A new world champion?

I am no bearded Dumbledore, but it was impossible not to see Magnus as a type of Harry Potter, a super-talent destined to become one the greatest and to leave a deep mark (a lightning bolt?) on our ancient game.

 

Gary Kasparov

Well folks, this just wouldn’t be Troppo if I didn’t draw your attention to the fact that starting tomorrow, someone who is already arguably the greatest chess player of all time and at the very least the most highly rated will be vying for his first World Chess Title.

The man who plays most like a computer – who lacks the clear straightforward style of some of his predecessors – Magnus Carlsen – will take on Indian Vishy Anand who has spent a lot of his time as champ rated below the top three in the world (though he has had a few stints at No. 1 before Carlsen took over). Nevertheless he’s held down the crown for several rounds of the world title since he won it in 2007. So he’s no pushover.

Anyway, Carlsen goes into the comp with an unusually large rating lead which places him well to win of course, but with the match being relatively short compared with some other world title matches (one of which had to be abandoned the two candidates managed to rack up draws for so long), there’s still a fair bit of luck involved – and that’s before one considers that perhaps Magnus (I’m on first name terms with all Norwegians) will freak out at it all, being young and awed and all that. Still, he hasn’t seemed awed for a long time – if you check out this video of him.  Anyway, if you want to read a bit about the odds, try here. And if you want to read a fun and gracious review of the players’ prospects by Gazza the Great, here it is.

 

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