Carlsen: Haven’t Studied Chess Recently; It Showed.

Paul Morphy was considerably better than his contemporaries.   So was Bobby Fischer.  Neither benefited from computers, databases, or modern opening theory.  For this reason, it is harder to compare the skill level of their play with the level of the top current players.

Gary Kasparov was only a bit better than his contemporaries but remained World Champion for 15 years. 

Magnus Carlsen is the closest thing to a perfect human chess player.  He knows more about chess than anyone ever.  He definitely would lose to a computer, but that would be like a math contest against a scientific calculator, or a boxing match with a brick wall.  Computers really are perfect, or at least close enough that we can't tell the difference, whereas all humans make mistakes, including Magnus.

As good as Magnus is, he is only a bit better than his contemporaries.  There are a number of players who are not far behind.
Bobby Fischer reportedly had an IQ of 180.  He was incredibly brilliant.  I have heard that Magnus Carlsen has an IQ of 190.  He is also incredibly brilliant.  I don't know how one quantifies the difference between 180 and 190, especially half a century apart. 

Magnus Carlsen once admitted that he had to drink less to play chess well.  I have seen him play speed chess online while apparently drunk but he still won because he can play intuitively almost perfect chess.  I've seen Russian Grandmasters also win while drunk.  So, therefore, I've been wondering if Magnus Carsen is an alcoholic. 

In this interview, he looks more disheveled than usual.  It is also a bit odd that he decided not to participate in the World Chess Championship, giving up the World Chess Champion title that he has held for ten years.


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Magnus Carlsen - Wikiquote

"I think in general the future of classical chess as it is now is a little bit dubious. I would love to see more Fischer [Random] Chess being played over-the-board in a classical format. That would be very interesting to me, because I feel that that particular format is pretty well suited to classical chess as basically you need a lot of time in order to be able to play the game even remotely decently. And you can see that in the way that Fischer [Random] Chess is being played now when it is played in a rapid format. The quality of the games isn't very high because we make such fundamental mistakes in the opening. We don't understand it nearly enough and I think that would increase a lot if we were given a classical time control there. So I would definitely hope for that." — November 2020 [1]

"I'm certainly somebody who hopes for more 960 in classical format because I feel like 960 is not that suited to rapid and blitz because you're just gonna play too poorly. You're just gonna have absolutely no clue, but if you actually have time to sit down and think for half an hour on your first five moves, then maybe you can get some more understanding of the game."— in a stream with Eric Hansen, April 2021 [2] 53:29 - 54:36 [3]

Quotes about Carlsen

You could say that both Fischer and Carlsen had or have the ability to let chess look simple. – Viswanathan Anand
Chessdom - Anand about Chess Classics and his games with Carlsen

In six months of working with Magnus I have seen in him many of the qualities of the great champions. – Garry Kasparov
ChessBase.com - Breaking news Carlsen and Kasparov join forces, 7 September 2009