Chess is sexy again. But for Magnus Carlsen, it's business as usual at the World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen tries hard to be indifferent during the press conference and interview. But he has strong opinions on how the game should be changed to keep the current interest of players.

He will face off against Ian Nepomniachtchi in 14 games for $2.24 million. Friday’s first game became Saturday’s second. The game hasn’t been this popular since the 1970s, when American legend Bobby Fischer burst onto the scene. Why not? Magnus Carlsen is focused on defending his title.

“Is smart the new sexy?” In that case, yes, chess is. “I don’t really care,” he told CNN’s Connect the World ahead of his debut game.

Considering his glum demeanour throughout the day, a soft laugh is unexpected. He quickly lost his smile and refocused on what he does best—winning.

“The world championship is not so much about fun. It’s all about business.

“I’ve always supported faster games in the world championship,” he said. “I think non-chess players are naturally drawn to faster games.”

World championship games can go on for hours and often end in ties. Carlsen’s last two championship matches ended in ties, requiring tiebreakers. To prove his worth against Nepomniachtchi, the Norwegian grandmaster is determined to win outright.

“I didn’t do nearly enough in the crucial moments,” he said. That it’s a lot about me, and I’m really excited to get going and show more of what I’m capable of.

Carlsen’s fondness for rapid and blitz chess is unsurprising given his current world championship titles in both formats. His previous championship tiebreak wins were both in rapid format, and there are numerous videos on YouTube showing his quick thinking.

Computers can now calculate billions of possible moves in seconds, allowing them to choose the best option. Faster games would help solve this problem, according to Magnus Carlsen,.

It’s great if people like the game, whether it’s because others do or because they like it.

Magnus Carlsen, is arguably the greatest chess player ever. A world champion for eight years, he is second only to Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov in weeks spent as the top rated player.

“Garry dominated for 20 years.” “Even if I win this championship, I will not reach his heights,” Carlsen said. “And if I don’t, I won’t sleep.”

Alireza Firouzja just beat one of Carlsen’s own records. The 18-year-old Iranian-born French player became the youngest-evus to reach 2,800, a feat only 14 other players have accomplished.

While Carlsen believes he can beat Nepomniachtchi, he is less certain about the new world no. 2, Firouzja. We’ve all been calling him the crown prince for a long time, and his achievements are simply extraordinary. For me and others, he’s the one to watch. “I hope that inspires us all,” he said.

Magnus Carlsen currently rules the chess world and will do so for years to come if he wins in Dubai next month.


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