Those who argue that chess needs major changes have the renewed world champion as an ally, Magnus Carlsen: "Greater emphasis should be placed on rapid modalities, which offer a wider margin to know who is the best," he said on Wednesday. after defeating the American Fabiano Caruana in the tiebreak (3-0) and achieving the crown for the fourth time since 2013. In addition to praising his rival several times, the Norwegian admitted that he is not in his best form, which led him to make several games boring.
Although Carlsen, who turns 28 this Friday, refused to give interviews – not even to the Norwegian press – because he wanted to sleep until it was time to go to the airport, there is no doubt about his vindication of the fast modalities. It also supports the revolutionary format that the Norway Chess tournament, one of the most important of the circuit, will debut in 2019: if a game ends in a draw, it will be immediately transferred to the sudden death: five minutes for White, forced to win, and four for Black; the winner in slow game will have two points, and whoever wins the fast, 1.5; the losers, zero and 0.5, respectively. "I'm very attracted to this idea, and I hope my colleagues do not get scared," he said then.
That last nuance has its crumb because it would be logical that his colleagues were reluctant. The less time there is to think, the more Carlsen's genius will shine in the face of very defensive technique and homemade preparation. In fast games the risk of risking is much lower because there is no time for great reflections; the intuition weighs more than the precise calculation, and in that field there is a great difference between Carlsen and the others: in the classical chess ladder (two hours for 40 movements) it only surpasses Caruana in three points; in the fast one (25 minutes for the whole game), to Nakamura (USA) in 58; and in the flash mode (five minutes), the French Vachier-Lagrave only in two, but Nakamura in 66.
Although he is very sincere almost always, Carlsen was even more so with the gold medal on his chest. He admitted without hesitation that several games were boring because he provoked him, and that he benefited from the current rules by shamelessly seeking the quick jump-off to alleviate his lack of confidence. The most substantial of his corridor conversations with several journalists can be summarized as follows: "My game has not been very good during the last two years (…). Also, not winning a winning position in the first game marked my attitude in the rest of the duel because I saw that Fabian [Caruana], the toughest opponent I've ever had, I played very solid, and it would be difficult to give me more opportunities (…). I had a very bad time, I looked lost, in the 6th and 8th, and quite bad in the 10th. "
And then he settled for the last two being a transition to the fast ones, which explains his strange behavior in the 12th, when he offered tables with advantage and more time: "Enter the stage with the idea of offering tables in a slightly different position. favorable. I understand that frustrates many fans. But with the information I had and the current rules, I think I made the best practical decision. "
It remains in the air if Carlsen will play the next tournaments with the dry style -very hard for the vast majority of fans- that has allowed him to remain the number one with less brightness since 2016, or something will change. The second is more likely: "I have to work hard in classical chess, where I have not proven to be better than Fabiano. Now, if we consider chess as integral to its various modalities, I think it has become clear who is the best. "