Norwegian star kicks it up a notch
Saturday, April 10, 2010 2:51 AM

At 19, Magnus Carlsen is demonstrating a consistency we usually see in players in their prime.

The most recent in his string of premier performances is a shared first-place finish with 41-year-old Vassily Ivanchuk in the annual Amber rapid/blindfold tournament in Nice, France.

The victory further validates the notion that the Norwegian prodigy is the strongest player in the world. Like his trainer, Garry Kasparov, and the legendary Bobby Fischer, Carlsen pursues winning with a relentless, bulldoglike tenacity.

In the recent 22-round tournament, he drew only three games, in stark contrast with the 15 draws managed by Ivanchuk. Although he accrued a seemingly massive handicap by losing six games, Carlsen balanced the liability with 13 victories. Ivanchuk suffered no losses but won only seven games.

With first place at stake, Carlsen demonstrated his resilience by winning a final rapid game with Alexander Grishuk after egregiously leaving his queen en prise in a preceding blindfold encounter earlier that day with Grishuk.

Adding luster to Carlsen and Ivanchuk’s performances was the quality of the event: Eight of the world’s top players – including former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, who finished third – were among the participants.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

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