Reports | November 30, 2010 19:46

Magnus "The Kid" Carlsen turns 20

Magnus While translating Sergey Shipov’s commentary on the recent tournament in Bilbao, Colin McGourty came up against a minor problem – how best to convey Magnus Carlsen’s Russian nickname, “Malysh”? He went with “the Kid”, but his uncertainty was picked up by a Russian reader who wrote in to explain the surprising story behind it.

By Colin McGourty

Previously I hadn’t given the nickname much thought. After all, Carlsen was a boy who looked his age when he shot to fame, so why not call him “the Kid”? It seemed natural, if a little surprising that none of the other chess child prodigies had acquired it first. What made the Norwegian special? Well, apart from his phenomenal talent, it turns out that for anyone who’s had a Soviet childhood his surname is indelibly linked to an iconic cartoon character. The real-life Magnus Carlsen never had a chance!

Magnus The culprit, as some readers might already have guessed (or known), is a Soviet cartoon called Malysh i Karlson, or, in translation, “The Kid and Karlson” (or “Junior and Karlson”, but I’ll stick with Kid!). It’s based on the “Karlson on the Roof” (Karlsson på taket) series of children’s books by the famous Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren. They tell the story of a very ordinary 7-year-old boy (the Kid), who lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary Stockholm street with an ordinary family… except for the extraordinary fact that a man called Karlson lives in a small house on their roof. This man also has, for reasons left unexplained, a propeller on his back operated by a button on his belly that allows him to fly. The small, portly Karlson (in his “prime”, as he puts it) has a sweet tooth, an unshakeable belief in his own abilities and a mischievous nature, which makes him the perfect friend and partner-in-crime for the lonely young boy.

Even if cartoons in foreign languages aren’t usually your thing, the original cartoon below (from 1968) is utterly charming. It has English subtitles and Part II should be visible in the related videos when Part I ends :

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"256","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"385","width":"480","style":""}}]]


Two years later a sequel, “Karlson Returns”, was released, with a stern governess meeting her match in the irrepressible Karlson:

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"257","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"385","width":"480","style":""}}]]


It would be hard to overestimate the cult status these cartoons have in Russia. A quick search on YouTube, for instance, brings up a film version, Karlson the Musical, endless parodies including this one on Putin and Saakashvili, a brilliant Hollywood blockbuster trailer for the cartoon (an epic of violence and forbidden love), and that’s only scratching the surface! Another cultural curiosity is that Karlson’s voice in the cartoons above was provided by Vasily Livanov, a hugely popular Soviet actor who later received an MBE for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Karlson and the Kid stamp

The Kid and Karlson on a Russian stamp | photo: dic.academic.ru

In short, despite the many different spellings of the Scandinavian surname, Magnus Carlsen couldn’t help but be associated with the children’s character. Suddenly the Russian press coverage of the rising star makes a lot more sense. For instance, in April this year the popular Ogoniok magazine ran a front-page profile of Carlsen with the headline “The Kid Carlsen” (the similarity of Magnus to the Russian Malysh may also be a factor). As this perhaps suggests it’s never quite clear who the real-life Carlsen is, the Kid or the mischievous roof-dweller. For example, when Veselin Topalov blundered into mate in the game Carlsen – Topalov, Morelia-Linares 2008, an article in gazeta.ru was entitled, “Topalov was left without buns”. As the author explained here Topalov was the gluttonous Karlson:

“The Kid” outplayed his opponent. On the 34th move it was as if he said to Topalov’s face: “No buns for you today, fly away…”. Topalov committed the decisive mistake and practically lost in one move.

Sometimes, however, Carlsen is Karlson. When Carlsen beat Vladimir Kramnik in the first round of the London Chess Classic last year the most popular Russian daily newspaper ran with the headline, “Carlsen upset ‘the kid’ Kramnik”. It’s enough to make your head spin!

One person I’ve seen “accused” of popularising calling Magnus “the Kid” is Sergey Shipov, so perhaps it’s worth ending with a couple of his longer pieces, which also give a picture of the development of the chess phenomenon.

The first was written after Shipov beat Magnus Carlsen to first place at the 2006 Midnight Sun Chess Challenge in Tromsø, Norway. Carlsen was already a star and far and away the main draw of the tournament, but we can be grateful that Shipov took an annual break from journalism to play there (as a self-confessed chess tourist) and had the chance to write a magnificent first-hand account of the event for ChessPro (Misha Savinov also wrote excellent reports for Chessbase – one, two and three). Shipov pens a portrait of the 15-year-old Carlsen, long before Kasparov and the “Soviet School of Chess”, or G-Star Raw, had arrived on the scene:

What can I say about Magnus? A boy like any other! He only talks to his peers, joking, laughing, fighting, making mischief, no less than all the rest. That’s right, show a stranger this band of Norwegian tearaways and pose the question: “And who among them is the superstar of modern chess, a World Champion candidate? Who’s the genius?” They’d be unlikely to guess!

But at the board, of course, the guy is transformed! He plays quickly, confidently and very aggressively. I don’t mean so much his style of play (which you’d have to class as perfectly solid and positional) but his will to fight. The breadth of his opening tastes is impressive. He can play essentially any opening and almost any line. Moreover, he’s not afraid to change his opening record even at the most crucial moments in an event. Apparently Magnus takes in lines that are new to him very quickly, instantly grasping the key ideas and intuitively feeling the essence of new structures. It seems as though one morning at the computer’s enough for him to get well-prepared for a serious battle with a dangerous opponent – on what for him is a new opening battleground. While at the board he can find decent continuations in unfamiliar positions. What can you say, he’s a rare talent!

Carlsen’s playing a lot just now. Even, in my view, too much! It’s totally unclear when he gets to rest and study chess. When does he analyse the games he’s played and learn new schemes in depth? When does he learn the endgame. Study typical positions. When does he play sport?

Of course, I understand that he, his parents and his trainers want to get what they can out of life as soon as possible. But with Magnus’ talent it’s not enough to aim for a lot, you have to go for it all – he needs to become World Champion. And for that he’s still got to grow and grow. To storm the highest chess peak he needs to prepare thoroughly – and now’s the time, when he’s in his teens. For an adult it’ll be much more difficult to do.

Carlsen in 2006

Magnus Carlsen at the Turin Olympiad in May 2006, a few months before the Tromsø tournament

Before the game with me in the 7th round of Tromsø 2006 Carlsen had played 30 games without defeat, and that was in strong tournaments against top-class opponents. The kid’s stunning stability is vivid proof of his exceptional abilities. It’s one thing when a veteran grandmaster, playing in a cautious manner, achieves a long unbeaten run. But it’s another thing entirely for an aggressive young fighter to remain undefeated despite being impulsive and still in some ways naïve.

It’s absolutely obvious that Carlsen has a great future ahead of him, particularly if he and his helpers are totally serious in their approach.

For the Norwegians Magnus is already a little God. They take his destiny as a matter of faith. After I won the [daily] blitz tournament for the fifth time (having made only two draws in all N games) and had also caught up with Carlsen in the main tournament, a strong local player came up to me and expressed his respect for my play. He also voiced his confidence that I was up to taking second place in the tournament! It didn’t even cross his mind that the impossible could happen and Magnus wouldn’t take his lawful first place. To be honest, I didn’t believe it either, although when we landed in the airport in Tromso I did utter the phrase that this was our last chance to beat Carlsen. Soon he’d be too strong…

Shipov’s analysis of his crucial win with black over Carlsen in their individual game is very entertaining (there are already two moves with exclamation marks by move 3), but I’d never understood one thing… until now! Shipov mentions that before the game started he received a text message with the content: “Carlsen – that means he loves jam. Use that to trap him!” Of course it refers to the cartoon (jam is almost the fuel for Karlson’s propeller), and sure enough this recurs later in the game:

33…Qa8! The black queen’s hunt for the white king leads to unexpected results. Carlsen should have calmly played 34. Kg1, but he was still counting on outplaying the veteran in a tie…

34.Qf3?

And now the pawn, coated in jam, is placed on the table for my opponent.

34…d3! 35.Re1 Despite his sweet tooth he manages, with incredible will-power, to refuse the gift. But it was already too late… After 35. Qxd3 Rfd8 wherever the queen goes a fork on d4 follows. Besides, the loss of the exchange wouldn’t be the end of it, as Black also has the f7-f5 resource.

The rest is by no means plain sailing, but Shipov held on to win.

Carlsen and the "veteran in a tie" | photo: ChessPro

Fast forward to Wijk-aan-Zee 2009, for which Shipov wrote a tournament preview at Crestbook. Here’s what he had to say about the Norwegian’s chances (Anand, Kramnik and Topalov were all missing):

Magnus Carlsen (2776; 30.11.1990) The main tournament favourite. “The Kid” has become an adult after refusing to play in the next stage of the FIDE Grand Prix series. I won’t call him by the much-cherished name from the cartoon anymore. He’s no longer simply a young, extraordinarily-gifted player soaring to new heights. We now have a fully-fledged elite player with his own views who’s learned to take difficult decisions and defy fate. Nevertheless, his age and prospects haven’t gone away! The ceiling for Magnus’ promise isn’t yet visible, and he continues to develop. The Norwegian… What can we call him now after the term “Kid”? He’s not yet a “giant”, of course. Well then, we’ll simply call him by his surname! He was the Kid, but he’s become Carlsen. Such a plot twist wasn’t foreseen by Astrid Lindgren, but life is more cunning than all the authors in the world. Carlsen is playing easily and aggressively. In a long tournament with an uneven line-up his style should turn out to be very effective. We expect him to take off once more for the roof!

Admittedly, two things mentioned here never happened. Carlsen had a relatively unimpressive tournament (it was later in the year that he soared to new heights), and Shipov continues to call Magnus the Kid. What can his opponents do to stop “the Kid Carlsen”? Perhaps they simply need to find the button featured in another variation on the original cartoon :)

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"258","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"385","width":"480","style":""}}]]


I couldn’t have written this article without “Valchess”, a Russian chess fan who lives in England and explained the origin of Carlsen’s nickname to me. He’s also behind the wonderful “KC-Conference” series at the Crestbook website, where well-known chess figures respond to reader questions. The plan is soon to allow questions in English and publish the answers simultaneously in Russian and English, but for now the following interviews can be read in full in translation:


This article was cross-posted from Chess in Translation on the occasion of Magnus Carlsen's 20th birthday. (Congratulations, Magnus!)

Yesterday in the newspaper Soviet Sport Henrik Carlsen was quoted:

"Yes, Magnus read the book about “Karlson, who lives on the roof” when he was a small boy. He liked the book, or at the very least he still remembers it today. Now Magnus mainly reads chess books, though sometimes also books on politics."

Less relevant, but slightly funny after Barcelona's crushing 5-0 win against Real Madrid last night, is what Henrik added:

"His main hobby is football. He’s planning on watching Barcelona – Real Madrid – it’s a big game. He’s a Real fan, and his favourite players are Kaka and Ronaldo".

Let's hope Magnus received a better birthday present today...

Tags:

Share |
Anonymous's picture
Author: Anonymous
Chess.com

Comments

eric's picture

Wonderful article!

And as far as Carlsen's nickname is concerned: it may well remain 'the kid'. What nicknames do the other top chess players have - or should have? Kasparov is 'the boss'. But the others - Kramnik 'the giant'? Anand 'the righteous'? Karjakin 'the mouse'? Topalov, Ivanchuk etc.

Would be nice to have matches like 'the mouse' vs 'the giant' or 'the boss' vs 'the kid', or 'the righteous' vs 'the cheater' etc. etc. Or is it too shallow?

Eric

MrBurger's picture

Don't forget Wang Yue: Sleeping Panda!

vladimirOo's picture

Anand used to be called 'Lucky Luke', as the french Comics charater who shoots faster than his own shadow (Anand used to be a really fast player even at slow time controls).

Wasn't Spassky called "The Wall" for he had no weakness?

vladimirOo's picture

And Kasparov was also nicknamed the "Ogre of Bakou", Tal "The Magician", Nunn "The Doctor/Professor" (since he is a doctorate), Yusupov sometimes 'The Iron player'.

I believe Fischer was called "the Kid (of Brooklyn)" back in the 50/60's by the Russians, but it was quite pejorative.

e4e6's picture

I remember old champions Botvinnik, Petrosian, Capablanca; there were called Iron Logic, Iron Man, Chess Machine -i`m not sure. And the other players having nicknames included; Morphy, Lasker, Alekhine and all the world champions. - but i do not know all the nicknames by heart.

S's picture

Adams was known as the spider.
'
p.s. If you insist on giving away the nick "the cheater" it should go to Carlsen, after all he is the only top player busted and captured on tape while doing it.

I am not getting repetitive, am I?

Castro's picture

Of course there is the famous Kasparov knight back against Polgar, also caught on tape, with everybody witnessing, including the arbiter, who remained hilariously quiet! :-) Poor chess!

S's picture

Yussupov; the bear from the Ural.

ChessGirl's picture

It´s Sleepy Panda :) And it´s my favorite nickname ever!!!

Calvin Amari's picture

I knew the background, if not all the color, behind "the kid" moniker among Russians. What I thought notable was Shipov's recent observation, reprinted above, that "The ceiling for Magnus’ promise isn’t yet visible." For the better part of 20 years everyone has been talking about Magnus' s potential. The astounding thing is that, even as the world number one, there still is routine evidence of dramatic additional potential. “Before he is done,” Kasparov says, “Carlsen will have changed our ancient game considerably.” Happy Birthday, Magnus. We've very much looking forward to what the next 20 years will bring.

biggy, delft's picture

Many many returns of the day!!!

Ron's picture

Now he's turned 20 here"s my prediction: Carlsen will never become World Champion. He will remain active for max 5 years, being in the top of the charts, until he decides to go a different career. Acting, modeling - He will be lost for chess. He already is.

john's picture

I saw most of this on the chess in translation site weeks ago. happy B day anyway Carlsen!

Ron's picture

I repeat my last posting and I guess it will be censored away again.
Carlsen will never become World Champion. I expect him to be in chess for 3-5 years, then retire and start acting/modeling or whatever vanity he chooses. Such a pity.

Poek's picture

In Holland Carlsen is known as 'BamBam', which seems a more fitting nickname.

frogbert's picture

You have an obscure flaw in your usage of the term "cheater".

S's picture

Well since cheating is about right and wrong I can't be very disturbed by your judgement.
I don't think we get to hear your opinion about the following incidents:

1)
" The rapid game, which started as a ‘Berlin Wall’, saw a peculiar finish when on move 43 Carlsen played his rook to a3 only to realize that this move would drop the rook. He ‘corrected’ his mistake by playing the rook to c1, but Aronian didn’t accept this change and claimed that his opponent had released the rook. The arbiter checked the video of the game (all rapid games are taped), confirmed Aronian’s version and Carlsen resigned immediately "

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1487930&kpage=1
Note that Carlsen denied the truth to the arbiter before the video was shown.

---
2&3)
"Here, similar to the situation in Carlsen vs Kosteniuk, 2009 Carlsen starts to move 72 ... Qc4+, then sees that 73. Qd4+ with check then wins for Vugar Gashimov, and corrects to Qc6+. But the queen was released, and the move cannot be corrected."

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1563966

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1563977

or..
4)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjIyNlbTkog
at 9:10 of the video.

And there is more..

S's picture

Btw, another nickname, for Ratmir Kholmov: "the central defender"

frogbert's picture

"Note that Carlsen denied the truth to the arbiter before the video was shown."

He "denied the truth"? Why do you think, when he knew games were being taped?

He honestly thought he had not let go of the rook, as per his own explanation. That's why he claimed he had not let go. Ask a handball player if he/she stepped on the 6-meter line, and they will _not_ give the correct answer in several situations. Ask a forward if he/she was offside or onside, and they might "deny the truth". That doesn't make them "cheaters".

A cheater is someone like Maradona, making an obvious handball and celebrating afterwards, even though he knows very well that he scored by illegal means.

In all the other examples you mention, Carlsen immediately resigned his game. Correcting the blunder looks very much like a completely instinctive thing for Carlsen, and when he becomes aware of what has happened, he resigns. The only reason the Aronian example is different, is that Carlsen felt certain that he really did not let go of the piece. You can't blame him for that perception as long as he tells the truth.

If you want to show us an example of Carlsen "cheating", then you need to find an example where he does a release-correct manouver that does NOT end the game in Carlsen's disfavour.

Otherwise you're simply saying that he's dumb; why should he _intentionally_ correct moves when all he's ever "gained" by doing that is _losing_ games? And having some confused people accuse him of questionable ethics? That really does not make sense.

S's picture

So, how do you explain that it is always the same person who ends up in these situations ? I don't think you can make such a list for any other top GM; even though MC has a much shorter career. Or can you, frogbert?

You ask me to find an example where his cheating pays off..Clearly, one can't easily find such an example -since succesfull cheating is a hidden affair. But it is very likely that the kid has gotten away with it before-when there are no tapes and arbiters, or when opponents are too nice or timid to point out his faults. Or do you think it's likely that he developed this habit in the past 2 years?

By the way, I know you are familiar with some possible examples like the unjust claim against Morozevich, resulting in a draw, or his touch the bishop incidents against Nakamura. The first certainly, and the second arguably (not by my book btw) examples of succesful affairs for MC.

Another point is your flawed logic. It's not just cheating when the attempt is succesful. That has nothing to do with it. Cheating is intentionally breaking the rules and trying to benefit from it. Which is what Magnus did several times.
And you can't mantain that Carlsen still doesn't know the rules, after all these similar incidents. Do you think that he still not knows the rules, frogbert?
Or do you think that he can't control his own hand/arm movements??
I still like to know why this happens so often to mr Carlsen.

And last but not least, Carlsen didn't resign immediately in the other instances.

Once again, how do you explain that it is always the same person who ends up in these situations, Frogbert?
Well??!

p.s.
Even if you don't think him a cheater, I think we can all agree that Magnus fits the bill the most. Yusupov isn't a bear, Adams isn't a spider, and Kasparov isn't an ogre or the boss. But they all have some characteristics of their nicknames. Don't you understand that, frogbert?

So, like I said initially, if Eric insist on bestowing the nickname "the cheater" I think it should go to MC.

frogbert's picture

"Cheating is intentionally breaking the rules and trying to benefit from it. Which is what Magnus did several times."

That's where you're reasoning hits a brick wall: You have no proof whatsoever that he INTENTIONALLY "broke the rules" in an attempt to benefit from it.

Did you read what I wrote:

"Correcting the blunder looks very much like a completely instinctive thing for Carlsen, and when he becomes aware of what has happened, he resigns."

I assume you understand what I mean with instinctive; in the examples you refer to he's done it instantly, probably before realizing that he's even let go of the piece he corrects - while an INTENTION is a relationship between a conscious idea and its execution.

By the same measure, everyone who hit the clock and then adjusted a piece or replaced it on their opponent's time also are CHEATERS; they broke a clear rule of chess, and one that they actually GAIN ON every time they break it, by stealing seconds from their opponent.

I can find NUMEROUS examples of that even from the latest Blitz World Championship. Why aren't you running a campaign against the player(s) that did that a lot of times? They broke the rules of chess AND got away with it. Breaking the rules are breaking the rules, right? Or is it only when it applies to Carlsen?

frogbert's picture

"But they all have some characteristics of their nicknames. Don’t you understand that, frogbert?"

If you would try to find the most apt nickname for one of the biggest chess talents in the history of the game, I hope you would come up with something about 10 notches above your current suggestion. If not, it speaks volumes about you and very little about Carlsen.

S's picture

Bottem line is that you fail to give an explanation for his actions. You make comparisons with tennis and such, but can't come up with any other chess player who did this as often as Carlsen.

My explanation is, he can't stand losing and tries to alter the result.
What is yours?

reality check's picture

Foosball's influence on juvenile Carslen's mind is taking its toll.
Remember the ridiculous, childish chess/soccer comparison he used to support his criticism of the system in place to determine the Candidates and Chess World Champion?

Well now, here's the Italian style soccer tactic he employed in several otb blitz games; every one knows some soccer players are notorious for deliberate fouls against their opponents and go into religous denial as soon as the whistle blows. Before the yellow card is drawn.
frogbert, this all happens under the watchful eye of FIFA camera men filming every inch of the pitch. And the players know it.
How many routine foul-and-deny-it skits you think the kid has watched on TV since he started playing chess? Is Foosball is to blame?

S's picture

Frogbert, if you think it is equally bad to adjust your pieces in your opponents time (which is quite bad imo), and to sneakily take back a move (which is far far worse), then there is little to discuss. I assume you see the difference.

But am I to understand that your excuse is that he is INSTINCTIVELY breaking the rules, time and again in the same way? Because I don't see how that makes it any better..
As for intention-you can never be 100 percent clear about someones intentions. But like I said-I think the frequency of the incidents, the bad acting afterwards, the lack of similar incidents with other top players, it all makes a strong case..
I just can't imagine one who not only can't control his arm and hand (moving it instinctively) but also is not seeing and noticing when he lets go of a piece..In the meantime you need to think-this move is bad; that one is better..

But that is what he suggests; against Aronian he didn't know, against Savchenko he clearly acted confused, against Gashimov he protested, and against Kosteniuk he even refused to shake hands, which is hardly normal behavior after just breaking the rules.

By the way, here's two players that Carlsen can take as an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNsNqaHsmiI

With only 2 seconds on the clock Aronian knocks over a piece; and he tries to correct it in his own time. Kramnik gestures silently that he can do it in Kramnik's time. Two gentlemen; and I have never seen them take back a move.

frogbert's picture

"Frogbert, if you think it is equally bad to adjust your pieces in your opponents time (which is quite bad imo), and to sneakily take back a move (which is far far worse), then there is little to discuss."

You're wrong - there is something to discuss: The factor of INTENTION is crucial for the verdict here.

The "thinking effort" involved in "this move bad, this move better" is indeed second nature for a chess player of Elite level, it happens basically automatically regarding a blunder - and the correction has ALWAYS happened in a split-second - and the reaction from the opponent has been immediate too.

In which time span is Carlsen supposed to have formed an intention of "sneakingly" taking back a move? "Oh no, that was a blunder. But hey, if I very quickly take the move back, perhaps my opponent doesn't see it and I can make a better move, like going there! Ok, wish me luck - I'll try - Now!"

If I'm going to guess about why these corrections have happened, it would be that Carlsen has played lots of blitz games against his peers and friends, maybe 1 0 chess or even faster, where they have given each other a little leeway on strict touch-move rules. Of course you can't bring that into a serious competition ON PURPOSE, but if you and your friends have silently accepted this against each other for a long time, doing such a correction can ALSO become nearly second nature, and it would actually need some very conscious training getting rid of such a bad habit.

I'm just guessing here. But what I'm quite certain of, is that there at NO POINT has been any INTENTION of cheating from Carlsen's side. He has only LOST on what I consider most likely to be a left-over from friendly blitz games. I also agree that Carlsen would gain on getting rid of such episodes in the future - but I don't think for a moment that this is any sign of questionable ethics or a conscious attempt at breaking the rules.

S's picture

Frequency-wise; your explanation with Carlsen playing many friendly blitz games make no sense. For starters, this would give him the chance to get rid of this bad habit, but over the last couple of years he hasn't. Secondly, there are many other GM's who play a lot of (friendly) blitz as well-and those guys don't show this bad behavior.

As for intention; I don't think that we will come to an agreement on this-but fortunately everyone can think and write what he wants.
No one can prove what his intentions were-be it on purpose, on accident or somewhere in between. You say the one, I am inclined to think the other.

But these are the facts: Carlsen broke the rules in several games, more than any other contemporary top GM as far as I know, and his actions would have altered the natural course and result of games when they had gone unnoticed or unanswered. In 1 instance it surely did.

S's picture

Please do, but I don't give you much of a chance
(p.s. I'd prefer you take into account at least the last two tournaments for obvious reasons)

And yes, I agree that correcting and replacing on your opponents time is against the rules-but it's impact is not nearly as big on a game as taking back a move.

frogbert's picture

"Carlsen broke the rules in several games, more than any other contemporary top GM as far as I know"

You agree that correcting and replacing pieces on your opponent's time (in blitz) is an example of breaking the rules, right?

Then I'll show you from the recent Blitz World Championship that you are wrong.

S's picture

How far are you with your list, frogbert?

S's picture

Frogbert: " I’ll show you from the recent Blitz World Championship that you are wrong"

So far just silence..I take it that you now share my point of view?

S's picture

Impressive proof you are showing us here bert;)

FIDE Master's picture

Happy Birthday Magnus!

eric's picture

It's becoming a nice list! Any more?

Wang Yue - Sleepy Panda, Chinese Wall
Spassky - The Wall
Kasparov - Ogre of Bakou, The Boss
Tal - The Magician
Nunn - The Doctor/Professor (since he is a doctorate)
Yusupov - The Iron player, The Bear from the Ural, The Wall.
Fischer - The Kid (of Brooklyn) back in the 50/60’s by the Russians, but it was quite pejorative
Botvinnik - Iron Logic
Petrosian - Iron Man
Capablanca - Iron Logic
Adams - The spider
Ratmir Kholmov - The central defender
Carlsen - The Kid, BamBam (in Holland)

Thomas's picture

As far as I am concerned or remember, "Doc" rather referred to Dr. Robert Huebner. And 'professor' currently refers to Boris Gelfand - primarily because of his looks, aura (often a bit absent-minded?) and perfectionist approach to chess.

S's picture

Karpov, the python

Portisch, the Hungarian Botvinnik

And I think Capablanca was named a "chess machine" ?

S's picture

Matulovic; known as J'adoubovic

Castro's picture

Yes! That one is the best, ever! :-)

Guillaume's picture

Playing an illegal move does not equate to cheating. A tennis player whose ball is called out is not trying to cheat his opponent. The accumulation of errors is in no way a better case to accuse a player of cheating. If anything, it only indicates that this player plays badly, or that he is vulnerable to the pressure put by his opponents. You might as well call Federer a cheater because he plays more unforced errors than Nadal.

So, even you could actually demonstrate that on average Carlsen tends to play more illegal moves than other players in blitz games (which remains an unproven assumption), it would only show he needs to improve this part of his blitz skill.

While you're at it, why don't you start counting the number of time he knocks his pieces inadvertently and call that cheating as well?

frogbert's picture

He referred to that too, as the "bishop incidents against Nakamura" - but said that he didn't agree.

S's picture

I am not going to repeat myself but it's clear enough that you nor frogbert can answer any of the questions raised above. You guys keep making silly comparisons without coming up with a decent explanation.
A fowl in tennis is not against the rules, but making a move twice in chess is against the rules and would, in your tennis world, be equal to serving a third time after 2 errors.

Secondly, I was not just talking about blitz games and thirdly, in fact it is proven that MC made more illegal moves in several world blitz tournaments than any other player there.

Which reduces your comment to the strange suggestion to count knocking pieces over-but that is not against the rules as long as it is not on purpose and corrected in your own time (nor will it help improve your position)

frogbert's picture

Oh, come on - you don't get off that easily:

“Cheating is intentionally breaking the rules and trying to benefit from it. Which is what Magnus did several times.”

That’s where you’re reasoning hits a brick wall: You have no proof whatsoever that he INTENTIONALLY “broke the rules” in an attempt to benefit from it.

Did you read what I wrote:

“Correcting the blunder looks very much like a completely instinctive thing for Carlsen, and when he becomes aware of what has happened, he resigns.”

I assume you understand what I mean with instinctive; in the examples you refer to he’s done it instantly, probably before realizing that he’s even let go of the piece he corrects – while an INTENTION is a relationship between a conscious idea and its execution.

By the same measure, everyone who hit the clock and then adjusted a piece or replaced it on their opponent’s time also are CHEATERS; they broke a clear rule of chess, and one that they actually GAIN ON every time they break it, by stealing seconds from their opponent.

I can find NUMEROUS examples of that even from the latest Blitz World Championship. Why aren’t you running a campaign against the player(s) that did that a lot of times? They broke the rules of chess AND got away with it. Breaking the rules are breaking the rules, right? Or is it only when it applies to Carlsen?

frogbert's picture

I saw your reply further up. I replied there.

frogbert's picture

"the strange suggestion to count knocking pieces over-but that is not against the rules as long as it is not on purpose and corrected in your own time "

Moving AND hitting the clock AND correcting pieces afterwards was what I said.

Knocking pieces over or misplacing them badly is typically a consequence of trying to play TOO fast, which is a conscious decision. Why does the person hit the clock when he knows he has misplaced the piece or knocked it over? Huh?

That's completely analogous to your harping on an instant correction of a piece - except that hitting the clock is a longer movement for the hand. Doesn't the person control his/her hand, hm? Wasn't that what you argued regarding Carlsen?

S's picture

That strange suggestion was made by Guillame, not you; You confuse my answer to him with a reaction on one of your posts. I do condemn knocking over pieces and pressing the clock to correct in your opponents time so there is no point in your post. Apart from that, I find it curious how you fail to see how taking back a move is far far worse than knocking over pieces.

Castro's picture

This is "S" strong point, and he is right.
He is also right in that none of you is willing and/or achieving to adress this fundamental point.
Now, would you please grant me more of your silly thumbs down? :-)

Guillaume's picture

Mister S, Nobody is disputing that Carlsen is losing games because he played illegal moves. You can safely call that a 'fact'. Nobody is denying either that he has done it several times. However, none of the wild interpretations you offer are facts or remotely close to be supported by a shred of evidence. An assumption does not become true once you've stated it a second time.

Reading you feels like reading Freud: facts, interpretation and assumptions exchanging roles wildly and without logic until the resulting mess fits one's theory. No discussion is possible under such circumstances. Keep twisting reality to your liking, I'm no longer interested.

S's picture

Most fanatics aren't interested in the truth, even if it is right in front of their eyes.
I am not surprised by your lack of interest.

Guillaume's picture

That was uncalled-for.

Vikram's picture

Anand has a nickname in India - lightning kid - from back when he was young.

Pages

Latest articles