By David R. Sands – The Washington Times – Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It was the first visit by the world’s greatest chess player to the world’s most powerful city.

After a traditional Norwegian repast of cod and red wine hosted by Ambassador Kare R. Aas last week, world chess champ Magnus Carlsen met with a small group of reporters at the Norwegian Embassy here to talk chess, intuition, fashion, and his upcoming title defense match starting Nov. 11 at the Fulton Market building in Manhattan’s Seaport District. The D.C. visit was part of a pre-match East Coast tour that included an 18-0 simul sweep of a group of D.C. power lawyers at the Omni Shoreham, arranged by the law firm Simonsen Vogt Wiig, a Carlsen sponsor.

Some highlights from the talk:

On his pre-match plans: “Right now I’m feeling pretty relaxed. The preparation has obviously started, but I am not really feeling the jitters yet. That will come in a few weeks. Obviously it is exciting to be playing in a place like New York City, which has such a long history of chess. Bobby Fischer was born there, there are so many young people who have taken up the game. It will be a new experience, but there will be a lot of energy, too.”

On intuition in chess: “There are actually not many things in chess that I am absolutely certain about. On the most difficult decisions, for sure you have to calculate, but intuition is just as important to me. Once I feel like I’m not playing my best or I don’t like my position, intuition is always the first thing that goes. And when I play my best, I cannot always tell you why I made certain moves.”

On winning vs. defending the title: “The first time [dethroning Indian GM Viswanathan Anand in 2013] was the hardest for me. I was very tense at the start because I built up my opponent into something bigger than perhaps he was. In general, it is the same winning or defending my title — as long as I have confidence in my ability, I have to believe deep down that I can win. I think New York will be easier for me because my opponent has never done this before.

Full article here.

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