Play Magnus

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Here are a few snapshots of what goes on in the mind of Magnus Carlson:

"When a computer looks at a position, it will see all the different possibilities and calculate many moves ahead. For me, its about seeing the right possibilities and evaluating them correctly. It’s more about finding the right moves. Also, there is an image of the board not only in front of me, but also in my head moving the pieces around. When I make a move it is partly subconscious, there will be a decision making process in my mind, and suddenly make a move and don’t know why I do that.”

"When I make a bad move I see immediately why it is a bad move. That happens to many strong players. Maybe because it is a bit easier to see the move when it is actually on the board rather than just in your head, but it is a fascinating problem.”

"There is the opening where a lot depends on analysis at home with computers, and the computer is an incredibly powerful tool at chess. It levels the playing field. I try to analyze, try to choose openings that minimize the effect of computer analysis, hopefully in the end games, 7 pieces or left, everything has been worked out by the computer.”

"It is always a balance. I want to have a lot of energy but I also want to be calm. It is hard, I am still trying to find that balance, but to sleep well, to eat well during tournaments, that is something you must do.”

"Ever since I was little i always liked to read about chess, to play through games of different styles, but I was more of an attacking player. The game is about checkmating the king, and as a less experienced player you want to reach that goal as quickly as possible. After a while, i realized i needed to play the endgames better and to be a bit more restrained, not burning bridges all the time. I’ve tried to be more creative. You can not always win by superior techniques, sometimes you need to create something unique to battle your opponents.”

"It is always a bit different what i appreciate in my own game. I appreciate creating something unique.”

"Moves that look bad are considered by the top players, previously people would shy away from those ugly moves. Because of computers, people are more starting to see every position, because you can not rely on books on what is good, every situation is different.”

Here is what he had to say about his app Play Magnus

"For me it is interesting to see the play at different ages. It is modeled after my playing style. I tested myself against Magnus 12, and it was strange because I thought, “this is not right.” He has no technique. I decided to play through, and realized it was right.”

"I think it’s a great tool, and it is something for people to strive after. It’s interesting for people to play against a computer, but if you’re playing a human opponent, it is much more interesting to advance to the next age rather than level. If you beat Magnus at 10 years old that is a high achievement, because not a lot of people were able to beat me at that age.”

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