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If there is one chess player who has made the most significant impact on the game in the last decade, it is undoubtedly Magnus Carlsen. The Norwegian chess superstar is the current world chess champion, having won his fight championship title in 2021.

Magnus Carlsen the reigning chess champion in the game’s classical version. He has also earned the title of World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Chess Champion a record three and five times, respectively.

The chess behemoth has remained the number one ranked chess player in the world according to the Federation Internationale des Echecs (FIDE) rankings since July 1, 2011. This stupendous feat lies second to only Russian Grandmaster (GM) Garry Kasparov’s record.  

Magnus Carlsen’s out-of-the-world resume boasts of the record of having the highest chess rating, 2882, in the sport’s history. Carlsen is also the chess player who has the longest undefeated streak in professional chess. All this and more makes the chess genius from Norway a contender for being declared the greatest chess competitor of all time.

Magnus Carlsen Early Career And Development

Carlsen started training in chess from a very early age. An apparent prodigy, he announced his arrival on the world stage soon after turning 13. This happened when Carlsen stood first in group C of the Corus chess tournament. He was still 13 when he became a chess grandmaster. His stature kept increasing as he matured into a complete chess player.

Carlsen was 15 when he won the Norwegian Chess Championship. More success followed once he turned 17 when he finished as the co-winner of the top group in the Corus chess tournament. By the time Carlsen had turned 18, it was clear to the chess fraternity that this young Norwegian was destined for greatness.

Carlsen became the youngest chess player of all time to cross the 2800 Elo chess rating at the age of 18 in 2009. He fulfilled the promise shown over the preceding years by reaching the pinnacle of chess rankings in 2010 when he was declared the number one chess player in the world by FIDE. By capturing this feat, Carlsen became the youngest person ever to reach the number one position in chess.

Magnus Carlsen World Chess Championship 

The biggest moment in Carlsen’s career came in the year 2013 when he successfully challenged the then world champion, Vishwanathan Anand, for the world title. He cemented his position as the unrivalled world champion the following year when he again outsmarted Anand to retain his championship title.

This was a period when everything Carlsen was touching was turning into gold. In 2014, Carlsen had a phenomenal run. Not only did he defend his classical championship title against Anand, but he also won both the World Rapid Chess Championship and the World Blitz Chess Championship in the most dominant fashion. In doing so, Carlsen became the first person in chess history to win all three major chess championship titles in the same year. He repeated this feat again in 2019. This speaks volumes about the man’s chess genius.


How Magnus Carlsen Changed The Game Of Chess Forever

It has now become part of Norwegian folklore the manner in which one of their favourite sons transformed chess from a sport of secondary stature to one which draws the biggest crowds. Before the arrival of Carlsen in the 2000s, chess was a relatively lesser-known sport in Norway. But as soon as Carlsen began dominating the domestic and international chess scene from the mid to late 2000s, the whole nation woke up to the immense possibilities that chess commanded.

Around this time, a new crop of chess players who were training to become world-class professionals began emerging in Norway. With the ascension of Carlsen to the zenith of professional chess, Scandinavians as a whole embraced the game like they had never done before. The current batch of Norwegian chess grandmasters, including Tiger Hillarp Persson, Nils Grandelius, Hans Tikkanen, and Evgeny Agrest, hail Carlsen as their ultimate source of inspiration.

It is imperative to point out that Magnus Carlsen has made chess a much more popular and accessible sport in his native country of Norway and elsewhere. He has also contributed immensely to stopping computers from taking over the game as a whole. A small bite-sized history anecdote should be alluded to at this juncture.

Magnus Carlsen Vs Computer

Two and a half decades back, the Russian Grandmaster Garry Kasparov was ruling the charts in the professional chess circuit. Around the same time, there was a growing feeling among chess observers that computer chess engines would take over the sport from humans sooner than later. In a display of superiority, the IBM supercomputer named ‘Deep Blue’ caused a major upset by beating the then undisputed world champion Kasparov in a televised series of matches shown all over the planet.

There were fears among the chess faithful that the time had come that computers would go on to dictate terms on how the game should be played.

Carlsen Retrieved The Game Back From The Machines

What makes Carlsen one of the greatest chess players of all time, if not the greatest, is the fact that he single-handedly proved beyond the shadow of a doubt the supremacy of the human mind over any form of a computer chess engine.

In the world chess championship contest between Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi played in Dubai in 2021, the games were seen to be increasingly influenced by premeditated computer-simulated moves. In the initial five games of the contest, the challenger Nepomniachtchi followed a pattern that was unquestionably set up by a powerful chess engine. The result was that all of those games ended in ‘perfect’ draws.

As a result of this, reporters covering the event were quickly drawn to the conclusion that the age of machines had dawned upon professional chess. However, Carlsen proved once and for all the superiority of the human mind over any form of machinery. He reached an extraordinary level of chess mastery to defeat his opponent fair and square in the next match.

Magnus Carlsen Game Style

Carlsen has not continued coming up with newer opening moves to stun his rivals on a regular basis. A player with a natural attacking mindset, Carlsen has, over the years, developed into a complete chess player. In his early days, he was primarily focused on the classical format of the game. But with the changing times and the enormous popularity of the shorter versions of the game – blitz, bullet, and rapid- Carlsen has changed his style of play and subsequently won world championships in all formats of the game.

What makes coming up against Carlsen so hard is that he has a penchant for surprising his rivals. It is common knowledge that elite players these days invest a lot of time, energy, and resources in preparing for a game against Carlsen. However, Carlsen makes it a point to force his opponents to divert from their pre-game tactics and play a natural match. This remarkable quality has made Carlsen a darling of the chess puritans, who do not want chess engines to dictate the terms of the game.


Magnus Carlsen Rating After Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2022

World Champion Magnus Carlsen competed in the 2022 edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament and won it convincingly. He notched up 9.5 points out of a possible 13, with zero losses and six victories. With his eighth win in this tournament, Carlsen’s Elo rating moved up from 2865 to 2868.

Magnus Carlsen Rating 2022

Generally, Magnus Carlsen live rating hovers around the mid-2800 mark. Magnus Carlsen highest live rating has been 2882 points on the Elo scale. In August 2022, FIDE released its website’s updated world chess ranking list. According to the same, Magnus Carlsen has a rating of 2864. With this score, he remains the highest-rated chess player in the world. 

Carlsen’s victory over the chess engine-dependent Ian Nepomniachtchi in 2021 was symbolic in many ways. It showcased the depths to which the human mind can go in order to bring out the best in adverse situations. By retaining his world championship in 2021, Carlsen sealed his position as the most dominant and gifted chess player in the contemporary period. No other player of the highest level can match up to his novelty and style.   

Magnus Carlsen is undoubtedly the best chess player of his generation. He has been leading the pack of elite chess professionals for more than 10 years now.
If you want to learn more about the top chess players of today, check out our article titled ‘Top Chess Players In The World Today’. This exercise will definitely increase your overall knowledge of chess.