Saturday, June 21, 2008

Magnus Carlsen Profile

Magnus Øen Carlsen (born November 30, 1990 in Tønsberg, Norway) is a Norwegian chess Grandmaster and chess prodigy.

On April 26, 2004 Carlsen became Grandmaster at the age of 13 years, 4 months, and 27 days, the third youngest Grandmaster age in history.

Since then, he has established himself as an elite Grandmaster. In the April 2008 FIDE list, he has an Elo rating of 2765, making him Norway's number 1, World Juniors' number 1 and World's number 5.


Carlsen lives in Lommedalen, Bærum, near Norway's capital, Oslo. He played his first tournament at the age of eight and was coached at the Norwegian high school for top athletes led by the country's top player, Grandmaster (GM) Simen Agdestein. Agdestein put his civil worker and master player Torbjørn Ringdahl-Hansen, currently a FIDE master with IM and GM norms, as his coach and they had one training session every week, together with one of Magnus' close friends. The young International Master was given a year off from elementary school to participate in international chess tournaments during the fall season of 2003. In that year, he finished third in the European Under-12 Boys Championship.Carlsen obtained his second GM norm in the Moscow Aeroflot Open in February 2004. In a blitz chess tournament (where players have much less time for their moves than in normal chess) in Reykjavík, Iceland, on 17 March 2004, Magnus Carlsen defeated former world champion Anatoly Karpov. The blitz tournament was a preliminary event leading up to a rapid chess knock out tournament beginning the next day, where Carlsen achieved one draw against Garry Kasparov, who was then the top-rated player in the world, before losing to Kasparov after 32 moves of the second game, thus being knocked out of the tournament.

In the sixth Dubai Open Chess Championship, held 18 April to 28, 2004, Carlsen obtained his third Grandmaster norm (enough for getting the GM title), after getting four wins and four draws before the last game was to be played. Resulting from this he was at the time world's youngest GM and the second youngest person ever to hold GM status, after Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine who attained the feat at 12 years and 7 months of age in 2002.

World Chess Cup

At the end of 2005 he participated at the World Chess Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. In the knock-out tournament, Carlsen upset the 44th-ranked Georgian Zurab Azmaiparashvili in round one, winning 2–0 at rapid chess after a 1–1 tie in the normal length games, and proceeded to beat Tajik Farrukh Amonatov and Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov (also after rapid chess) to reach the round of 16. There he lost 1½-2½ to Evgeny Bareev, which prevented him from finishing in the top eight. He then won against Joel Lautier 1½-½ and Vladimir Malakhov 3½-2½ securing him at least a tenth place and therefore a spot in the Candidate Matches. Carlsen became the youngest player to be an official World Championship Candidate.


* Playing for the second time in the top group A of the Corus chess tournament, Carlsen showed big improvement over his 2007 performance. His final score was 8 points in 13 rounds, an ELO performance of 2830. Carlsen scored five wins (including beating former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik with the black pieces), two losses and six draws. He shared first place with Levon Aronian, becoming the youngest person ever to win a category 20 tournament.
* At the 2008 Linares chess tournament, Carlsen had another 2800+ ELO performance, scoring 8 out of 14 (five wins, three losses and six draws). He finished in sole second place, ½ point behind the winner, world champion Viswanathan Anand.
* In March 2008, Carlsen played for the second time in the Melody Amber blind and rapid chess tournament, which was held in Nice for the first time. In the 11 rounds he achieved four wins, four draws and two losses in the blindfold, and three wins, six draws and two losses in the rapid part. This resulted in a shared fifth place in the blindfold, shared third place in the rapid and a shared second place in the overall tournament.
* Carlsen entered the first Grand Prix Tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan as a top-seed. After yet another 2800 ELO performance (four wins, one loss and eight draws), he finished in a three-way tie for first place.
* Carlsen won a rapid match against Peter Leko held at Miskolc, Hungary, scoring 5:3 (two wins, six draws).[5]
* In June, Carlsen won an annual Aerosvit event.[6] In his strongest tournament performance to date, he finished undefeated with 8 out of 11 (five wins, six draws) in a category 19 field. His performance ELO was 2878.