19 August 2013

Carlsen Analyzes His Games

After that brief commercial break for Wonderboy Returns, let's return to the mini-series that started with The Carlsen Question: 'What makes him so good?' Although we got some hints from the Norwegian GM's interviews, e.g. Magnus Carlsen Video Interviews, it's safe to say that we've barely scratched the surface. How to go deeper?

Along with the sit-down interviews, there is an enormous quantity of Carlsen material available on Youtube in the form of press conferences and post-game interviews. Sorting through them to find the truly valuable clips is a question of patience (some of them run over 30 minutes) and luck. I was lucky to locate a series of multi-part Chessvibes videos from the 2008 Corus tournament where Carlsen analyzed his latest game from the round just played. Here they are along with links to the games on Chessgames.com.

One of the recurring themes in Carlsen's analysis is the search to present maximum problems to the opponent. As White it means varying from what the opponent expects to see in the opening; as Black it means steering for active counterplay.

Note also how, after analyzing an unplayed variation, he plays the moves in reverse order to return to the game. This is a technique that I've never been able to master. Maybe it is worth practicing.

[I haven't reviewed all of the clips in entirety yet, so if you find a problem, let me know in a comment to this post.]

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