Magnus Carlsen (Tonsberg, Norway, 1990), is the winner of Candidate Tourney, i.e. the event which qualifies the challenger to the world title. He is nicknamed “The Mozart of chess” because the ease and naturalness by which solves even the most complicated positions, and because his precocity: he became Grand Master in 2004, ageing thirteen. There are only other two players who got Grand Master when younger than him, before thirteen, in 1999 and 2002; but they haven’t fully showed theirs strength yet.
There were very few people who were great champions already before thirteen, and won the world title later, or fought for it: the American Paul Murphy (1837-1884), the Cuban Josè Raoul Cabablanca (1888-1942), and again an American, Samuel Reshewsky (1922-1992); the second also played bridge and knew Ely Culbertson. Capablanca is recognizable in a picture taken during the Culbertson-Lenz’s “Bridge Battle of the Century”, December 1930-January 1931. Let’s add to these four – Murphy, Capablanca, Reshewsky, Carlsen – another giant who got Grand Master a little late, fifteen, but was one of all time greatest champion: Bobby Fisher.
Magnus Carlsen became world #1 at 19 yo, and just this year has got the all times highest ranking. In March 2011 the Norwegian Parliament awarded him by the Peer Gynt prize, an acknowledgment to Norwegian people who distinguished for their country. Time Magazine has dedicated a cover page to him.
The criterion to rate a chess player is called “Elo” after the name of the American Arpad Elo, who invented it in late sixties. The Elo, in few words, compare the actual result of each match against the result expected according to the relative strength of the two contestants; higher the difference between them, lower the points won by the higher rated – if he did win.
The first standing according to Elo criterion was established in 1970: first was Bobby Fisher (2720); 2nd-3rd Boris Spassky and Viktor Korcnoj (2670); 4th-5th Efim Geller and Paul Keres (2660); 6th-7th Bent Larsen and Tigran Petrosian (2650). This is the Elo standing updated to October from http://www.2700chess.com/:
Note that the youngest of these champions is an Italian, Fabiano Caruana.
This is the final standing of the Candidate Tourney played in London in April:
Magnus Carlsen 8,5 by five victories, thus he’s the winner
Vladimir Kramnik 8,5 by four victories
Peter Svidler 8
Levon Aronian 8
Boris Gelfand 6,5
Alexander Grischuk 6,5
Vassily Ivanchuk 6
Teimour Radjabov 4
Viswanathan Anand (1969 Mayiladuthurai, India), became Grand Master at 18 yo, when he won the world junior championship. His first great result came in 1991, quarter finalist at Candidate Tourney; in that year the Indian Government gave him the Rajiv Gandhi Sport Gem award. In 1992 he won the International Tourney of Reggio Emilia, in Italy, before both the stars of those years, Anatolj Karpov and Garry Kasparov. In 1995 he won the Candidate tourney and challenged (and was defeated by), the same Kasparov, world title holder; three years after he challenged again, this time against Karpov, and again was defeated.
In 2000 Anand won one world title: he beat Aleksej Sirov. But in that time still lasted the outcomes of the “secession” era – 1993-1998 – with two world champions generated by two ruling bodies: the old FIDE (Federation Internationale Des Echecs), and the new PCA (Professional Chess Association). The other champion of that year was Vladimir Kramnik. In 2006 the FIDE and the PCA champions, Veselin Topalov and Kramnik, played the match of reunification, won by the latter; the year after Anand won the Candidate Tourney and defeated Kramnik, becoming The Champion. In 2008 it was Kramnik the challenger, but Anand never yield the title; he also beat Topalov in 2010 and Boris Gelfand in 2012.
Anand got the all time top ranking in 2011 by 2817 Elo points; as reported upon, he was outscored later by the same Carlsen.
Picture: Moscow, 2013 June: Anand and Carlsen at Michail Tal Memorial (source: Chessdom.com)
The Norwegian Magnus Carlsen will challenge the chess world champion, the Indian Viswanathan Anand, at Chennai, in India, from 7th to 28th November, 2013.