chess in general and not only for me.

ZEIT ONLINE: Your tournament results on home turf have not been as good as those abroad. Why is that?

Carlsen: In chess, "home turf" isn’t necessarily an advantage. I don’t know exactly why, but maybe it’s a bit harder to be 100 percent focused when you know everybody and the environment is very familiar.

ZEIT ONLINE: No matter which tournament you play in, you are always the favorite. Millions of fans follow your games and are disappointed with poor results. How do you deal with the pressure?

Carlsen: I have my own way of measuring the standard of my games and play. Sometimes I’m almost disappointed, even after a win, if I feel that the level of the game was below my standards. So that’s it, the pressure comes from my urge to play chess well and to meet my own standards.

ZEIT ONLINE: You have been World Champion since 2013 and have been the world’s number one player since July 2011. What keeps you motivated? ...

Read the full interview at ZEIT-Online.de...



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