Reports | December 04, 2010 4:03

Magnus in The Telegraph

Magnus in The Telegraph"I’m not a freak, I’m just curious," Magnus Carlsen was quoted yesterday in the English newspaper The Telegraph. For their series 'My perfect weekend' the Norwegian was interviewed by Max Davidson, on the occasion of the start of the London Chess Classic next Wednesday.

Carlsen speaks personally, and in the first person. There's not much about finally entering his twenties, and not much about his 'perfect weekend' either, in fact. It's a personal description of the life of a chess professional, who doesn't tend to have Monday to Friday working weeks, and so no real weekends either. (We know the feeling. ;-) )The interview has some interesting personal tidbits, and as always it's nice to see a chess personality in mainstream media. You can read the interview here.

Another participant of the London Chess Classic, Viswanathan Anand, was interviewed by the Hamburger Abendblatt. You can read it in German at Chess Tigers or try the not too terrible Google Translation into English.

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.


Thomas's picture

In the given case, they may have inside information exactly because they aren't completely neutral (at earlier occasions, frogbert "confessed" that he's a personal friend of the Carlsen family). However, I do not see any bias in their posts (these particular ones).

Peter Doggers's picture

We just noticed that another participant of the London Chess Classic, Viswanathan Anand, was interviewed by the Hamburger Abendblatt. You can read it in German at Chess Tigers or try the not too terrible Google Translation into English.

blueofnoon's picture

Does Anand speak German, or are we to read his words spoken in English translated to German translated to English again by the Google Translation?

Deep Mikey's picture

Anand speaks German almost perfectly.

Thomas's picture

Yes, Anand speaks pretty good German - be it with an accent, some grammatical errors and hesitations ("ähh"). The Bundesliga webpage has German language audios on his games against Kempinski and Gashimov last season - , click on "Emotionen", "Audio" and "10./11. Runde". And the introduction of the current interview mentions that he ordered his meal in German.

I suspect that the interview was actually held in German, because the English "you" is given as the informal "du" - which may have been Anand's intention but wouldn't be clear if they had talked in English.

reality check's picture

Peter, thank you. This link, the Gruenberg interview with Anand, is a breath of fresh air.

test's picture

(After the Tal Memorial World Blitz Championship in Moscow.)

"As if that was not enough, late in the evening I played 40 blitz games (3 2) with H. Nakamura. We were both pretty tired and the quality of the games varied to put it mildly."

But what was the result?

noone's picture

I do not think they counted.

test's picture

You think correctly.

Nevertheless I'm curious about the result.

Thomas's picture

On Dailydirt, Bobby Fiske wrote "Rumours say the end score was 23.5-16.5, but both players have decided to keep the winners name for themself..." . frogbert added that "Footage exists from the match, I have heard..." and suggests that they might reveal the secret later on.

lefthandsketch's picture

How could this journalist interview magnus and not ask a question about his withdrawal from the WCC? The questions could not be more banal... I imagine Magnus has a publicist who vetted the questions and disallowed the interesting ones, leaving us with "herbal tea or fruit juice?"

Mejnour's picture

That the way to do when you don't want to feed the troll.

test's picture

Agreed. But pretty typical for media outlets that don't know the first thing about chess.

test's picture

I'm not sure if you have a particular beef with Capitalists or not, it has to be said that chess fared very well under communism. ;)

While I agree that most of these "contacts" with main stream media are uninteresting for the chess enthusiast, I also don't see what harm they do; after all most of the sponsorship comes from real world companies for whom main stream media is indeed important.

reality check's picture

I have no beef in particular against Capitalism. But i notice too much emphasis put on making big bucks from chess.

Hell, If you want to make alot of money get a real job. Rob a bank. Sell guns.

Admit it, I do have a problem with Chess being pimped like a two-bit
whore for money, money, money.

S's picture

Both sources are, of course, totally neutral on the issue and have been extremely credible and accurate in the past ;)

reality check's picture

When will the Capitalists within the Chess Fraternity realise that we do not need Main Stream Media? Who really watches TV these day? Besides, we just don't fit in.

We have a long history, we have tradition, we have an interesting game (product) but a sub-culture that's best promoted via Internet.

lefthandsketch's picture

Blatant commercialism leaves a bad taste in my mouth too, which is why i think the sponsor patches Carlsen wears go a bit far perhaps, perhaps not though...what do I know.
However, professional chess players should be able to earn a living, not just the elite players but anyone with a GM title shouldn't have to worry about money. The fact that some of the most inspiring players of the last generation committed suicide or died penniless is certainly not a utopian communist outcome for chess either.

calvin amari's picture

In the Telegraph piece, Magnus says, "I am currently ranked No 2 in the world, having slipped from No 1, but I want to get the top spot back and become world champion as well."

I find this quote, coming from the player who is number one on the live rating list, utterly remarkable. Who else would phase things this way in a major daily newspaper interview and not even mention the live ranking or that, by current measures, he has already achieved "the top spot?" This is understated as to almost give the wrong impression, particularly to a newspaper's general readership. This just underscores what journalist Evgeny Surov recently wrote about Magnus and Henrik Carlsen in Chess-News at the beginning of the World Blitz: " ... you have to say, the father and son conduct themselves with the highest degree of modesty, politeness and tact when dealing with those around them." [translation courtesy of the increasingly vital]

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