Is Wesley So the one who can dethrone Magnus Carlsen? Can Wesley So challenge Magnus Carlsen in the 2022 World Championship? What is the Rivalry status of Magnus Carlsen?
The thing with Magnus is like it used to be with Chicago Bulls, every time there used to be a new Competitor! First Magic Johnson vs Michal Jordan. Then Isiah Thomas vs Michal Jordan. Later Kobe vs Michal Jordan! Similarly, Magnus Carlsen is getting new challengers every time. Starting with Anand, then Karjakin, then Caruana. We don’t know who will be the one this time but I really want to see a matchup between Carlsen and Wesley so! Why is this the case? Let me lay a few facts which I have observed- The finals of the Opera Euro Rapid online championship took place on 13&14 Feb.
It was the day when So took on The current Triple world champion Magnus Carlsen! Wesley was in top-notch form going into the finals while Magnus had a few tough encounters reaching the finale. A lot of people put their bet on Carlsen while some did hope that Welsey will pull through. Day one ended in 2-2 while day 2 saw Carlsen going all out a lot of times but didn’t manage to win while Wesley so plucked in one point and won the second day with 2.5-1.5. Thus he won the tournament with 4.5-3.5 against Carlsen. I am quite sure Carlsen will make a strong comeback but there are a lot of instances which give a hint that Wesley might have the calibre to dethrone Magnus.
Another incident I recall is from chess960 world championship in 2019. Wesley beat Carlsen 13.5-2.5! Not an easy score to achieve against Carlsen. Although the point system was different, this domination against Carlsen is not so normal. Recently in Skilling open Wesley spoiled Carlsen’s 30th birthday by beating him in the finals!
Such records prove that Wesley can be a strong contender to dethrone Magnus! Although Magnus does dominate their individual encounters a lot of times recently he is facing issues against Wesley.
“You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.” – Mikhail Tal [8th World Chess Champion]
Yesterday, Daniil Dubov a Russian Super Grandmaster also the Former World Rapid Champion took on Current World Champion Magnus Carlsen. This was a Quarter-Final match in the Airthings Masters Cup online event. Daniil Dubov was a second in Magnus Carlsen’s team in 2018 World Chess Championship. Everyone was looking forward to this match as both players played over 100 training games prior to 2018 world championship. Generally, Dubov reminds one of Mikhail Tal while Carlsen is Rock Solid. So it was obvious they knew each other quite well.
The format of Knockouts is 2 sets of 4 games each. To win a set you have to score 2.5 points. If the sets are drawn 1-1 then there was a tie-breaker. The First Set saw Magnus striking instantly to go 1-0 up in the match. Then after a draw in the 2nd game, Daniil Dubov won the 3rd game to level scores. With the 4th game drawn the first set was a draw.
Then came the 2nd set. Here Dubov showed his normal style of playing wild and complicated positions. This helped him to go 1-0 up and then he drew the 2nd game. Having white pieces in 3rd game Dubov again started to complicate matters but this time it felt like Magnus was under control and started to take over when Dubov’s advantage slipped. Within Instance, Carlsen made a move which shocked the commentary panel and everyone who was watching the game live. Carlsen had missed an idea and ran into a checkmate. This was the 3rd time in 2 days that the World Champion’s King was hunted. This reminds us of a famous quote by Former World Champion Mikhail Tal –
An interview after beating Magnus –
Tweets by Magnus post Quarter Finals –
People may play have good days or bad days against me, and I against them, but after another collapse the bottom line is that I’m in a deep funk right now, and it’s really frustrating
On a lighter note, Daniil just wrote me to cheer me up after beating me, and apologize for his celebration on air. Told him I did not see it, and it would upset me more when people stop celebrating after beating me. Congrats to a most worthy opponent and great dude!
Sportsmanship or sportsman spirit is a quality of having respect towards the game and your opponent. Small acts like smiling after the game, making a handshake (although willingly avoided nowadays) or Congratulating your opponent for his victory, discussing the game even after you lost a game, even rearranging the pieces once you have finished the game. There are many more you could notice in a playing hall. Today we cover some of the extraordinary gestures where the players went beyond the game to display sportsmanship.
1.Lajos Portisch – Bent Larsen.
Montreal 1979 was a historic event where 8 out of top 10 players played. (Fischer and Korchnoi did not participate). This game was from the 4th round of the tournament. The game was heading to a draw after Larsen had misplayed his advantage, but suddenly both the players noticed Larsen’s flag fell exactly on the 40th move. During those days there was an increment of time after one completes his 40th move but Larsen forgot to make his move. But here Portisch displayed sportsmanship by offering the final result as a draw. In a tournament which has a star stunned line-up every half point counts. So this was a remarkable gesture by Portisch. Although Gligoric who was the chief arbiter for that tournament, decided to stay in the rules and give Portisch a win, we can appreciate Portisch’s gesture. You can buy the book from here.
In the early 21st century Anand played a match with Karpov where both the players were allowed to use computers as assistance. This was an experiment to see how a human can use artificial intelligence to his benefit. Anand being young was able to use the machine easily. But as Karpov was not used to it he found it difficult to operate and opened several tabs and could not get back to where the original position was. Anand being a gentleman went to karpov to help him sort the mess occurred on his screen and then helped him with how to operate it. Another example of how sportsmanship goes beyond the game. This incident is mentioned in Anand’s autobiography, Mindmaster. You can buy the book from here.
3. Vishwanathan Anand – Jobava Baadur.
This time Anand was on the receiving end of a nice gesture. Anand played his move and pressed the clock. But you can see in the video below that Still Anand’s time was running and it was a mechanical fault. When Jobava noticed it he quickly informed Anand and pressed the clock himself. If Anand had timed out Jobava would have got a full point. Generally, such incidents upset you and the concentration is disturbed. Jobava instantly played a move and offered a draw. Anand accepted it in an instance. It was a kind gesture by the Jobava.
4. Ding Liren – Magnus Carlsen .
In a recent online match between Ding Liren and World Champion Magnus Carlsen from the Magnus Carlsen invitational online tournament, the position was a clear draw but due to internet issue, Ding Liren lost on disconnection. Now Magnus was 1-0 up in the 4 game mini-match. Magnus Carlsen was disappointed with this and knew that it wasn’t fair the way he got the lead. Do you know what Magnus did next? He just gave up his queen on 3rd move and resigned the game on the 4th move. A nice way to show respect to your opponent and stay fair to the game.
In the initial moments, you can see Magnus explaining his decision.
These were the top 4 gestures of sportsmanship in Chess, if you have come across any incident then do mention in the comments section.