A win is a win, period! And if you do not like it…..!

The chess world lit up twitter (and various forums) yesterday after the epic episode between Magnus Carlsen and Maurice Ashley.

After winning clear first in the GCT Super Rapid Tournament with 7/9 without losing a game for a performance of around 3,000, he was interviewed by GM Maurice Ashley. Here was a portion of that interview:
Maurice Ashley: Magnus, you seemed to have some hiccups earlier today. You didn’t really have smooth performances. This game wasn’t that smooth either. It was a little bit unclear. What’s your feeling overall as the game was transpiring?

Magnus Carlsen: “What do you want me to do? I mean, I take the piece of course. He hasn’t done anything particularly wrong, of course. It’s not going to be lost, I mean what do you want from me?”

MA: “I don’t want anything. I just want see just chess getting played.”

MC: “You’re talking about, I mean, that the game wasn’t smooth. Again, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to get a huge advantage from the opening and then to push it all the way. Is that the only way you can win a smooth game? Is that your point?” (The game was actually played relatively well by both sides)

MA: “Not at all Magnus, but certainly the game was tricky enough. Let me just get your thoughts on how you’ve done…”

MC: “I’m just feeling that … the way you’re approaching it is, trying to belittle the whole thing. That’s my only issue.”

You be the judge on how that interview went. Are you OK with the questions and answers?


I remember a similar experience a few months ago in New York City. As the Head Coach of the #1 ranked SPICE Chess Team, winning a record 7 consecutive Final Four Championships without losing a match, and going 15-0 in the past 5 years with Webster University, I was asked the following by a “journalist” after my team just won:

Journalist: So Susan, your team only won by 1.5 point margin ahead of the 2nd place team (out of 12 games) and 3 points ahead of the 3rd place team, did your team under-perform? Or are they simply tired of winning?

I was kind of speechless and had to hold my tongue back. I am too much of a lady to give the journalist my true feeling 🙂 My team spent nearly 3 months preparing for the Final Four. They won all 3 matches they played. And this was the question they got right after they successfully defended their title? Seriously?

Unfortunately, in today’s world of fake news and saying the most outrageous things to get clicks, we have to be prepared for “any” question. All we can do is smile and do our best to be polite 🙂 But will I ever give this journalist another interview? Errr, NO! 🙂

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