Reports | December 09, 2012 11:58

Carlsen: "In the end I believe you will always get what you deserve" (VIDEO)

Magnus Carlsen

On Saturday, December 8th Magnus Carlsen broke Garry Kasparov's chess rating record of 2851. By drawing with Hikaru Nakamura at the London Chess Classic, the Norwegian player will be certain of an Elo of at least 2856 on the January 1 FIDE rating list. We produced a video in which Carlsen talks about the game and about breaking the record.


[About the game]

I think we were both surprising each other numerous times. I think the position we got I was vaguely familiar with, at least and I think it's pretty OK for Black, so I wasn't too unhappy.

[About 16...Ndxb4]

I didn't see anything else clear. I thought at that point I should be playing for an advantage because I felt that his play was rather strange. I saw that I really couldn't lose after I took on b4 so I decided just to go for it.

I thought I was going to be better but that was wrong. I think it was just equal and that's the way it went.

I certainly shouldn't have exchanged on f3. That's actually bothering me quite a bit now. I should have taken some time to calm down and realize that  taking on f3 and Qe5 was nothing, and actually to find the proper way.

[About the tournament so far]

My games haven't been brilliant. They haven't been bad but they haven't been brilliant either. It's just about fighting I think. In the end I believe you will always get what you deserve. So, to some extent I think I at least deserved this score.

[About breaking Kasparov's record]

I think that's pretty cool. It's probably the biggest achievement of my career so far because I didn't think that anyone thought that it was going to be broken this soon. Also, it's nice to do it with some kind of spectacular performance, at least, if not by the standard of play then by points. Because I remember, of course I broke 2800  with a 3000 performance in Nanjing and now I break the record with what's probably going to be a pretty good performance here, so that's nice.

The tournament right now is the most important for sure. I'll try to play a good game against Vishy in the last round and we'll see what happens.

[About being fifty points ahead of the rest]

I think if we all play at our best it's probably not that big a difference but I think the difference is I never really have any bad tournaments. I might have some mediocre ones but I never really perform under 2800 and that's why I'm way ahead of the others.

Why not?

I don't know. Sometimes I have some bad starts or bad finishes but in the end it all seems to end up with a more or less the same performance every time.

I think I can improve. I think I can learn a lot still. The difficult thing is to actually use that to my advantage in games. I know that a lot of people know a lot about chess, they learn, but they cannot really improve. So, we'll see. But, again, I have a lot to learn, so that's what I'm content with.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


columbo's picture

Congratulations Magnus !!! You rock !!!

Dan's picture

Who needs chess books? Just watch and analyze Magnus games, you'll learn more than your brain can handle ;)

Anonymous's picture

Honest replies by Carlsen.

* The difference of 50 points is mostly due to better stability
* He hasn't been playing very "brilliant".

Now you only need to consider the fact that Kramnik has played brilliantly and perhaps some of you will start to understand why people have said before that Kramnik played equally well, or even better, so far.

redivivo's picture

Carlsen doesn't think he has played very brilliant so Kramnik has played better?

Anonymous's picture

Chess-wise, yes. You don't have to agree, but it's not that strange of a thought either.

redivivo's picture

I think Carlsen declaring his games to be very brilliant is a strange thought in itself, he isn't the type to claim such things. Even if he did say that he thinks he deserves his score.

Anonymous's picture

We can start speculating of course, but I suppose he could just have said he was playing well. And no one thinks he doesn't deserve his score.

giovlinn's picture

Carlsen did NOT say his games were brilliant. If you play chess as good as you read....Capiche?

voyteck's picture

I don't think he did say Carlsen had called them brilliant, he rather said the opposite: "I think Carlsen declaring his games to be very brilliant is a strange thought in itself, he isn't the type to claim such things". In other words: it's difficult to expect such a statement from Carlsen regardless of his true opinion of his own games.

Bob's picture

Thing is, "playing well" is a pretty vague concept. Many people seem obsessed with a kind of "chess truth", where factors other than accuracy seem to be ignored. But chess consists of more than this: it is a game between humans, and things like consistency, trickery, psychology and mental strength (e.g. bouncing back from a loss) come into play. So the BEST chessplayer is not necessarily the one with the most encyclopaedic opening knowledge, but the one who wins most games, however that comes about (assuming they follow the rules, of course.)

tony's picture

Exactly right. Results are based not just on chess knowledge but practical results. in pure chess knowledge terms one just has to see Ivanchuk and understand there is something more than knowledge that influences the result of games. (nerves is probably all that held him back from a WC title)

Anonymous's picture

Kramnik is a brilliant chess mind and certainly one of the strongest players ever, world champion, .. and so on. I just don't get why you consistently have to mention that pure and undisputed fact, even when the news isn't about him for a change. We're all stunned and excited by Carlsen's new record for the moment being, so this doesn't take away anything from Kramnik's reputation. As a known admirer of Kramnik in this forum, you shouldn't do that job alll on your own.

RealityCheck's picture

This short interview confirms what most rational folks here have been saying all along, Magnus Carlsen aint the problem, his management and fan club are the problem. Let's hope they take note of what he's just said.

Congratulations Magnus Carsen, on your most recent achievement.



Guillaume's picture

I don't understand what exactly is the problem you are referring to. Some of the comments praising Carlsen might be a bit ecstatic when he wins a game, but why do you take offense? Isn't it the same with every win by super-GM? Carlsen just happens to do it more often, and so he understandably gets more praises.

Anonymous's picture

The problem is YOU

Anonymous's picture

Sincerely ridiculous !

RealityCheck's picture

@Anonymous Yes, how utterly ridiculous you are. You are an embarrassment to Carlsen ! He'd be better off without your support. Loser. Get a life of your own.

Anonymous's picture

Having to face the obvious fact that your hero and world title holder soon will be rated 100 Elo points below the strongest player on earth doesn't give you the license to immaturely and rudely insult other people posting in this forum. Continuing to do so also makes your posts meaningless (if that's even possible). Now you better get a life of your own. Nobody is interested in your rantings.

tony's picture

There is some degree of energy management as one gets older that also creates a problem. Ratings are NOT absolute and can only be really compared at the moment as relative values and strengths between players of that time. Anand is a great player and really really tough in matches. He must conserve energy in these events due to age etc.. Granted things look tough for Anand in a match but,... Botvinnik was written off several times as well. Anand is a great champion. Having a world champion that doesnt create drama lik some past champions ::cough:: Topalov ::cough:: is a good thing!
Magnus has cemented his place in chess history, but needs to become world champion to ensure he isnt just a coulda-woulda-shoulda been.

Anonymous's picture

RC only started to insult people after he was viciously attacked multiple times by the fanclub. So it's a bit weird if you start to complain now.

giovlinn's picture

Like yours?

Anonymous's picture

What are you talking about re MC's mgt and fans? MC was out in my area two weeks ago (Silicon Valley, CA, USA) meeting with venture capital money types...One should expect nothing more from a mgt company, unless you want chess left to the social misfits and shut-ins.

RealityCheck's picture

I've been, from the beginning, completely turned off by the HYPE that his mgt and fan's try to get folks to subscribe to--read the blogs. In my world, there aint no such thing as a "Superman". Carlsen says so himself. Re-read the Chessvibes interview: see if you can draw the same conclusion.

Second, to have as a marketing strategy the aim to split the title to serve your personal needs, you reduce yourself to the level of a Garri Kasparov type low brow politician. You are aware Boris Gelfand turned down Kasparov's offer to assist him during the WCh match against Anand, aren't you?

As far as I'm concerned, you can keep your Silicon Valley venture capital. Chess has done quite well with out it.

Anonymous's picture

Much thanks for your thoughtful answer...we can just agree to disagree on both MC's mgt and what chess should do to grow its popularity.

MW's picture

HYPE... Is that like when you continually claim how great someone is despite their losing 40+ rating points, slipping several places in the rankings, never winning any tournaments and hardly ever even managing to win any games?

Anonymous's picture

Once again Mr. reality-checker believes he should tell us who is right and who isn't, if Carlsen's supporters constitute a problem to him or not and lastly that he dislikes Carlsen's management. Most ridiculous to say the least. He'd better check his own reality or let somebody else do it for him.

redivivo's picture

This interview confirms that Carlsen's management and fans constitute a problem, I guess disagreeing with such a logical conclusion is counted as an insult :-)

Septimus's picture

Bravo Magnus! 3000+ now awaits thee!

Jambow's picture

Lol this gets a little intense I see. I think Magnus's statements were spot on, he has not played brilliantly but his fighting spirit is just as much a part of chess, who hasn't won a lost game by pressing on. Magnus of course often does play brilliant chess and as others have noted its a combination of factors that make him a force to be reckoned with.

boardgame's picture

Nice video Chessvibes, well done!!!

RG13's picture

Big kudos to this young man for this superlative achievement. That being said I don't think it compares to Kasparov's or especially Fischer's rating achievements since the average rating of the top 10 is much higher than in those days and so dominating the top 10 yielded much less points back then.

Latest articles