Norwegian Magnus Carlsen is the Tiger Woods of chess. That’s why chess has become a mainstream sport! OK, that’s extreme, neither mainstream nor sport (debate!?), but Magnus Carlsen was the youngest player to top the world FIDE rankings when he reached the top in January 2010 and he has been on top since.
Magnus Carlsen’s Recent Loss
Four days ago, on 24 January, Magnus Carlsen lost to 18-year-old Russian Andrey Esipenko. It was a huge upset. The tournament schedule is here and the final round is played on 31 January.
Two days later, On 26 January, Magnus Carlsen bounced back and won his next game. Watch the game analysis here.
On 27 January, Magnus Carlsen, World #1, played World #2, American-Italian Fabiano Caruana.
How to Watch Chess
Chess games last several hours, and it’s chess at a level we cannot understand. However, agadmator’s Chess Channel makes the games watchable and even exciting. Here is agadmator’s website. Agadmator’s name is Antonio Radić and he is Croatian guy who is a really good amateur chess player and now comments on chess full-time.
The International Chess Federation, FIDE is the most widely-recognized governing body. (but their calendar stinks)
Who’s Who of Chess
Chess has a long history. We’ve heard some of the names without being able to place them. Here are some:
Paul Morphy, 1837-1884: dominated in America, then crossed the ocean and dominated in Europe.
Bobby Fischer, 1943-2008: American who won the most widely publicized chess championship of all time, the 1972 World Chess Championship considered a Cold War US versus USSR chess showdown. I have not yet seen the movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer.
Garry Kasparov, 1963-living: longest reign at top of FIDE ratings.
Computers Playing Chess
The chess computer Deeper Blue beat the reigning world champion in 1997, and computers have not looked back. Modern computers beat all humans at chess.