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Carlsen 
Photo courtesy of Magnus Carlsen's Official Facebook Page.  
Magnus Carlsen
Number of games in database: 1,679
Years covered: 2000 to 2014
Last FIDE rating: 2863 (2855 rapid, 2948 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2882
Overall record: +422 -177 =470 (61.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      610 exhibition games, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

MOST PLAYED OPENINGS
With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (167) 
    B90 B40 B30 B43 B46
 Ruy Lopez (109) 
    C78 C65 C67 C84 C88
 Slav (57) 
    D15 D17 D10 D12 D11
 Nimzo Indian (49) 
    E32 E20 E21 E36 E54
 French Defense (38) 
    C11 C00 C02 C10 C03
 Semi-Slav (34) 
    D43 D45 D47 D44
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (165) 
    B33 B30 B22 B90 B77
 Ruy Lopez (115) 
    C67 C95 C65 C69 C78
 Queen's Indian (74) 
    E15 E12 E17 E13 E18
 Nimzo Indian (42) 
    E34 E32 E21 E20 E55
 Slav (38) 
    D12 D15 D17 D11 D10
 Grunfeld (37) 
    D85 D86 D80 D82 D70
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Carlsen vs S Ernst, 2004 1-0
   Carlsen vs H Harestad, 2003 1-0
   J L Hammer vs Carlsen, 2003 0-1
   Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2008 0-1
   Anand vs Carlsen, 2013 0-1
   Carlsen vs Karjakin, 2013 1-0
   Carlsen vs Gelfand, 2013 1-0
   Carlsen vs Anand, 2012 1-0
   Carlsen vs A Groenn, 2005 1-0
   Carlsen vs Aronian, 2008 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004)
   Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   King's Tournament (2010)
   Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2009)
   Arctic Chess Challenge (2007)
   Tata Steel (2013)
   Norwegian Championship (2004)
   Norwegian Championship (2005)
   Corus Wijk aan Zee Group B (2006)
   Norwegian Championship (2006)
   Midnight Sun Chess Challenge (2006)
   Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2010)
   Cap d'Agde (2008)
   European Team Chess Championships (2007)
   FIDE World Cup (2005)
   World Chess Cup (2007)
   XXII Reykjavik Open (2006)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   MAGNUS CARLSEN'S BEST GAMES by notyetagm
   Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen by jakaiden
   Wonderboy - Magnus Carlsen, 2000-2004 by Resignation Trap
   Match Carlsen! by amadeus
   The Carlsen Chronicles by MoonlitKnight
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 2000-2010 (Part 1) by Anatoly21
   Magnus Carlsen by akatombo
   magnus carlsen .. by sk.sen
   Mozart of chess by zarg
   Carlsen Favorites by chocobonbon
   toms best games by td14
   Chess Network Videos: Part 2 by Penguincw
   Carlsen's winning miniatures by alexmagnus
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 2000-2010 (Part 2) by Anatoly21

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Magnus Carlsen
Search Google for Magnus Carlsen
FIDE player card for Magnus Carlsen


MAGNUS CARLSEN
(born Nov-30-1990, 24 years old) Norway

[what is this?]
Magnus Carlsen is the 16th undisputed World Champion. He won the crown from Viswanathan Anand in November 2013 and successfully defended it in a return contest with the former title holder a year later in November 2014.

Landmarks

FM (2002); IM (2003); GM (2004); vice-World U12 World Champion (2002); Norwegian Champion (2006); Candidate (2007 & 2013); World Champion (2013 & 2014); World Rapid Champion (2014) and World Blitz Champion (2009 & 2014).

Carlsen has been the world's top ranked player since January 2010, apart from six months between November 2010 and June 2011 when he was #2, and possesses the highest standard FIDE rating ever posted, as well as the highest ever live rating.

Background:

He was born in Tønsberg, Vestfold. His parents are Sigrun Øen and Henrik Carlsen, both of whom are engineers. His father taught him chess at the age of eight after which he soon played his first tournament, a junior (Miniputt) Norwegian championship. He was coached by seven-time Norwegian Champion Simen Agdestein and by Torbjorn Ringdal Hansen. He won the title of International Master in 2003 at the age of 12 years 7 months and 25 days. In 2004, after having gained over 300 rating points in little over a year, he became the second-youngest grandmaster in chess history at the time, behind only Sergey Karjakin, at the age of 13 years 4 months and 27 days. Parimarjan Negi later pipped his record by five days to become the second youngest grandmaster ever.

Championships:

<Age>: Carlsen won the Norwegian U11 Championship in 2000 and the U10 Nordic Championship in 2001. In 2002, he placed =1st in the Open Norwegian Junior Championship with 5.5/7, but easily won the same event the following year with 6/6. Carlsen started with 4/4 at the 2002 U12 European Championship but faded to finish sixth. In the 2002 U12 World Championship a few weeks later, Carlsen was sole leader coming into the last round, but was held to a draw by David Howell, enabling Ian Nepomniachtchi to equal his score and to win on tiebreak. He placed =3rd at the 2003 U14 European Championship, half a point behind Sergei Zhigalko and Tornike Sanikidze, a short time later placing =9th with 7.5/11 at the World U14 Championship in Halkidiki.

<National and Continental>: A couple of weeks after being eliminated from the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004) (see below), he placed =1st in the 2004 Norwegian Championship. However, after a two-game play-off match with co-leader and until then, six-time Norwegian champion, Berge Ostenstad was drawn, Østenstad was declared winner on tiebreak. In the 2005 Norwegian Chess Championship, Carlsen again finished in a shared first place, this time with his mentor Simen Agdestein. A rapid game playoff between them resulted in Agdestein’s victory by 3.5-2.5 (+2 -1 =3). Carlsen finally won the Norwegian Championship in 2006, after defeating Simen Agdestein in a tie-break match.

Carlsen’s first and and so far only participation in the continental championship provided a solid 22-point boost to his rating when he scored 8/13 in the 6th European Individual Championship (2005).

<World>: Carlsen qualified for the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament (2004), but was eliminated in the first round tiebreaker by Levon Aronian. His hopes to become a contender for the World Championship in the future took a big step forward by placing tenth at the FIDE World Cup (2005), becoming the youngest player ever to qualify for the Candidates. In his first Candidates match in Elista in May, he drew 3-3 in the six slow games of the Candidates Match: Aronian - Carlsen (2007) before losing in rapid-play tie-breaks. He reached the final four in the World Chess Cup (2007) before being defeated in the semi-finals by the eventual winner, Gata Kamsky. Carlsen's final placing in the 2007 World Cup qualified him for participation in the FIDE Grand Prix for 2008-09. Soon afterwards he tied for first place in the Baku Grand Prix (2008), the first round of FIDE's inaugural Grand Prix series. Carlsen later withdrew from the Grand Prix cycle despite his excellent result in Baku, complaining about "dramatic changes to ... regulations." and that “…changing the rules dramatically in the middle of a cycle is simply unacceptable.”

On the basis of his rating, Carlsen qualified for the Candidates Tournament that would determine the challenger to World Champion Viswanathan Anand in 2012. In November 2010, however, Carlsen announced he was withdrawing from the Candidates tournament. Carlsen described the 2008–12 cycle as not "...sufficiently modern and fair", and added that "Reigning champion privileges, the long (five year) span of the cycle, changes made during the cycle resulting in a new format (Candidates) that no World Champion has had to go through since Kasparov, puzzling ranking criteria as well as the shallow ceaseless match-after-match concept are all less than satisfactory in my opinion." Carlsen qualified for the World Championship Candidates (2013) that was played in London, again on the basis of his rating. He placed =1st with Vladimir Kramnik on 8.5/14 after both players lost their last round games, but as the first tiebreaker (score against each other in the tournament which was 1-1) failed to break the tie, he won on the second tiebreak which stipulated that the player with the greater number of wins takes first place; he had scored five wins to Kramnik's four. During the tournament, Carlsen set a new live rating record of 2878.9 after he defeated Gelfand in round 10.

In November 2013, Carlsen won the Anand - Carlsen World Championship (2013) that was staged in Chennai. The first four games were drawn before Carlsen won the fifth and sixth games. The seventh and eighth games were drawn, with Carlsen then winning the ninth game and drawing the tenth and last game to win by 6.5-3.5 (+3 =7).

World Championship Defence 2014

Carlsen defended his World Championship title against Anand - who won the right to challenge for the title by winning the World Chess Championship Candidates (2014) that was held in March 2014 - in Sochi in Russia in November 2014.

The first game of the Carlsen-Anand World Championship (2014) was a fighting draw with Carlsen playing Black and successfully defending a Grunfeld. He drew first blood in game two playing the White side of a quiet Ruy Lopez, breaking down Black's defences before the first time control. After the first rest day, Anand struck back strongly playing the White side of a Queen's Gambit Declined (D37), and overcame Carlsen before the first time control. In game 4, Anand played the Sicilian but Carlsen steered the opening into a quiet positional struggle that ended in a draw. Game 5 featured a Queen's Indian Defence by Carlsen which also ended in a draw. Game 6 may have been the turning point in the match. Anand missed a simple tactical stroke as Black that would have given him a very strong, if not winning position and the lead in the match. After missing this continuation, Anand's game weakened and Carlsen brought home the point to take the lead in the match for the second time.

Game 7 was another Berlin Defence by Anand who encountered difficulties and surrendered a piece for two pawns. However, his defence kept Carlsen at bay for 122 moves before the game was finally drawn due to insufficient mating material on the board. Game 8 in the match was another QGD, with Carlsen playing Black introducing an innovation from his home preparation that guaranteed him a relatively easy draw. After another rest day, play resumed with Carlsen playing the White side of a Ruy Lopez that turned into a Berlin Defence by Anand. The game quickly came to an end through a draw by repetition, with Carlsen content to maintain his one-point lead. In Game 10, Carlsen again defended a Grunfeld, albeit not as convincingly as in Game 1. However, he defended a long initiative by Anand to secure a drew to continue to maintain his one point lead. Game 11 was another Berlin Defence by Anand which turned into a complex and hard fought middle game following an innovation by Anand on the queenside, which was followed by an exchange sacrifice. Carlsen successfully defended to bring home the final point needed to secure his title for another two years.

Match result: Carlsen won by 6.5-4.5 (+3 -1 =7).

Next World Championship defence

Carlsen's next defence of his classical world title is scheduled for 2016, date and venue to be decided.

Classical Tournaments:

Carlsen earned his first IM norm in January 2003 at the Gausdal Troll Masters when he scored 7/10. His second IM norm came in June 2003 at the Salongernas IM-tournament in Stockholm where he scored 6/9 and his third IM norm came in the following month at the 2003 Politiken Cup in Copenhagen where he scored 8/11. In early 2004, Carlsen made a major international impact when he won Corus C with 10.5/13, easily winning his first grandmaster norm and earning his entry to the Corus B in 2005. Carlsen obtained his second grandmaster norm in the 3rd Aeroflot Festival (2004) in February and his third grandmaster norm at the sixth 6th Dubai Open (2004), held between 18th and 28th April.

Soon afterwards he placed 3rd at the 12th Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament (2004) followed later that month with a solid =3rd place at the Politiken Cup 2004, a half point behind the leaders Darmen Sadvakasov and compatriot Leif Erlend Johannessen. In October 2005, he won the Gausdal Bygger'n Masters in Norway with 8/9 ahead of 9 other grandmasters. He continued to improve in 2006, tying Alexander Motylev for first place in Corus Wijk aan Zee Group B (2006). After several more strong performances during the year, including 6.5/9 at the XXII Reykjavik Open (2006), =2nd at Bosna Sarajevo Tournament (2006), =2nd behind Sergei Shipov at the Midnight Sun Challenge at Breivika videregaende skole in Norway, =2nd at Biel Int'l Festival (2006) (after beating the winner Alexander Morozevich twice), first at the Gausdal Classics GM-A and a joint second-place finish at Linares - Morelia (2007), he crossed the 2700-mark, the youngest player ever to do so. A relatively poor result at Dortmund (2007) (3/7) was followed by a win at Biel Chess Festival (2007) (His score was equaled by Alexander Onischuk and so they played a tie-breaker match to determine the winner. After drawing two rapid and two blitz games, Carlsen won the Armageddon game) and a par for rating =2nd at the Arctic Chess Challenge (2007) where he scored 7/9, a half point behind the leader Alexander Moiseenko, and 3rd at the Tal Memorial (2007) in November 2007.

In 2008 Carlsen was the joint winner of Corus (2008) A-Group together with Levon Aronian, and placed second in Morelia-Linares (2008) behind Anand. He won clear first place at Aerosvit (2008) with a dominant 8/11 score. His "disappointing" third placement at 41st Biel International Chess Festival (2008) with 6/10, a half point behind joint winners Leinier Dominguez Perez and Evgeny Alekseev, was nevertheless still a 2740 performance, whilst his equal second in the Bilbao Grand Slam Chess Final (2008) with 5.0/10 was a 2768 performance. His relatively meagre 7/13 at Corus (2009) was followed by equal second placement behind Kramnik at Dortmund (2009) with a 2773 performance and 2nd with 5/9 at the M-Tel Masters (2009). The arrival of Garry Kasparov in 2009 as his coach enabled Carlsen's finest tournament performance to date, and one of the best tournament results in the history of chess. Carlsen eclipsed a stellar field consisting of Topalov, Peter Leko, Dmitry Jakovenko, Teimour Radjabov and Wang Yue to win clear first prize with 8/10 at the category XXI Pearl Spring Chess Tournament (2009). Carlsen's performance rating for the tournament was a record 3002 and lifted his FIDE rating in the November 2009 list to 2801, which made him only the fifth player to surpass 2800, and easily the youngest. After a slow start, Carlsen placed equal second with Vassily Ivanchuk behind Vladimir Kramnik in the Category XXI Tal Memorial (2009), which fielded ten of the world's top thirteen rated players. He saw out 2009 with a win at the London Chess Classic (2009), a point ahead of Kramnik, a result which pushed him to the top of the world ratings in January 2010.

In 2010, Carlsen's success continued, winning Corus (2010) outright with 8.5/13, half a point ahead of joint second place finishers Kramnik and Alexey Shirov. In June, he won the category XXI King's Tournament (2010) in Bazna in Romania by a clear two points with 7.5/10 and a 2918 performance. Following mediocre performances at the 2010 Olympiad and the category XXII Bilbao Masters (2010), Carlsen returned to form by winning the category XXI Nanjing Pearl Spring Tournament (2010) outright with 7/10 (+4 -0 =6) and a 2901 rating performance, a full point ahead of World Champion Anand who took outright second with 6/10, and finishing the year by winning the London Chess Classic (2010) for the second time in succession. After a slow start in the Tata Steel (2011) super tournament, Carlsen finished =3rd with Levon Aronian behind Hikaru Nakamura and Anand with 8/13 and a performance rating of 2821. He followed up in June by winning the Bazna King's Tournament (2011) on tiebreak ahead of Karjakin, both finishing with 6.5/10, and by winning Biel Chess Festival (2011) in July with a round to spare and with a final score of 7/10 (TPR 2835). After another characteristically slow start, Carlsen placed =1st with Ivanchuk at the 4th Bilbao Masters (2011) with 15 points under the Bilbao scoring system (+3 -1 =6) and a 2842 performance rating, ultimately winning the tournament in a blitz tiebreaker. Then in November 2011, Carlsen won the Tal Memorial (2011) on tiebreak with 5.5/9 (+2 =7 -0 and a TPR of 2850) over Aronian. Carlsen finished 2011 with 3rd place at the category 20 London Chess Classic (2011) behind Kramnik and Nakamura, scoring +3 =5 (TPR of 2879). 2012 started with =2nd (+4 -1 =8; TPR 2830) behind Aronian and alongside Radjabov and Fabiano Caruana at the Category 21 Tata Steel (2012). He won the category 22 Tal Memorial (2012) outright with 5.5/9 (+2 =7) and a TPR of 2849. The month after his strong results in the World Blitz he finished outright second behind Wang Hao in the Grandmaster Tournament of the Biel Chess Festival (2012). In October 2012, Carlsen repeated his 2011 feat at Bilbao by winning the Bilbao Masters (2012) in a tiebreaker, this time against Caruana. He finished up 2012 by winning the London Chess Classic (2012), the third time he has done so, with a score of 6.5/8 (+5 =3 -0) and a TPR of 2994 (only fractionally below his record effort at Pearl Springs in 2009). London 2012 was also made historic for the fact that Carlsen's result lifted his January 2013 rating to a new record, exceeding Kasparov's record 2851 by 10 points.

Building on his achievements of 2012, Carlsen won the category 20 Tata Steel (2013) tournament with a round to spare, his final score being 10/13. He also set a new live rating record of 2874 after his round 12 win over Nakamura, although this was superseded at the Candidates in March. In May 2013 he played in the category 21 Norway Chess Tournament (2013) held in the Stavanger Region of Norway and came 2nd with 5.5/9, half a point behind the winner Sergey Karjakin; in the preliminary Norway Chess Tournament (Blitz) (2013) held to determine the draw, he came 2nd with 6/9 behind Karjakin, thereby earning 5 games as White out of the 9 to be played. In June he again came outright 2nd, this time at the category 22 Tal Memorial (2013), half a point behind the winner Boris Gelfand. His last hit out before the World Championship match against Anand in November 2013 was the category 22 double round robin Sinquefield Cup (2013), which he won outright with 4.5/6 (+3 =3; TPR of 2966).

Carlsen's first tournament as World Champion was the Zurich Chess Challenge (2014), the first ever category 23 tournament (average rating 2801). He came from behind to take equal first with Aronian in the Zurich Chess Challenge (Blitz) (2014), which determined the colors in the main event (Carlsen has 4 whites and 1 black). By round 4 of the standard time event, he extended his live rating to 2882.6, breaking the record he established in round 3. His round 5 draw with Anand enabled him to finish the standard time event in first place, 2 scoring points ahead of Aronian. He needed 3.5/5 in the Zurich Chess Challenge (Rapid) (2014) played on the final day to guarantee his win in the event, however his 2/5 result was sufficient to win the combined event by one point under the scoring system used. His next event was the category 22 Gashimov Memorial (2014), a new event in honor of the late Azeri GM Vugar Gashimov, which he won outright with a score of 6.5/10, defeating Fabiano Caruana, his rival for first prize, in the last round. Although he was the only undefeated player at the Norway Chess Tournament (2014), he won insufficient games to win the event, which was successfully defended by last year's winner, Sergei Karjakin. In August 2014, he played in the category 23 (only the second such strength event) Sinquefield Cup (2014) and came outright second with 5.5/10, 3 points behind Caruana, the runaway leader of the tournament.

Rapid:

Carlsen won the Glitnir Blitz Tournament in 2006 in Iceland. In September 2006 Carlsen placed 8th out of 16 participants at the World Blitz Championship (2006) in Rishon LeZion, Israel. In the blitz tournament associated with the Tal Memorial 2006, namely the Tal Blitz Cup, Carlsen scored 17½/34 points and placed 9th in a group of 18 participants. In March 2007, Carlsen played for the first time in the Melody Amber blind and rapid chess tournament in Monte Carlo. In the 11 rounds of the 16th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2007), he achieved eight draws and three losses (placing =9th) then scored three wins, seven draws and one loss in the 16th Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2007) (=2nd), for an overall 8th place in the combined tournament. In March 2008, Carlsen played for the second time in the Melody Amber blind and rapid chess tournament, which was held in Nice for the first time. Carlsen achieved four wins, four draws and two losses in the Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2008), and three wins, two losses, and six draws in the Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2008), resulting in a shared second place in the overall tournament.

In the Chess Classic Mainz (2008), Carlsen finished in second place after losing the final to defending champion Anand 3:1 (two losses, two draws). 2009 saw Carlsen score equal first in the Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2009) with 7/11 alongside Kramnik and Aronian, and equal second with Veselin Topalov at M-Tel Masters (2009) behind Shirov with a 2822 performance. He also won the XXII Magistral Ciudad de Leon (2009), a rapid knockout tournament, ahead of Morozevich, Ivanchuk, and Wang Yue. Just a few days after his 2nd placement at the Tal Memorial (2009), he won the World Blitz Championship (2009) with 31/42, a full three points ahead of runner-up Anand. He shared first place at the 2010 Amber Rapid and Blindfold Tournament with Ivanchuk; scoring 6½ points in the blindfold and 8 points in the rapid, Carlsen accumulated 14½ from a possible 22 points. After a slow start in the Arctic Securities Chess Stars (2010) rapid tournament, he continued his success by defeating Anand in the two-game playoff for gold. In the World Blitz Championship (2010), held in Moscow on 16–18 November, Carlsen attempted to defend his 2009 title. With a score of 23½/38, he finished in third place behind Radjabov and the winner Aronian. After the tournament, Carlsen played a private 40-game blitz match against Hikaru Nakamura, winning with a score of 23½–16½. A phenomenal 9.5/11, 2.5 points clear of the field, in 20th Amber Tournament (Rapid) (2011) was insufficient for him to win the overall contest, as his results in the 20th Amber Tournament (Blindfold) (2011) were poor, resulting in a 2nd overall to 2008 and 2009 overall winner Aronian. In July 2012 he came clear 2nd in the World Rapid Championship (2012) behind Karjakin with 10.5/15, and clear 2nd in the World Blitz Championship (2012) with 19.5/30, half a point behind Alexander Grischuk.

In June 2014, he realized his ambition to be the triple champion (of standard, rapid and blitz chess) when he won the FIDE World Rapid Championship (2014) with 11/15, half a point ahead of runner-up Caruana, and the FIDE World Blitz Championship (2014) with 17/21, one point clear of Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura.

Matches:

The DSB Bank match between Loek van Wely and Magnus Carlsen took place 28th April - 1st May 2006. The four game classical time limit match was tied 2-2. Carlsen won the blitz portion of the match 3.5-0.5. He won a rapid match against Peter Leko held in Miskolc, Hungary, scoring 5:3 (+2 =6). Carlsen played in a curtain raiser to the Norwegian Championship, winning the Carlsen - Predojevic Rapid Match (2013) by 2.5-1.5 (+1 =3); the match was organized by the "Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue" to celebrate the long-standing relationship between Lillehammer and Sarajevo. (1)

Team:

<Olympiad>: Carlsen represented Norway on board 1 in the 36th Olympiad (2004), the 37th Chess Olympiad (2006), the Olympiad (2008), the Chess Olympiad (2010) and in the Chess Olympiad (2014). His best result was in the 2006 Olympiad, where he scored 6 points from 8 games and came 5th for board 1.

<National> He played board 1 for Norway at the European Team Chess Championships (2007) and won an individual silver medal.

<Club> Carlsen played four seasons in the European Club Cup. In 2001 and 2003 he played for Asker Norway on board 6 and board 1 (after he had gained his FM title) respectively, while his father Henrik was reserve on both occasions. In 2007 he played board 3 for OS Baden Baden, and in 2008 he played top board for MIKA Yerevan. His total game result from these 4 seasons was 15.5/27 (+11 -7 =9). He also played in the Norwegian Team Championship in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006, in the Bundesliga in the 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007/08, 2008-09 seasons, and in the Dutch Team Championship 2007.

<Other> In August 2006, he played in the NH Hotels event featuring the older Experience Team vs Youth team (easily won by the Youth team 28–22), and was equal top scorer with Alexander Beliavsky with 6.5/10.

Rating:

The highest official rating achieved by Carlsen to date was 2882 in May 2014. His highest live rating was 2889.2 on 21 April 2014.

Carlsen's 1 December 2014 FIDE ratings are:

<Standard>: 2862, making him the top ranked player in the world. By the end of the November 2014 rating period, he will have been world number one for a total of 54 months. He holds the record for the longest period as the world's top ranked Junior (U20) - 36 months - from 1 January 2008 until 31 December 2010. He was also both world number one junior and world number one player for the first 10 months of 2010. Furthermore, he holds the record for the highest rating acquired by any player aged 13, and 15 through to 24 inclusive.

<Rapid>: 2855 (world #2); and

<Blitz>: 2948 (world #1).

Other:

Carlsen won the Chess Oscars for 2009, 2010, and 2011, and he was also awarded Norway's annual Peer Gynt Prize for 2011 for being "a person or institution that has achieved distinction in society". (2) After he won the World Championship he was awarded Norway's "Name of the Year" award for 2013. (3) He has two sisters, Ellen Oen Carlsen and Ingrid Oen Carlsen. Carlsen helped Anand prepare for the World Chess Championships in 2007 and 2008 and 2010. Carlsen has modeled for G-Star Raw, starting with its Autumn/Winter 2010 advertising campaign.

General Sources:

Carlsen's FIDE player card; Wikipedia article: Magnus Carlsen; live rating: http://www.2700chess.com/; official website: http://www.magnuscarlsen.com/; blogs: http://www.arcticsec.no/index.php?b... (English language); http://simonsenlaw.no/ (Norwegian language); World Championship Index: http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/wcc...; and Olimpbase, the Encyclopedia of Team Chess: http://www.olimpbase.org/

Footnotes

(1) http://www.peace.no/index.php?optio...; (2) http://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/03...; (3) http://www.nrk.no/sport/videoklipp/...

Latest updated 1 Dec 2014


 page 1 of 68; games 1-25 of 1,679  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Toan Thanh Pham vs Carlsen 1-032 2000 Det åpne NMB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
2. Carlsen vs H Sannes 1-060 2000 Det åpne NMA27 English, Three Knights System
3. Carlsen vs J Svindahl 0-142 2000 Det åpne NMA36 English
4. A Flaata vs Carlsen 1-024 2000 Stjernen Grand PrixA07 King's Indian Attack
5. M Svendsen vs Carlsen 1-039 2000 Det åpne NMC02 French, Advance
6. G Kaiser vs Carlsen 0-136 2000 Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 4thB08 Pirc, Classical
7. H Bartels vs Carlsen ½-½48 2000 Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 4thC59 Two Knights
8. Carlsen vs P Brantzeg 0-152 2000 ASKOs Pinseturnering, Gruppe BC18 French, Winawer
9. Carlsen vs I Cordts 0-130 2000 Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 4thA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
10. T Christenson vs Carlsen 0-146 2000 Det åpne NMB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
11. Carlsen vs L Olzem ½-½36 2000 Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 4thD00 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Carlsen vs T Nielsen 0-145 2000 Det åpne NMA10 English
13. Carlsen vs T Solstad ½-½21 2000 Det åpne NME04 Catalan, Open, 5.Nf3
14. Carlsen vs I Cordts 0-130 2000 Bayern-chI Bank Hofmann 4thA31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation
15. K Ovesen vs Carlsen 1-038 2000 Det åpne NMA46 Queen's Pawn Game
16. M Kouvatsou vs Carlsen  ½-½37 2001 ECCC55 Two Knights Defense
17. R T Andersen vs Carlsen  0-132 2001 Astlandserien 01/02 div. 1, SOSS - AskerE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
18. Carlsen vs S Rukovci ½-½6 2001 Open NOR-chA21 English
19. K Ribbegren vs Carlsen 1-028 2001 Astlandserien 01/02 div. 1, Asker - ASKO IE30 Nimzo-Indian, Leningrad
20. Carlsen vs A Caoili ½-½34 2001 Classics IMAB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
21. Carlsen vs D Stojanovski  ½-½20 2001 ECCA34 English, Symmetrical
22. O Hagberg vs Carlsen 0-138 2001 Open NOR-chC42 Petrov Defense
23. H Sorensen vs Carlsen 1-050 2001 Troll MastersD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
24. Carlsen vs E Vegh 0-134 2001 Classics IMAB40 Sicilian
25. J A Nilssen vs Carlsen  1-048 2001 Nordic ChampionshipsE06 Catalan, Closed, 5.Nf3
 page 1 of 68; games 1-25 of 1,679  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  amadeus: <People want the title to be decided by a match and <this will always be biased toward the champion>, as the challenger has to win through a competitive elimination cycle. The alternative is for the champion to select his challenger as was done from Steinitz to Alekhine, and by Kasparov>

Or the champion could enter in an earlier stage, eg. the quarterfinals matches. (Karpov had to play the semifinals in 1995: +4-1=4 against Gelfand -- Kamsky defeated Salov 4-0).

We keep the matches tradition, which is part of the chess culture, but in a less biased system.

It goes without saying that we are talking about longer matches, not 4 games; but it's easier to sell a World Championship rather than a Candidates tournament, so I don't think it would be a huge problem to get 10/12-games matches -- in 3 different months of the semester/year (quarterfinals, semifinals and final).

Nov-06-10  percyblakeney: If FIDE follow their rules with regards to replacement and pairings it should look like this now (only Topalov-Kamsky stays the same):

Topalov - Kamsky
Gelfand - Mamedyarov
Kramnik - Radjabov
Aronian - Grischuk

Grischuk would obviously benefit most from Carlsen's withdrawal. Gelfand might be happy to face Mamedyarov instead of Aronian, and maybe Aronian would have preferred Gelfand rather than Grischuk. Mamedyarov gets Gelfand instead of Kramnik and that should be a good thing for him. Radjabov has many losses against Carlsen the last two-three years but against Kramnik all his games have been drawn for more than seven years, so the change shouldn't be too bad for him.

Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <amadeus>

The point is that the only method which will retain universal credibility is for the World Championship to be decided in a match between the incumbent and the winner of the challenge elimination cycle.

<Karpov had to play the semifinals in 1995>

But he wasn't the incumbent champion.

Nov-06-10  percyblakeney: <The point is that the only method which will retain universal credibility is for the World Championship to be decided in a match between the incumbent and the winner of the challenge elimination cycle>

Most of the time the concept has been different though, without challenge cycle (and a couple of times without title match). 10-15 years from now I don't think there will be any title matches, whatever one may think of such a development. Looking at for example Anand-Kramnik, with players preparing for over a year for one single opponent, with big teams employed to find novelties, etc, may not inspire the younger generation as much as many think it should. I don't think Carlsen, Grischuk, Radjabov, Nakamura, and so on, see such a system as the best by default.

Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Interbond: What's the problem with a tournament to decide the world champion? Of course there must be qualifications before the finale tournament.

Maybe thats what chess need to become more populare?

One alternative would be not to have candidate matches, but to have a candidate tournament to decide the challenger.In other words no matches at all before the wc finale. Only qualification tournaments . I don't think 2 games knock out matches and 4 games candidate matches are the right way to go. And perhaps the highest rated active players can skip the first round(s) it depends on how many qualification rounds we get.

I don't remember all FIDE chess history , but I guess there have been a combination of candidate tournaments and candidate matches before. And not like this time, only candidate matches.

The only chess WC history that is a tradition is the final WC match.

Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  amadeus: <<Karpov had to play the semifinals in 1995>

But he wasn't the incumbent champion.>

He was the FIDE champion, remember, Karpov-Timman in 1993, then Karpov-Kamsky in 1996.*

In 1997, Kasparov proposed a reunification match to him, but Kirsan threatened to strip Karpov from the FIDE title if he accepted -- and the he got that minimatch vs Anand.

(*) you are probably confusing it with 1987, when Karpov played only the final match of the candidates (4-0 against Sokolov)

Nov-06-10  Tomlinsky: I think FIDE should poll, say, the top 50 players as to what <they> believe would be the best method for choosing who is crowned World Champion. The method advocated would be declared and chosen directly after a World Championship final, be it match or tournament, and implemented the cycle after next with a fixed cycle of 4 years. No credibility issues or politics of the administrations choosing.

Chess will never be as 'popular' internationally as golf, football, tennis, etc. It's just the way it is and there is a surprisingly healthy industry built around the game at the moment as it is. You don't need to know anything whatsoever to sit down, scratch your groin, relax and watch people knock a ball around. Chess is different, even just knowing the moves wouldn't get you very far as a spectator of even a club game let alone a professional one. You actually have to do a bit of 'training' yourself to be a mediocre player/spectator to get anything out of it. That's just the way it is.

And long may it continue. Chess is doing fine. :)

Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <amadeus>

<He was the FIDE champion, remember, Karpov-Timman in 1993>

True. Yet it strikes me this was symptomatic of the problem rather than any sort of useful solution. The FIDE champion wasn't taken seriously while Kasparov was unbeaten, and even afterwards, it was a tainted title.

<In 1997, Kasparov proposed a reunification match to him, but Kirsan threatened to strip Karpov from the FIDE title if he accepted>

I'd have liked to see that, stripping both Kasparov and Karpov of their titles after what these two had been through with each other, and the fact that these two were uncontested as the two greatest players of the time. That would have reduced Kirsan's and FIDE's credibility to zero and maybe the PCA would have prevailed.

<Interbond>

<One alternative would be not to have candidate matches, but to have a candidate tournament to decide the challenger.>

Which used to be the case from 1950 to 1962. Initially double round robins, and then quadruple round robins in 1958 and 1962.

<The only chess WC history that is a tradition is the final WC match.>

Yes, and that's the tradition people want to hold onto.

Nov-06-10  kardopov: Matchplay is a better determiner of the over all strength of a player. Magnus is no. 1 so he should prove it. Play anyone on equal footing. It will be good for him. If he will win, he'll be remembered by the people of the world as a "mythical player personified." He has proven already his capability in RR tourney. What people expect from him now is to dominate matchplay like Fischer and Kasparov did. There is no substitute to matchplay if one has to prove his superiority over another. It is the ultimate test of strength for every pretenders.
Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: I don't think Nigel Short was the ideal challenger in 1993 :)
Nov-06-10  percyblakeney: Maybe Carlsen's views aren't too far from Kasparov's in this question:

<They’re planning to have these three matches in a row and I think it’s an insult because how can you expect the best player to win the candidates if you have three matches in a row, 4-4-6… First of all the matches are too short>

<The chances that the best player wins this competition are not very high. Anything can happen. Too much is given to chance>

http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/k...

Nov-06-10  maelith: I agree with Kardopov.
Nov-06-10  frogbert: <The winner of their final match becomes the official champion. Or it is the loser of the finals that eliminated the old champion. Afterward, the old champion razes the tournament circuit during the rest of the year, outperforming every one.>

yeah, that's exactly what we've been seeing for both anand and kramnik, during their time as world champions, right?

<Much of the chess world then keeps regarding him as the true champion. After all, no one has beaten him in a mano a mano World Championship match, and certainly not the official champion.>

vbd, if the old champion was eliminated in a quarter-final or semi-final, then he's lost the equivalent of a world championship match. a match is a match whether it's the semi-final or the final, assuming that we have a decent number of games.

there's no problem creating a system with 8, 10 and 12 games for matches in the 1/4, 1/2 and final. or even more games, if that would change the status of each match.

if the reigning champion isn't even able to beat a player knocked out in the semis by the losing finalist, then he's just demonstrated the major problem with using <matches> to decide who the stronger player is, assuming that the knocked out champion would be favourite against the eventual winner.

as it is, with the growing amount of preparation for even short wc-matches, these "matches" become more and more detached from what chess is about in my opinion: a duel between two players, settled otb. i see nothing wrong in a good "theoretical" knowledge base or in some player-specific preparation - but spending months on devicing some strategy, preparing hundreds of specific lines geared at one specific opponent, making it a team versus team thing, with the player as the unlucky individual having to remember every prepared line, shifting the focus from chess skills to memorization and team management ... i don't get what's so great about that. modern technology has in this respect just made things worse.

at any rate, vbd, you've got almost the scenario that you've described right now:

carlsen was knocked out of the 2007 wcc by kamsky (in a 2-game "match"), kamsky lost to topalov (in an 8-game match), and topalov lost to anand (in a 12-game match).

counting the period between nanjing 2009 and nanjing 2010, 8 of the toughest tournaments have been won by

carlsen 5 (of 7 played)
kramnik 2 (dortmund, bilbao)
topalov 1 (linares)

that's counting only classical ones. anand played and finished behind the winner in corus, bilbao and nanjing. there was no prep to hide in the latter two. in addition anand played the blitz wc 2009 and amber 2010, finishing behind carlsen who won both. blitz, rapid and blindfold aren't exactly the arena where wc preparation plays a big role.

who are the best players? those who win the most <strong> events, those with the highest ratings or the one who is world champion?

you don't have a good answer to that. hypothetical scenarios about a champion being knocked out before the final, but afterwards winning "everything", don't add anything to a discussion about possible wc formats. if anything, it might be expected that winning tournaments requires somewhat different skills than winning matches. one player can have both, of course, but the pecking order might be different.

but what do chess players do 99% of the time? they play tournaments, not head-to-head matches. the idea that the world champion absolutely needs to be decided in a match is therefore a bit odd. the idea that he also needs to be dethroned by the next champion to give the next champion legitimacy is downright weird: there's nothing in the match-approach that secures that the eventual winner is better than everybody else in the first place; otherwise, why doesn't the losing semi-finalists get a shot at the title when they might be better than the <other> finalist?

matches don't give any fairer champions than tournaments; in fact, if going theoretical, a cup-based system allows <more> anomalies with respect to strength relationships than a tournament does, already with 3 cup stages. (you play 3 of 7 opponents in the last 8) why don't match purists find that problematic?

Nov-06-10  Billy Vaughan: <If he will win, he'll be remembered by the people of the world as a "mythical player personified.">

It's not Carlsen's responsibility to become a mythical person.

Nov-06-10  kardopov: <matches don't give any fairer champions than tournaments; in fact, if going theoretical, a cup-based system allows <more> anomalies with respect to strength relationships than a tournament does, already with 3 cup stages. (you play 3 of 7 opponents in the last 8) why don't match purists find that problematic?>

It is not the advantage of matchplay over RR and vice versa but rather what the world firmly believes in. The no. 1 chessplayer should methodically dispose every opponent he will face both in RR and matchplay. Fischer and Kasparov greatness were attributed to this fact, having dominated RR and matchplays emphatically! Carlsen should do likewise to prove he is the real deal of today's generation, no ifs and buts. Unless he's gonna face anyone in a matchplay, his claim to being no.1 would remain doubtful and tainted. C'mmon, give the world what it wants. Prove your claim of domination.

Nov-06-10  kardopov: <It's not Carlsen's responsibility to become a mythical person.> You've misunderstood my point. What I've meant is being no.l. It's not his responsibility but what the people will say and judge about him.
Nov-06-10  e4d4: The caricature that history will remember, unless corrected by later events, is of a young man of immense talent who didn't consider his chances high in match play, was seemingly afraid of Kramnik, and who'd much rather be the champion without necessarily having to beat prior ones. That's the legacy Carlsen is writing.

Sad to see that frogbert, rogge, rolfo, zarg all like that for their hero

Nov-06-10  frogbert: twinlark, many good points in several posts.

shams, yeah - the repeated speculation that carlsen is <afraid> of something or <fears> kramnik, aronian or anand is just hogwash.

as a chess player, there's nothing carlsen loves more than taking on the few players he still considers to be a real challenge, whether this is kramnik or anand or aronian. if there's one thing that people should've picked up about <the chess player carlsen> by now, then it is that he's fearless.

Nov-06-10  kardopov: I'm afraid Magnus is downplaying his opportunity to become one of the world's greatest ever because of some bad novelty advices. Of all the candidates, he has the more chance of landing on top whatever format will be used to determine the next world champion. It's the talent that will speak not the format. Go young man, fight!!!
Nov-06-10  frogbert: e4d4, i'm not very bothered by groundless speculations by clueless people. read my previous post.
Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  twinlark: <kardopov:>

<It is not the advantage of matchplay over RR and vice versa but rather what the world firmly believes in.>

Spot on.

<The no. 1 chessplayer should methodically dispose every opponent he will face both in RR and matchplay. Fischer and Kasparov greatness were attributed to this fact, having dominated RR and matchplays emphatically!>

Right on!

<Carlsen should do likewise to prove he is the real deal of today's generation, no ifs and buts. Unless he's gonna face anyone in a matchplay, his claim to being no.1 would remain doubtful and tainted. C'mmon, give the world what it wants. Prove your claim of domination.>

This shows how much damage his suggested change of format has caused him, detracting from his real message, namely that he won't have a bar of FIDE's sorry arses as exemplified in their incompetence and corruption.

Nov-06-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: <alexmagnus: I don't think Nigel Short was the ideal challenger in 1993 :) >

He earned it by defeating Gelfand, Karpov and Timman in matches. I don't think anyone would have defeated Kasparov in 1993. Short gave it his best shot - there were some exciting hard fought Sicilians in that match.

Shirov may not have been ideal in 1998 either but he earned it (at least he should have been paid).

Nov-06-10  James Bowman: <vbd, if the old champion was eliminated in a quarter-final or semi-final, then he's lost the equivalent of a world championship match. a match is a match whether it's the semi-final or the final, assuming that we have a decent number of games.

there's no problem creating a system with 8, 10 and 12 games for matches in the 1/4, 1/2 and final. or even more games, if that would change the status of each match.>

This is a nice way to get to the world championship and I like the mini matches, but most people want a final match and there is no valid reason for the reigning world champion to go through the process, his rightful reward for being world champion is that the finalist faces him whatever process it takes.

I respect Magnus's decision to abscond from the process, but I think it is a mistake. This makes me no less a fan of his chess genius by any means but after actually becoming world champion you have more clout to influence the way things are conducted IMHO.

<frog> P.S. Instead of writting here you could update the live ratings list I think there is a player on the list for the first time that you have shown an extreme interest in. ;o]

Nov-06-10  e4d4: frogbert....it's all vanity now. Carlsen won't be champ for another 5 years at the least. It's only apt now to discuss rating and ranking on the Magnus page. He's kicked away his chance to be the king. May Caissa forgive him
Nov-06-10  frogbert: <The no. 1 chessplayer should methodically dispose every opponent he will face both in RR and matchplay. Fischer and Kasparov greatness were attributed to this fact, having dominated RR and matchplays emphatically!>

true for kasparov, less so far fischer (due to the short period he did so), but anyway:

"the world" is delusional regarding their expectations for the no. 1 chessplayer in 2010. insert fischer or kasparov into the world elite of today, and they wouldn't be able to repeat what they did in the early 70s and 90s.

<It is not the advantage of matchplay over RR and vice versa but rather what the world firmly believes in.>

too bad the world firmly believes in fairy tales and the good old days. but i agree it should be acknowledged like the fact it is.

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