19 March 2018

Interview Videos : World Champion Carlsen

For the past eight weeks, I've been posting interviews with the eight players competing in the 2018 Candidates Tournament. Now that the tournament is well underway in Berlin, let's have one final interview with the man they are chasing, GM Magnus Carlsen. The off-camera interviewer introduces the current World Champion with the reason for the interview:-

Magnus, you have just beaten Anish Giri in the playoff to win a record sixth title here in Wijk aan Zee. Congratulations.

A poised and relaxed Carlsen makes a sharp contrast with other recent interviews we've seen, like Magnus Carlsen on his London Chess Classic.

Tata Steel Chess - Interview - Magnus Carlsen - Winner (2:41) • 'Published on Jan 28, 2018'

When asked, 'This is the first time we've had a playoff in Wijk aan Zee. Before there were shared winners. What's your take on that? Are you a fan of playoffs or would you have preferred to share the title with Anish?', he says,

The only thing I'm not a fan of is deciding things away from the board with some kind of tiebreak system that is not a playoff. A shared win is fine and a playoff is fine, because even though it's a different format, it's decided over the board.

There is considerable irony in that statement, given that five years ago Carlsen won the 2013 Candidates Tournament, London on tiebreak, thereby getting his first shot at a World Championship match. When I started the series of 'Interview Videos', all eight players had equal theoretical chances of winning the tournament:-

Now that the half-way point of the 14 round event has been reached, about half of the players have been practically eliminated. Which player will ultimately succeed in getting the coveted title match with Carlsen?

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