28 October 2015

FT: Interview with Magnus Carlsen - October 2015

             Image result for magnus carlsen chess 2015

The original interview can be found here at ft.com - you may have to register (for free) to read it at the Financial Times site.

Since it's a mainstream media site (although the FT is rather highbrow), there's not a lot of chess depth.  However, spending time with Carlsen always brings up some valuable and interesting points for further consideration.  One of the most relevant ones I thought was his view of himself as an athlete, including his training regimen.  This is in tune with some previous posts here and also with the modern understanding of mind/body optimization for athletes.  For example, sports such as tennis become very mental at the top levels; it's often not an athlete's physical training that makes the difference in their performance under pressure, it's their mental toughness.

Another interesting point is Carlsen's personal love of the game and its history.  It is by no means a prerequisite for master strength to have an encyclopedic knowledge of chess world champions and their games, but there is also little doubt that it can help inform and instruct one's play.