Magnus Carlsen's first game in the Mega Database

by Thorsten Cmiel
4/5/2019 – Magnus Carlsen played his first traditional international tournament in October 2000 in Bad Wiessee against FM Ingo Cordts. It was the first game that made it into our Mega Database from the future World Champion. Talking to Thorsten Cmiel, the German FIDE master remembers this memorable encounter of almost twenty years ago.

Mega Database 2019 Mega Database 2019

The "Mega" is the database every serious chessplayer needs. The database contains 7.6 million games from 1500 to 2018, in highest quality standard, full of top level analyses and completely classified.


As long as you are young...

The first game of Magnus Carlsen in the Mega Database, which means the first game that reached the rest of the world, was played by the then nine-year-old Norwegian against a German FM. As luck would have it, I recently had a chat with that FM — Ingo Cordts — on the train from Darmstadt to Cologne and heard the story behind this special game, played in Bad Wiessee in Bavaria almost twenty years ago.

In the year 2000, the Norwegians arrived as a team around their trainer GM Simen Agdestein. Among them was a little Norwegian boy and his father. Magnus Carlsen won in his first international appearance in round one and in the second round came up against an experienced player from Germany. It was October 29, 2000, to be precise, and Ingo Cordts recalls that, at the time, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Since his opponent was a small child, he remembers he did not act very aggressively. After his seventh move, however, it was already clear that he was playing against a serious opponent.

A chat on the train...

...with Ingo Cordts

Magnus' knight retreat to c3 was the sign of a player with more than rudimentary opening knowledge. In fact, an interesting fight began over Carlsen's d5-pawn, which Cordts had sacrificed. Magnus spent a lot of time in the opening and after a rollicking back and forth tussle, the nine-year-old Carlsen lost the overview and neglected his weakened king position.


Of course, Ingo follows the career of the World Champion with interest and can only praise the chess star from Norway ("a fair sportsman"). Magnus has given a lot to the chess world, says Cordts. He also hopes that he does not stop prematurely, as his sister Ellen once suggested in an interview that he might. In 2000, Magnus ultimately scored fifty percent in Bad Wiessee after winning the final round. Cordts came in a half point better at 5 out of 9.

The game score of Magnus Carlsen


Thorsten Cmiel is FIDE Master, lives in Cologne and Milano and works as a freelance finance journalist.


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