"One man alone cannot fight the future."--Conrad Strughold, "The X-Files: Fight the Future"
"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's how the smart money bets."--Damon Runyon
Carlsen displayed brilliance, patience, energy, stamina and steady
nerves as he defeated Viswanathan Anand 6.5-3.5 to become the World
Chess Champion. Carlsen, who previously established himself as the highest rated player in chess history,
is the 16th linear World Chess Champion, joining an elite group started
by Wilhelm Steinitz and including the two chess players who even most
non-chess players know about: Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer.
Prior to the match, some Anand supporters
suggested/hoped that Anand's vast match experience and his success in
winning world championships in various formats/time controls would give
him an edge over his much younger challenger but in chess--as in most
sports--it is inevitable that youth will eventually be served: Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan all fell victim to Father Time, in the guise of the next generation of competitors eager to enjoy their time in the sun.
After the players
opened the match with four straight draws, Carlsen delivered a knockout
blow by scoring consecutive wins. Anand fought hard to draw games seven
and eight but then he blundered in game nine to give Carlsen an
insurmountable lead. Carlsen comfortably drew the 10th game to clinch the match victory. Carlsen seized the title with two games to spare in
what will be remembered as one of the most lopsided championship battles
in chess history; this is the first time in Anand's distinguished
career that he did not score at least one win in a World Championship
Carlsen stayed true to his relentless,
uncompromising approach throughout the match; in the final game he
eschewed a potential early draw that would have dethroned Anand, instead
seeking victory while also risking defeat and forcing the champion to tenaciously defend for
several hours before the position simplified to a clear draw. Carlsen is
both a quintessentially modern player and a throwback to previous eras;
in the opening he obtains deceptively simple--and at times unorthodox--positions in order to render
useless any pre-game computer preparation undertaken by his opponents
but in the middlegame and endgame he is a relentless competitor/cool
calculator in the mold of Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer. When you sit
down to play Magnus Carlsen you must expect a fight to the bitter
end, even if the position seems devoid of winning chances and even if a draw is as good as a
win for Carlsen due to the tournament/match situation.
was a great champion and a gentlemanly competitor during his reign;
chess lovers hope and expect that Carlsen will take the sport to even
greater heights thanks to his youth, his appeal to non-chessplayers and the lyrical virtuosity of his games--a quality that has inspired GM Lubomir Kavalek to dub him "The Mozart of Chess."