Garry Kasparov once suggested that Bobby Fischer was a modern centaur: half-human and half-chess.
A similar metaphor can be used with 19-year-old Magnus Carlsen, the top-rated player in the world: We might consider him half-Carlsen and half-Kasparov – an exaggeration of Kasparov’s role, to be sure.
During the past year, with the former world champion as trainer, Carlsen has attained the highest statistical rating in the world. It’s likely that Kasparov’s opening analysis and chess wisdom are boosting his protege’s play.
Has Carlsen’s style been affected?
Not yet. One of the teen’s strengths is his imperturbability. He remains candid about his mistakes and seems to put little performance pressure on himself.
Kasparov has credited him with an exceptional strategic intuition comparable to that of legendary Cuban player Jose Capablanca.
The contrarian Swiss grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi recently expressed a more provocative point of view: “It is difficult for me to find his moves. They are seemingly not bad. At the same time, they are aimed at the opponent playing weakly.”