How Carlsen beats his opponents
Slow day at the office for Aronian
Paul Keres once said of a young Anatoly Karpov (back in 1972) that while he did not like his style of play he did admire Karpov’s ability to win so many games.
I suggest that the same can be said of Magnus Carlsen. The current World Champion wins more games — and more often — than his colleagues. And does so without really doing very much, at least optically.
Magnus rarely comes out of the opening with an advantage, but has the self confidence to play 100 moves, if necessary, without making a blunder, all the while waiting for the golden opportunity should his opponent lose his concentration for even a single move.
Perhaps this is why the late Victor Korchnoi considered Carlsen to be a natural born psychologist before anything else…much like he considered Misha Tal.
Below is yesterday’s win by Carlsen over the Armenian superstar Levon Aronian. Play over the moves quickly the first time, and then take a look at the short post-game comments by Carslen.
Notice that Carlsen is completely objective, never over estimating his chances, nor (unlike Kasparov) lavishly praising his moves.
Aronian had a perfectly fine position, but Carlsen knew how Aronian thinks; and that Aronian did not feel comfortable without a clear plan of play. Also notice how often Carlsen tries to get into the mindset of the Armenian…
Making a long story short, the Armenian got into severe time trouble (25 moves for just a minute) and Carlsen had little problem taking in the full point.
gm Carlsen – gm Aronian