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Article Number
LXSOLMC60MG
Author

Magnus Carlsen: 60 Memorable Games

384 pages, paperback, Batsford Chess, 1. edition 2020

€19.95
Incl. Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

Following on from the long success of one of the most important chess books ever written, Bobby Fischer: My 60 Memorable Games, renowned chess writer Andrew Soltis delivers a book on today’s blockbuster chess player Magnus Carlsen.

Magnus Carlsen has been the world’s number one player for more than a decade, has won more super-tournaments than anyone ever and is still in his prime. He is the only player to repeatedly win the world championships in classical, speed and blitz chess formats. This book details his remarkable rise and how he acquired the crucial skills of 21st-century grandmaster chess

He will defend his world championship title this autumn and if he wins, it will set a record of five championship match victories. This book take you through how he wins by analysing 60 of the games that made him who he is, describing the intricacies behind his and his opponent’s strategies, the tactical justification of moves and the psychological battle in each one.

This book is essential for chess enthusiasts, competitors and professionals of all skill sets.

More Information
Weight 480 g
Manufacturer Batsford Chess
Width 15,2 cm
Height 23,4 cm
Medium Book
Year of Publication 2020
Author Andrew Soltis
Language English
Edition 1
ISBN-13 978-1849946506
Pages 384
Binding paperback

Später werden wir sagen können: Wir waren dabei, als Magnus Carlsen am Brett die Welt des Schachs bestimmte. Selbst für Zeitzeugen ist es jedoch nicht leicht zu folgen, denn die Informationsflut ist beträchtlich, und kaum ist das eine Superturnier beendet, steht schon das nächste an, zwischendurch noch ein paar Banterblitzshows oder private Blitzduelle auf lichess. Es ist schon recht viel, was verarbeitet werden will.

"Magnus Carlsen - 60 Memorable Games" von Andrew Soltis ist ein äußerst empfehlenswertes Buch, um die Bedeutung und das Ausmaß des Schaffens des Weltmeisters zu verstehen. Seit zehn Jahren steht der Norweger an der Weltranglistenspitze und schon als Kind brachte er Großmeister in Bedrängnis. Das Buch räumt mit Vorurteilen auf, die damals insbesondere von Großmeisterkollegen in Umlauf gebracht wurden. Zum Beispiel: Carlsen hätte nur taktische Tricks drauf, sonst nichts.

Um dem vorzüglichen Vorwort des Buches gerecht zu werden, sei an dieser Stelle ein ausgiebiges Zitat gestattet, und zwar aus der Passage, die sich mit Mythen und Vorurteilen im Spiel Carlsens befassen.

So erklärt Soltis auf S. 18:

Early in his career, older GMs said he was simply a cheapo artist. He was a master of the ICC whose lack of depth would be exposed when he faced his elders. "He's an unusually weak player", Viktor Korchnoi said. All he does is prompt his opponents to make mistakes: "He knows what will cause them to err!" Korchnoi said. He did not consider that a skill.

Korchnoi eventually changed his opinion, so did Khalifman, a strong grandmaster who won a Fide knockout world championship in 1999. Khalifman was struck by the lineup of players in the top section of Wijk aan Zee 2007. Thirteen of the 14 players had "schooling", he said. They followed the proven precepts of the Mikhail Botvinnik method: Study your own games and detect weaknesses. Read the classics of chess literature, like Aron Nimzovich's My System. Study comes before playing.

The 14th player in the tournament was Magnus. Every day during the tournament Carlsen played dozens of speed games on the Internet. That was bound to show up as superficiality in his moves, said Khalifman. But after examining his "classical" games, Khalifman admitted he was wrong. "Carlsen didn't read Nimzovich and doesn't need to," he said in the August 2008 issue of 64 magazine. "To hell with Nimzovich."

(Kurze Anmerkung meinerseits: Ich bezweifle, dass Carlsen Nimzowitsch oder andere Klassiker nicht gelesen hätte. Wie Carlsen selbst berichtete, hatte er in seiner Jugend sehr viel mit Büchern gearbeitet. In einer Banter-Blitz-Show beginnt Jan Gustafsson eine Partie für den Weltmeister, der gerade aus der Dusche kommt, gegen “spielmann666”. Im 9. Zug übernimmt Carlsen die Stellung, blickt kurz drauf und sagt: “Looks like a very good Caro-Kann ... but isn’t he on the way to take on e6? With the name of Spielmann there is no choice, right? You gotta sack something... I think Spielmann has a whole chapter in his book about this, like sack something on e6 before Black can castle. Anybody who is a better historian than I am could chime in here, but ... &rdquo

- “Did you read Rudolf Spielmann books? That’s amazing.&rdquo

- “What can I say? I was a hard worker in my youth.&rdquo

Ich gehe einfach davon aus, dass Carlsen sich sehr viele Bücher vorgenommen hatte. Weiter geht es mit Soltis und dessen Abklärung der Vorurteile gegenüber den jungen Carlsen:

Quite a different criticism came from other GMs. They said Carlsen is "a child of the computer era". He was a Fritz clone, programmed by constant study with engines to play the way they do.

This is the greatest Magnus myth. He didn't even use a database during the first years he took chess seriously. His first coaches were amazed at what he called his "computer incompetence."

"Honestly, when I was about 11-12 I didn't even know what Chessbase was," he told an interviewer from Chesspro.ru. "Back then I simply put a board in front of me, took the books I was studying at the time and looked at everything on that. And the first time I needed a computer for chess was when I started to play on the internet." (...)

Among those who appreciated how un-computer-like Carlsen was is the American grandmaster Sam Shankland: "I saw some statistic that of the top ten players in the world he matches the top choice of the computer the least of all of them." That is, Carlsen's rivals are more likely to play the candidate moves that machines regard as best.

But computers have also shown us that the difference between the objectively "best" move and the second-best and even the third-best is often slight. What impressed Shankland is that of the same top-ten players, Carlsen is the one most likely to select one of the computer's three top choices. "Magnus might not play the best move any more often than anyone else," Shankland said. "But he often plays a good move.... because his natural feel is so great."

(...)

Ähnlich dem historischen Vorgänger "My Sixty Memorable Games" von Robert J. Fischer von 1969 stellt Soltis den Partien epitaphartige Einleitungen voraus und gibt den Partien thematische Überschriften wie zum Beispiel "Harmony", "Playability" und "Confidence Game".

Einer der ersten, ganz großen Ausrufezeichen setzte Carlsen beim Aeroflot Open 2004 in Moskau (allein schon die Partie gegen Dolmatov!). Sehr hübsch dabei die Zitate von Juri Rasuwajew und Alexander Nikitin auf S. 45:

“While Carlsen was in Moscow the veteran trainer Yuri Razuvaev tried to gauge his strength. Along with Alexander Nikitin, former trainer of Garry Kasparov, he showed Magnus positions for hours and asked him to choose the best moves. In one way, they were unimpressed.

‘We immediately said: He is an ordinary tactician,” Razuvaev recalled in 2010.

But, he added, Carlsen more than made up for it with his uncanny ability to evaluate quiet positions.

‘Magnus had positional talent on the level of Petrosian or Karpov’, Razuvaev said.&rdquo

Es ließe sich viel mehr zu diesem Buch sagen, am liebsten würde ich das Vorwort im Ganzen zitieren, so gut ist es, und ich belasse es bei einer absoluten Kaufempfehlung und weise auf ein paar statistische Hinweise hin, weil ja immer wieder nach dem Größten aller Zeiten gefragt wird (auf Englisch: GOAT, "Greatest Of All Time"):

“The term "super-tournament" has no precise meaning. But it has come to mean a round robin with classical time controls, in which each player is an elite grandmaster. In recent years the Sinquefield Cup, Norway Chess, Wijk aan Zee and the Gashimov Memorial have become synonymous with super-tournament.

Bobby Fischer never won a super-tournament. Garry Kasparov won outright or tied for first place in 35 super-tournaments in his nearly-30-year career. His fans said this was further evidence that he was the greatest player in chess history.

But Magnus Carlsen won some 40 super-tournaments, plus another 14 "super" speed tournaments before he was 30.&rdquo

Fazit: Ein sehr empfehlenswertes Buch.

Fernando Offermann,

Berliner Schachverband

Januar 2021

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